What is Ctrl+Alt+Del? How to use it and Why it’s not working

Ctrl + Alt + Del

Ctrl+Alt+Del or Ctrl-Alt-Del or Control+Alt+Delete is a key combination on Windows and Mac computer to force restart your Computer when not responding.

The Ctrl+Alt+Del command works for a similar purpose on Windows computer and Mac. On Mac, you can use the Ctrl-Alt-Del to force quit apps that are not responding. You can also use it to force restart your computer when not responding when they are pressed in a row.

However, if you don’t know much about the control alt delete key combination on your Windows and Mac computer. Here are what you can do combining these keys together when you PC isn’t working fine or responding or perhaps when you need to perform a task with the keys.

Ctrl + Alt + Del

What is Ctrl + Alt + Del?

When you press the control alter del so many things happen in your Windows or Mac computer. Some of these options includes lock, switch user, sign out, change password, and task manager.

When you press the combination of these keys and the options come up you can from there click on what to do from the pop up. However, to perform some of these tasks you may need to have the administrative right.

Additionally, when you press Ctrl+Alt+Del in a row this will restart your computer forcefully. However, when you are pressing the keys in a row make sure you do not have an unsaved project opens.

The way the Ctrl + alt + del works on modern computer differs from how it works on old computers OS such as Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows 7. In the old Windows version the Ctrl+alt+del opens the device task manager as against the new Windows version such as Windows 8 and Windows 10 that opens different options such as Switch users, lock, restart, force to quit macOS app, etc.

How to Use Ctrl + Alt + Del

You cannot always use the Ctrl-alt-del keys combination on your computer if you don’t want to loose your unsaved files. However, the best time to use the key combinations on Windows is when you want to lock your computer, switch user such as restricting administrative access from a 3rd-party, restart your computer, etc.

Meanwhile, when you use the Ctrl-alt-del keys combined in a row it will restart your computer without asking for permission to save opened files.

This can corrupt your personal files beyond fixing. Therefore, to use the ctrlaltdel key all files must be saved.

on Mac computer, the control-alt-delete sent a lot of command to your computer host when pressed together or in a row.

Control + Alt + Delete not Working

For so many reasons and reasons unknown, the Ctrl+alt+del not working may arise living you with no option that to find a means to fix it if you want to continue to use the 3-key-combination to carry out tasks the keys are designed for.

However, from our experience here are some of the reasons why the Ctrl-Alt-Del isn’t working and how to fix it.

Keyboard Malfunctioning

If you computer keyboard is malfunctioning or not well place at the appropriate position the key combination may stopped working. If the keys are not well-position during fixing, the key sequence will not work.

However, to know whether the problem is with your keyboard try to use an external keyboard and press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys to see if it work.

Perform SFC Scan

If the reason why the key combination isn’t work is the keyboard them doing a SFC scan could be what you neet to fix this mess. The Ctrl + Alt + Del not working could be caused by corrupt files on your PC.

The System File Checker helps to find corrupt files on your PC and provide means to fix it to bring thing to normal. However, unduly use of Control + Alt + Delete could result to the key combination not working and even in a row.

  1. Press Win+R to open the run command
  2. Type “cmd” without quotes and click on “OK”
  3. Type “Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth” and click  the “enter” button
  4. The SFC scan will begin.

You can also do a search using the search box and type “cmd” without quote. When the command prompt appears right click  and run as administration, press “Yes” or “OK” from the pop and run the command below and which you need to click on the enter button.

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth|

sfc /scannow

Update Keyboard Driver

The last advise we’d give on why Ctrl + Alt + Del not working is to update your keyboard driver. In some cases, when your keyboard driver is outdated the keys may not work fine and as expected. As a result of that, go ahead to update your computer driver for Keyboard and try to use the keys again.

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About the Author: Adesanmi Adedotun (Franklyn)

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