What to do if your smartphone keyboard doesn’t work

Sometimes your Android smartphone keyboard can do some weird stuff. Here are a few tricks to fix Gboard's most notorious problems

Do you know what smartphone app you use most times a day, every day? It's not Facebook, it's not WhatsApp, it's not YouTube or Gmail: it's the keyboard app. That's right, because even the keyboard on Android smartphones is managed by an app that remains active for as long as the phone is on.

That's why it happens, every now and then, that the app has some problems and that we can't correctly type the characters and words we want. The most widely used keyboard on Android is Google Gboard, and luckily it usually works without any problems. How to do, however, when Gboard doesn't work? Usually you can fix the keyboard malfunction by acting in two ways: the first is to delete the app data, restart the smartphone or just the app in order to restart it in a cleaner environment, the second is instead to act on the settings of the language (or languages) of text input.

Restore Gboard by acting on the app and on Android

The first thing to do, if Gboard doesn't work or is acting up, is to restart the smartphone in order to restart the Android operating system as well. It's the most trivial thing, but very often it's enough to get everything back in place. Otherwise we have to go and act on the app's settings. Let's go to Settings > Apps and Notifications and look for the Gboard app, tap on it and then choose "Storage space and cache". Here we can clear the cache, which often makes the app work again. If that doesn't work either, we can try to force close the app or uninstall updates: from the same screen of the app we find the button to force it, while from the menu with the three dots we can choose "Uninstall updates". Finally, if none of this works, we can uninstall Gboard and reinstall it.

Configure the language to make Gboard work

There's another set of maneuvers we can do to make Gboard work. It involves going into the language settings and selecting Gboard as the app for writing. By going to Settings > System > Languages & Input we can choose which keyboard app to use for each installed language. We choose Italian and then Virtual Keyboard > Manage Keyboards. Here we'll find Gboard as the default keyboard, but we can also find others that we didn't even know we had installed: either they were installed by the smartphone manufacturer, or they were "free" with some other app. Let's deactivate them all and leave only Gboard active: if there was a conflict between keyboards, we'll have solved it.