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Alt-F11 not working? It might be your graphics card software…

TAGS: Excel, VBE, Shortcut, Alt, F11, ALT+F11, ALT F11, nvidia, keyboard, keyboard shortcut, not working, stopped working

DATE: Thu 03 May 2018
BY: Ben Norris

Alt-F11 not working? It might be your graphics card software…

A couple of days ago the shortcut Alt+F11 stopped working in Excel on my laptop. I use this almost hourly to open up the Visual Basic Editor (VBE) and had become so used to using it that the frustration of not having it got me fuming… Time to put on my deerstalker and light up my pipe.

I did some initial system checking and internet searching but came up with nothing concrete, and almost nothing from the last five years. The Alt key worked just fine, the F11 key worked just fine but use them together and nothing happened. I fired up Word and same thing, so that ruled out an Excel Addin causing mischief. I tried the laptop’s built in keyboard (I usually use a more fully-featured wireless keyboard when at my desk) and still the same issue. I also checked all the keyboard settings in Windows and the function key lock on the laptop just in case. Still nothing, so I resigned myself to my future misery but found some small consolation in adding a button to my Quick Access Toolbar to get me into the VBE with fewer mouse clicks. I sighed and tried to move on with my life.

Roll forward a couple of days and the annoyance of losing this shortcut was getting to me again, so I had a look through any software I’d updated in the past few days and found that I’d update some NVIDIA drivers for my new Dell laptop about the time the problem started. Surely a company as large as NVIDIA wouldn’t do something as inconsiderate as re-assigning shortcuts system-wide without so much as a ‘by your leave’? Well, as it turns out, yes they would.

When I’d updated the drivers, something called NVIDIA GeForce Experience was also installed. This application allows users to record their gameplay by using some handy keyboard shortcuts, including Alt-F11 amongst a number of others. To my unbridled relief, nay joy, uninstalling that program released my shortcuts from their unjustified incarceration. It’s the little things you see.

So, if you’ve found that you’ve lost some shortcuts in Excel recently and can’t figure out what might have caused it, then have a look to see if you have an NVIDIA chipset and the GeForce Experience installed as that might not be giving you the experience NVIDIA were hoping for.

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