Occasionally, a soft reset will help with most issues with the Nokia N96, including keypad problems. If the problems with your keypad are related to a software issue or an app, a soft reset can close the application or issue causing the problem. Pull the N96's battery while the phone is on to soft reset it. Leave the battery out for one minute before replacing it and restarting your phone. When it restarts, allow it to fully-load before testing the buttons to determine if the problem is fixed.
Check for upgrades to the N96's software if the problems with the keypad continues. An upgrade can contain a fix for the button problem if it is a widespread issue that is related to the phone's software. You can check available updates by accessing the phone's “Utilities” menu from within the “Tools” folder. If an update is available, download and install in on your phone. You can also use the Nokia Software Updater to install upgrades onto your N96 mobile phone.
If the buttons on the N96 still don't properly work, hard reset your phone. A hard reset restores your phone to its original factory state and deletes all of the downloaded content on it. The reset can help if a firmware issue is preventing the phone's buttons from working. Before hard resetting the N96, back up any data that you want to keep. The data is irretrievable once the process is started. Reset your phone by entering “#7370#” while the phone is in standby mode. Follow the prompts to complete the process.
Replacement Nokia Phone
Contact your service provider if your Nokia N96 mobile phone continues to have problems with the buttons. You may need a replacement phone. If you have mobile insurance or the phone is covered by a warranty, the replacement is usually issued at no charge if your N96 has not been misused. Misuse can include exposing your phone to water or dropping it. Your provider may require you to pay a fee if the phone is determined to be broken due to misuse.