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The keyboard repeat rate can be configured in the Control Panel, but it usually can't be turned off there. I'll show you where to turn off keyboard repeat.

I recently introduced my 86-year-old father to computing. He uses Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. He keeps asking me to turn the keyboard repeat off. I have set it to the slowest setting possible. Still, with arthritic hands, he keeps getting repeat letters where he doesn't want them and has a hard time editing his mail. Is there a feasible way to TURN OFF KEYBOARD REPEAT COMPLETELY? Your help is really appreciated as all of the computer 'experts' that I have asked do not have a solution and I haven't been able to find an answer on the internet.

This took a little head-scratching on my part.

In fact, I'd almost written it off completely as not being possible and had written up a response to that effect.

Then, a word popped into my head that sent me looking in a much more productive place.

That word? "Accessibility".

Accessibility

Over the years, Windows has improved what's termed its "accessibility" - meaning the ability of Windows to support people with various impairments.

The most common that we might think of is impaired eyesight or blindness. But the accessibility features cover a wide range of settings and devices that can be of use for many different types of impairments.

Or accessibility features can be used simply as a convenience for those who might prefer that Windows do things a little differently.

Like have the ability to turn off keyboard repeat.

Turning off keyboard repeat

I'm going to take you through the steps to directly turn off the keyboard repeat function, but I'd encourage you to explore a little either during or after the somewhat lengthy step-by-step procedure. As I said, there are a host of settings here that might make your computer easier to use.

And "ease of use" is exactly where this journey begins.

Click the Start button/orb, then All Programs, Accessories, and then Ease of Access:

Ease of Access link on the start menu

That'll expose the Ease of Access Center link; click that:

Ease of Access Center link

Which brings up the Ease of Access Center:

Ease of Access Center

Scroll down to find the Make the keyboard easier to use link and click that:

Make the keyboard easier to use

Near the bottom of the resulting dialog, click Set up Filter Keys:

Set up Filter Keys

Near the bottom of that, click Setup Repeat Keys and Slow Keys:

Setup Repeat Keys and Slow Keys

Finally, the dialog with the settings that we want appears:

Setup Repeat Keys and Slow Keys Dialog

Keyboard Repeat Settings

There are two settings that I would change here.

First, the obvious: make sure Ignore all repeated keystrokes is selected:

Ignore all repeated keystrokes

This turns the keyboard repeat off.

One more setting seems to come with this that I'll recommend that you also change:

Accidental Keystrokes Setting

The Avoid accidental keystrokes setting apparently defaults to something other than zero, which adds a delay before a key press is even recognized. Setting this to zero makes the net effect of what we've done to turn off keyboard repeat and only turn off keyboard repeat.

Article C4840 - June 9, 2011 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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13 Comments
Black Dahlia
June 9, 2011 6:37 PM

Save this as a .reg file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,2a,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

and execute it to change Caps Lock to Shift, or change "2a" to "00" to just kill it. Backup your registry first, of course.

Viggo
June 14, 2011 8:46 AM

Thanks for a very instructive answer, easy to follow and much needed when working with elderly people.

sVen
June 14, 2011 11:15 AM

Thanks. I assist in teaching computer usage at a senior center. This is a big help.

Jim H
June 14, 2011 12:22 PM

@Black Dahlia- i think sending someone new to computers, as the gentleman in this request is, into Registry is a dangerous thing to do. even if someone else sets things up for him if there is a way to accomplish the end result through normal means as Leo described, that's always the wise choice. that way it can be undone just as easily where if someone forgets registry was modified it may be difficult or impossible to reset things to how they started out. for those more well versed in Windows your advice is fine. just my 2 cents... :-)

Tom R.
June 14, 2011 9:51 PM

I agree with Jim H. What Black Dahlia proposes is the opposite of user friendly. I hope the questioner ignores that advise as it is dangerous and unnecessary.

James M
June 15, 2011 4:02 PM

I thought you would've said to turn on Sticky Keys. Sounds like "Ease of Access" is the newer version of this.

A. Orcan
July 7, 2011 5:38 AM

While ease of access features are useful, they do not enable users with a very wide range of options and do not supply them with complete and customized features always. For example, if one needs to cancel toggle feature of Caps Lock key only, without any delay; with only momentary action, not to find out that half a page has been typed in reversed case letters, registry fix is the only solution. Unless a person uses a pc for basic work only, registry fixes and regedit will surely be needed eventually somehow. I have around 90 registry fixes, but with 41 years of programming it is not a big problem. I wouldn't recommend it to people inexperienced on the subject. Windows help is available on registry editing, backups/restoring, printing just the needed part of the registry etc. for the interested.

Mel
May 7, 2012 3:58 PM

Leo, I appreciate hugely your expertise & having written"How do I turn off keyboard repeat?" I found it after a lot of searching for the opposite problem - my keyboard had stopped repeating so I knew if you can tell me how to stop it, you will know how to start it & sure enough you led me via the accessories to the Ease of access centre where I found the holding down of the right shift had been set to disable key repeats. Rather amusing is that my cat likes to sit on my knee with his paws on my keyboard & had inadvertently pressed it for more than 8 seconds - me not knowing about that function before you brought it to my attention. Absolutely relieved to have resolved the problem - Cheers !
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PAT
June 7, 2012 5:19 PM

I CANNOT FIND THE SECTIONS TO STOP THE DELAY OF THE KEYSTROKES. I HAVE A LOGITECH KEYBOARD AND A WINDOWS XP SYSTEM

PAT
June 7, 2012 5:23 PM

EASE OF ACCESS IS NOT A SELECTION IN THE ACCESSORIES AREA

marian
August 7, 2012 5:44 AM

Thank you for this, it helped a lot with a keyboard issue I was having! Cheers!

Gaurav
November 6, 2012 9:53 PM

Thanks A LOT, the article is perfect and very useful. Helped me a lot. Thanks :)

Robert
December 25, 2012 4:45 PM

Thank you Leo, my fingers are numb due to an illness and this helped me immensely! I stopped making so many mistakes.

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