Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Keyboard troubleshooting: is “Sticky Keys” on?

Yesterday I received a call from someone who was rather distraught and frantic (this happens from time to time at my Tech Support business) because, all of a sudden, they couldn’t type on their computer. Actually, she could type.. but she was getting very strange results.

After determining that she had not recently poured an extra-large Cafe Latte on her keyboard (to read my article on what to do if you do spill on your keyboard, [or, if a single key has stopped responding] click here), and asking some other diagnostic questions, I determined that she had accidentally turned on Windows’ FilterKeys feature and simply needed to turn it off again.
FilterKeys is a subset of keyboard “Accessibility Options” included in Windows to assist people who have difficulties typing. These tools are activated (toggled on and off) by keyboard stroke combinations (shortcuts).

Tip of the day: Understand and use (or make sure they’re turned off) keyboard Accessibility Options. There are several types of help for those with typing difficulties, namely:
StickyKeys is an accessibility feature designed for people who have difficulty holding down two or more keys at a time. When a shortcut requires a key combination such as CTRL+P, StickyKeys will enable you to press one key at a time instead of pressing them simultaneously.
FilterKeys: You can set Windows to ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succession, or keystrokes that are held down for several seconds unintentionally.
Bounce Keys: If you bounce your fingers on keys inadvertently, Bounce Keys will ignore repeated keystrokes until some time has passed. You choose the time period.
Repeat Keys and Slow Keys: The computer will ignore brief keystrokes according to the time limits you set.

[Note: if your keyboard issue is not related to "Accessibility Options", you may find additional troubleshooting answers in the Comments section (below). Also, this article may be more appropriate: What To Do When Your Mouse Plays Dead. Or Your Keyboard.]

To access these Options and turn them off or on, go to your Control Panel– click Start >Settings >Control Panel >Accessibility Options.
aokeybrd.jpg
By default it opens to the keyboard tab. If you are experiencing a sudden onset of bizarre typing behavior, your first step is to visit here and ensure that there are no checks in the three checkboxes, which indicates these Options are in use.
I mentioned that shortcuts ‘activate’ these features — such as Tab+Enter, and a couple of Alt+a letter– and so you may have turned them on unintentionally.

If you do have some difficulty with your typing, such as happens when a Mr. Arthur Itis comes to visit, or/and if you have tremors, here is where you can enable these aids and tweak their settings to get the most benefit from them. Click on the “Settings” button to see the choices. Below is the FilterKeys Settings dialogue.
filterkeysets.jpg
In the case mentioned, my client had first held down the Shift key long enough to activate FilterKeys (because a finger “rests” there). The lady was an extremely fast typist, and this setting ignored her strokes as being too short. Since she has no use for this tool, I recommended that she uncheck the top checkbox and disable the activating shortcut.

sksettings.jpg
This screenshot shows the settings for StickyKeys, and unless you have trouble holding down more than one key at the same time — such as Ctrl+Alt+Del to activate Task Manager — I suggest you uncheck the top checkbox here as well.

For more on the keyboard Accessibility Options, click here.

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October 24, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, keyboards and mice, PC, privacy, tech, Windows | , , ,

122 Comments »

  1. my keyboard decided to quit working after a grandson installed a hunting game which require use of the shift key to move the hunter…I have tried to remove stickykeys through the control panel and have been most unsuccessful what else can I do?

    Comment by sharon | March 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. Boys and their games, eh?!

    Well, Sharon, I’m not sure what you mean by “quit working”, and why you decided that its behavior best resembles the StickyKeys effect/option (I would have to take a look-see to find what’s really going on) but:
    The general guidelines for troubleshooting suggest that you uninstall the game, and see if that restores your functionality. (If you just did something, and it messes things up.. UN-do it.)
    You might also use System Restore to revert your settings back to a point in time before the keyboard started malfunctioning. (http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/06/19/my-favorite-life-saver-flavor-system-restore/)
    If the keyboard is attached via a USB cable sometimes simply unplugging it, counting to 5, and re-plugging it in again will correct weirdnesses. Similarly, if you are using a wireless keyboard, changing the batteries will fix little glitches (it is possible the game install is not related).

    If those tips do not help you, visit my (business) website and click the link for the free diagnosis. Sometimes all it takes is an experienced eye. http://aplusca.com

    Comment by techpaul | March 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. so i was playing World of Warcraft earlier tonight when my escape key decided to stop working. it has happened before but i dont remember how i fixed it. the caps lock key and the F-lock key soon followed, i believe it has something to do with sticky keys but cant figure out how to reset everything back to normal. some help would greatly be appreciated so i dont have to buy a new keyboard tomorrow.

    Comment by Daniel | April 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. Daniel–
    It sounds to me more like a dirt & wear problem than FilterKeys, BounceKeys, or StickyKeys.. (hardware, not software)
    But, follow the advice above to uncheck the “Use shortcut to enable..” checkboxes to disable the features, just to make sure.
    Then read http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/repost-keyboard-maintenance/ to learn the maintenance steps for getting more life from your old keyboard. (*the last trick may be your best bet.)

    Comment by techpaul | April 27, 2008 | Reply

  5. Pierre–
    If I understand your unusual request correctly, you might find ASCII Code Generator useful http://www.download.com/ASCII-Code-Generator/3000-2383_4-10116298.html?tag=pub&cdlPid=10116299 but, this is written for Windows 98 (the Windows 9x series– Win 95, 98, ME) it will probably work on all Windows platforms.

    I have to ask.. what do you need this ability for?

    Comment by techpaul | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  6. I spilled some juice on my laptop and now a few keys do not work. So I cleaned it but the keys still do not work.

    Comment by Ed | June 25, 2008 | Reply

  7. Ed–
    The article above contains a link to my article on cleaning, and maintaining keyboards. Here it is again, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/repost-keyboard-maintenance/
    This article http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/05/17/digital-device-water-oh-no/
    deals more with spills.

    Comment by techpaul | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  8. On my laptop, when I’m trying to scroll to a location of a file lower on display, it immediately zipped back to the top of the list of files.
    Also, the scrolling is extremely slow in other programs and on the internet. I’ve tryed using a canister of compressed air to blow out any trash. Wasn’t the problem.
    Help,
    Gloria

    Comment by Glo | October 4, 2008 | Reply

  9. Glo–
    You’re right; that would only help you if you were using the PgDn key to scroll, and there was some gunk under there that prevented full key depression.

    If you are using a touchpad to scroll, you might want to install the latest drivers, and see if that doesn’t cure your machine’s misbehavior. Click on my “Device drivers” category to see my articles on installing drivers, if you need guidance.
    (Most touchpad software is by Synaptics.)

    And although this is a rare symptom, it may be an indicator of malware. I would suggest you visit Trend Micro’s Housecall and run a scan.

    As a Repair Tech, I can say that the type of behavior you’re describing is unusual, and I would want to take a look at your machine. If your laptop is still under warranty, you might want to let the manufacturer’s Live Support have a look (and if it isn’t, take it it to a qualified Tech.. not some MegaElectronic store’s tech dept.)

    Comment by techpaul | October 4, 2008 | Reply

  10. Hello Tech Paul,

    I have this strange problem with my brand new keyboard.
    While every key seems to be working well as a unit, when I try some specific combinations, the keyboard does not respond. For instance, if I press & hold the down+right arrow keys, these four keys: “q”,”w”,”j” and “k” are not responding. The rest keys respond perfectly, so I assume that this is not a “number of simultaneously pressed keys” issue.

    Anyway, you can imagine how annoying is this especially in games that you need to use the directional and letter keys as well… Do you have any idea of what causes this kind of problem?

    Comment by maratsos | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  11. Maratsos–
    “q”,”w”,”j” and “k” are not responding. The rest keys respond perfectly
    Hmmm…
    First, follow the steps in this article to make sure that NO “Accessibility Options” are enabled (as shown in the first image).. that is, no checkbox is checked.
    Then, make sure you have the latest device driver from the manufacturer’s website installed.
    While you’re on the keyboard manufacturer’s website, look on the FAQ and/or Support page for a description of this issue.
    If these things don’t clear up the problem, contact the manufacturer. It may be you have a slight defect..

    Comment by techpaul | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  12. My wireless keyboard started to act weird today. It typing the letter x repeatedly. I changed batteries and check all of the obvious things. Even if i tried to back space it would just move forward with a row of x’s.

    Thanks

    Comment by CPG | February 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Folks–
      When asking for free troubleshooting advice, it is good manners to provide some basic details.. The norm is to at least provide the operating system XP/Vista/Mac/etc.. and also when it is a device that’s misbehaving, the make/model.

      CPG–
      That is kind of unusual behavior, isn’t it? First of all, the ‘Sticky Keys’ article is not for this kind of malfunction, but the link provided (2nd paragraph) is. Please follow the cleaning steps found there first. (You may have to remove the keycap).

      If that doesn’t resolve the issue, unplug the USB/base station, go into Device Manager, and uninstall the keyboard. Then reboot. When you are booted, and can see your Desktop, plug the USB back in. You should see a “Found new hardware” dialogue installing the keyboard’s driver.

      If that fails to resolve the issue.. I would need to ask you some questions before offering any further advice.

      Good luck.

      Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2009 | Reply

  13. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    Comment by franny | March 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Glad I could help.

      Comment by techpaul | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  14. thanks

    Comment by Anonymous | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  15. many thanks,iam a one finger typest,and a slow one at that. i came across your website while searching for help for as you so nicely put it : bizarre typing “after reading keyboard accessibility options section , i went into check my settings,[ prior to your article i had never ventured into this area, too tech, for me }and sure enough there was a tick in the first box, i unclicked , problem solved. many thanks for your help will pass your site on to my friends thankyou

    Comment by patrick | April 6, 2009 | Reply

    • Patrick,
      I thank you for taking the time to post this nice comment on my humble tech blog… Glad it helped you.

      Comment by techpaul | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  16. Thank you very much. I am able to type at regular speed now. Great job.

    Comment by Paul | April 29, 2009 | Reply

    • Paul–
      I’m glad you found my site helpful.

      Comment by techpaul | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  17. To whom it may concern,
    I recently bought an eee pc laptop. When I turned it on today the keyboard was not working. I installed avg anti virus software yesterday so I thought this might have something to do with it. I uninstalled it but it still refused to work. Im confused with reguards to the problem. Its not old enough to be a dust or damage problem. Is there some way I might have locked the keyboard by mistake or is it an internal problem?

    Comment by JayB583 | May 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Is it a Linux unit, or XP? Is it still under warranty?

      If it’s XP, you can try using System Restore (How To Use System Restore To Fix Windows to go back to a date when it was working.. and also look in Device Manager for your keyboard’s driver status.

      If you can find a USB keyboard, plug it in and see if it works. That will help in your troubleshooting.

      Sorry, though, I don’t troubleshoot Linux. The various User Forums are your best bet.

      PS– I don’t remember any instances I’ve run across where AVG caused a keyboard to stop working…

      Comment by techpaul | May 18, 2009 | Reply

  18. my child was on the computer now whenever i press the space bar down it opens the search results page how do i make things normal?

    Comment by steven | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  19. Hi there. I believe that I accidentally enabled StickyKeys/FilterKeys because I put a pencil case on my laptop keyboard and I didn’t know that pressing the shift key for some time would enable those said functions. Now, the problem is that my keyboard is really acting up. Like for instance, the ‘Fn’ key of the laptop seems always pressed on because when I have to increase the brightness of the LCD, say the brightness is key F1, I don’t have to combine anymore the keys Fn+F1. Just pressing the key F1 would automatically increase the brightness. That’s why I can’t type ‘u’, ‘i’, ‘o’, ‘p’ because these keys act up as ‘4’, ‘5’, ‘6’ , ‘-‘ because of the NumLk function. I really don’t know how to revert back the keys to its original state. I hope you could help me out on this one. Thanks

    Comment by Claude | September 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Claude,
      When asking for help, it is … um, standard practice to state the operating system, and the make and model of unit. My answer might be different between a Mac and a Windows XP and a Windows Vista.. i.e..
      But I am going to answer assuming your PC is a Windows machine.

      Your problem may be mechanical and it may be software-related.
      If this is a quite recent development, the fist thing to try is System Restore – choosing a date prior to the malfunction.
      If that doesn’t resolve the issue, next go into Device Manager and Uninstall the keyboard; then reboot (restart) the unit. Windows will “detect” the keyboard and re-Install it at startup.

      Of course, the problem may be mechanical, in which case I recommend replacing the keyboard assembly. While this can be done as a D-I-Y, I advise taking it to a qualified technician.

      Comment by techpaul | September 12, 2009 | Reply

  20. Hi techpaul
    I have windows XP. Yesterday our very old keyboard stopped responding, so I bought a wireless one. The keyboard assigned keys worked (Home, calculator etc) but none of the alphabetical or numerical keys. I tried lots of things (re-installing etc) but in the end returned it to the shop and exchanged it for a plug in USB keyboard.

    This new keyboad is doing EXACTLY the same thing! Only the previously assigned keys are working (home, calculator, volume etc) and none of the alphabetical or numerical ones.
    The new keyboard is plug and play. I have tried three different USB ports and still no joy. THere is no CD or insallation disc.

    Hoping desperately

    Comment by Jenny | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Jenny,
      I think it is not a case of there being anything wrong with the new keyboards, but that you need to go into Device Manager and uninstall the existing keyboard “drivers”. Then you can plug in the new keyboard. (The old software is interfering)

      My articles on device drivers are here, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/category/device-drivers/, and you may need to scroll past a few to find the appropriate How To.. but it’s there.

      Comment by techpaul | October 7, 2009 | Reply

      • Hi Paul

        You are amazingly quick – thank you. Sorry to be stupid, but my old keyboard was plugged in with a PS/2 connector but I am unable to find the drivers in the device manager list as I can’t work out which is the relevant bit to click on and it isn’t obvious to me which one it is.

        Can you advise?

        Thank you.

        Comment by Jenny | October 7, 2009 | Reply

        • Jenny,
          In Device Manager there is a category labeled “keyboards”.

          Click on the + sign to ‘expand’ the keyboard category.

          Right-click on each entry you see there, and select “Uninstall” (answer “yes” to any warning dialogue).

          Power down the computer when finished. Plug in the new keyboard, and then power on again. Windows will detect the new keyboard and install the appropriate drivers.

          Comment by techpaul | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  21. Ah!! Maybe this is the problem. There is no keyboard category. I have also tried looking with the new keyboard plugged in or not and whichever I do there is no keyboard drop down.

    There is keyboard icon in control panel but when I click this and then on the hardware tab there is no device listed. It’s as if the computer isn’t recognising the keyboard – and yet the hot keys work…

    Comment by Jenny | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Jenny,
      Please reboot the computer with the keyboard plugged in. Them make sure you are not seeing “keyboards” in Device Manager.
      Click Start > Run and enter devmgmt.msc.

      If there is no keyboards category now, you can try the Add New Hardware wizard (found in Control Panel) and tell it you are adding a keyboard.

      You can also try opening a Command Prompt and running “sfc /scannow” (no quotes) and then repeat the steps.

      If that fails, you may need to have a Tech take a look. I am available at http://aplusca.com

      Comment by techpaul | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  22. Have tried all this but still not working. THank you for your help I will try and get someone in, California is probably a bit too far from the UK!

    Comment by Jenny | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Jenny,
      Here’s one more thing to try. Visit the keyboard manufacturer’s website, and see if there is not a driver for XP available for download.

      Comment by techpaul | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  23. Every time I press my control key, it launches Internet Explorer. I went to accessibility options and “StickyKeys” in not on. What can I do to return the control key to normal?

    Comment by alex | July 16, 2010 | Reply

  24. Hi paul…
    I have a prob in logging in via win XP pro. the sticky keys get activated…and i have to deep press the digits to get it typed and then enter. I tried disabling sticky keys everything. Doesnt help. Also the cursor goes thick black while blinking. please advise….

    Comment by sudharshan | June 24, 2011 | Reply

    • sudharshan,
      I have to assume you changed the settings as Administrator, yet they revert.

      I would start by making sure the machine was clean of malware. My next step would be to open a command prompt and run both sfc /scannow and dskchk /f /x.

      Comment by techpaul | June 24, 2011 | Reply

      • well….I was the administrator in this case and i tried cleaning up the system and performing a malware check too (malwarebytes). Other stuffs like the tabs and the toolbars, seems fine to me, but the problem is only during the windows login. I get that big font when i click the password area and you cannot enter any characters. only if i press and hold the key, the password enters in. I tried a system restore too…but in vain.
        please help on this.

        Comment by Sudharshan | June 26, 2011 | Reply

        • Sudharshan,
          This is not a problem whose answer helps “everyone”, and so you are asking for free support. I do not provide my professional support outside N. America. I am going to tell you that the only (few) times I personally have encountered your issue was on bootleg copies of XP (which I do not support) or on malware infected systems.

          That said, I will suggest to you that you have a few (more) options. Here are a few:
          * Run sfc /scannow from the command prompt.
          * Visit an online antivirus scanner and perform a Full system scan — I prefer Trend Micro’s Housecall.
          * Create another User account and use it to logon.
          * Change the way you logon (so that entering a password isn’t required ["auto logon"]).
          * Perform a repair install of XP.
          * Take your computer to a qualified tech.

          Good luck.

          Comment by techpaul | June 27, 2011 | Reply

  25. hi tech paul^^

    please help me with my netbook problem, it’s ASUS eepc series with microsoft windows XP.. it was bought i think just last year and now most of the keys are malfunctioning, either it cant be pressed or other keys will appear.. i’ve tried this tip but it didnt work.. i’m afraid i broke something from the USB socket on the side of the laptop, and now im thinking it may caused all of this.. but all the USBs i inserted are still working well, do you think it would be solved by more of your tips? or it’s a hardware malfunction now?

    hopeto hear from you soon!!~ thank you so much :)

    Comment by patrixia | August 23, 2011 | Reply

    • patrixia,
      First, I would try the method described here, What To Do When Your Mouse Plays Dead Or Your Keyboard.

      But, to be any more specific, I am afraid you would have to hire me (or another technician) to look at your device.

      Yes, it could be a hardware problem.
      Or a software problem.
      Maybe.. you have to “reset” it to factory condition (wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows) and maybe not.

      Also, if you are familiar with forums, you might try posting your question on the eeepc user forum, here.

      Comment by techpaul | August 23, 2011 | Reply

  26. How can write password by mouse to start my computer.because to my keyboard not responding even brand new .both usb & ps2 port

    Comment by shahin | September 3, 2011 | Reply

    • shahin,
      This sounds like a hardware issue. While shutdown, disconnect all external hardware, except KB, mouse, monitor. Also remove any floppy disks or CD’s. See if that helps.

      If the problem still persists enter the BIOS and Enable “legacy USB devices”.

      If that fails, you can use your favorite search engine to search for the string “log in to windows with mouse”.

      Comment by techpaul | September 3, 2011 | Reply

  27. the whole keyboard is not respondin

    Comment by morgan | October 31, 2011 | Reply

  28. Hi
    I wonder if anyone can help, I pressed and held the shift key down for to long and a box popped up I cant remember what I clicked but since then my keyboard wouldnt work, I can make it work by pressing and holding the shift key down for about 8 secs until my comp makes a funny noise then I can type normally, when I log out and back in I need to do this again before I can type.
    Any ideas how to stop it from happening?

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Comment by Cheryl | January 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Cheryl,
      The answer is in the article. This is a “Accessibility Options” (FilterKey) and you should go into Settings (in Control Panel > Accessibility Options). Open ‘accessibility options’ & select ‘Settings’ un-select ‘use shortcut’ & apply it, the problem should be solved.

      .. An old trick is to hold both Shift keys down together, for about 5 seconds, followed by the Alt key…

      Comment by techpaul | January 10, 2012 | Reply

  29. Hi,
    my keypad is completely weird. for exemple:
    z=”urz”
    é=”è’é”&” + open windows media center
    s=”-(s²73″ + cap lock + reduce sound
    w=”nbw ”
    x=”,vx”
    2=”27431″ and some other magic funny tricks
    I checked my setting which are just fine, I didn’t spilled anything on it (plus it’s a 6 month old laptop so it can’t be dust, I did a complete and extended scan with Avast which came up clean and I turned my computer off and on… It did the same thing couple of days ago but the problem disapeared after 2hours of trying to solve it (and surely without having any idea on what I did to fix it). I have an azerty keyboard on a ASUS K53SC SX050V – Pentium 2 GHz laptop.

    Comment by manu | January 19, 2012 | Reply

    • hum, sorry, I’m on window 7. Thank you in advance for any help!

      Comment by manu | January 19, 2012 | Reply

      • manu,
        Check to make sure the language is correct in Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > “Change keyboard and other input options” (opens “Text Services and Input Languages).

        If you installed any keyboard mapping programs/utilities lately, uninstall them.

        Refer to the article mentioned in my answer to morgan (above).

        Call the laptop manufacturer (a 6 month old laptop gets free support).

        In that order.

        Comment by techpaul | January 19, 2012 | Reply

  30. Waouh, that’s a fast answer! thanks a lot, but it still doesn’t work….. I guess I’m good for longterm trouble with the manufacturer… anyway, thanks a lot and have a great evening (or day, depending on where you live).
    Manu

    Comment by manu | January 19, 2012 | Reply

    • Well, you can hire a pro to look at it, but I think ASUS phone support will prove less painful than you might think.. and you already paid for it.

      Comment by techpaul | January 19, 2012 | Reply

  31. I have to keep tapping the keys over and over to get it to write the keys do not seem to want to work. this does not do it all the time its very bad doing e mails it is taking for ever to write. it mises out letters if I dont watch it all the time. thank you Carol.

    Comment by carol harper | January 25, 2012 | Reply

  32. I have about a 3 year old dell laptop (windows 7). My “V” “h” and “C” keys are not working in my browser, but they will work in Word. I looked and none of the Accessibility Options are on. Do you know what it might be? Thanks!

    Comment by Kaleigh | April 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Kaleigh,
      I have not seen or heard of this on a Windows 7 machine (yet), but on a laptop, holding down the Fn (function) key and pressing the Windows logo key has worked for me in the past. This article http://jamesisin.com/a_high-tech_blech/index.php/2008/03/keyboard-input-ignored-for-c-h-t-and-v-keys-in-specific-applications-only/ closely matches my (limited) personal experience, and has a few other useful suggestions.

      1. A double-tap of the Windows (or Super) key.
      2. A double-tap of specifically the right Super key.
      3. Restart the effected application (or Explorer if effected)
      4. Reboot (last resort).
      5. “Detect and Repair” from the Help menu in Outlook (Outlook only)
      6. Press CapsLock and Shift back down to lower case (per letter fix)
      7. Fn key and Super key may toggle problem on and off.
      8. Region and Language —> Keyboards and Languages —> change keyboards;
      delete all keyboards other than your language and delete all instances of “Ink Correction”.

      (If your browser is Chrome, I think the only ‘fix’ is to restart the browser.)

      Hope that helps.

      Comment by techpaul | April 24, 2012 | Reply

  33. hiya my ctrl left key has come off any idears of how to put it back on :( xx

    Comment by rhea | July 6, 2012 | Reply

    • rhea,
      Probably.

      But I have no idea what keyboard you are referring to (and there are thousands).

      Typically, gentle pressure, and they should ‘snap’ into place. If that hasn’t worked, go to the device manufacture’s Support pages, and search using the keyword “keycap”.

      Comment by techpaul | July 6, 2012 | Reply

  34. so my issue is, my computer’s keyboard will either not type and just sit there and eventally will let you type, then when you get to punch a few keys in it repeats whatever key it feels like over and over forever ex: wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…….

    i took it to the shop they formated it and charged 115.00 turned it on today and what do you know same thing , its not they keyboard i have used 3 different ones brand new. anyone have any idea what it could be?

    Comment by daniel | July 10, 2012 | Reply

    • daniel,
      I am sorry to hear such a drastic fix was not a cure. The answers that may help you are mentioned in my replies to previous comments (above). Without diagnosing your machine, I cannot offer more; so try those things first. (I would start by reading my reply to “manu”.)

      Comment by techpaul | July 10, 2012 | Reply

      • i tossed out the usb keyboard and went with the old keyboard and works perfect… idk if there could be something with whatever controls the usb but its working perfect now.

        Comment by daniel | July 13, 2012 | Reply

        • daniel,
          I guess I assumed from the way you posed the question, that your keyboard troubles happened to a single keyboard, and happened even though it had just had Windows re-Installed.

          The answer (technique) that will help (I suspect) was provided above, specifically, What To Do When Your Mouse Plays Dead. Or Your Keyboard.. I believe you are having conflicting device driver issues and simply have to uninstall the device you are not using from Device Manager. (Or.. uninstall both keyboards, power down, plug in the USB keyboard, and power up again.)

          Comment by techpaul | July 13, 2012 | Reply

  35. What if it’s a Mac ?

    Comment by Gj | July 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Gj,
      Some of keyboard troubleshooting techniques discussed here (and in the Comments, above) can be applied to Apple products – in a general kind of way.

      But since you didn’t tell me which kind of keyboard, and what the (specific) problem is, I can only point you to this as a starting place http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2490. (And if that doesn’t help, then suggest you search the forum)

      Good luck!

      Comment by techpaul | July 15, 2012 | Reply

  36. Just today I don’t know what I pressed but now a lot of keys are instead causing things to open or close on my computer, it’s like the windows key is held down while I type, even though it’s not, the only way to kind of get around this is by holding the shift button down while typing, but some keys still do not work however, I tried just rebooting my pc but that didn’t resolve and my computers accessibility options won’t open without an error message, I tried looking it up online but didn’t find a resolution and I bet it’s simple

    Comment by Clint | July 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Clint,
      I have posted many things to try in answers to previous question (above). If you have a Windows PC, you might start with the method described in the “What to do when your mouse plays dead (or keyboard)” article.. )

      Comment by techpaul | July 23, 2012 | Reply

      • I went through that, unplugging and reconnecting USB keyboard, didn’t resolve, no driver issues, I know it has to be from something I pressed by accident… Examples of the issue, If I press ‘e’ it brings up “my computer”; ‘r’= “run”; ‘d’=desktop; ‘f’=”search” and so on, just all the windows key functions, but it’s not pressed down, I even tried shaking my keyboard upside down to get rid of any stuck keys

        Comment by Clint | July 23, 2012 | Reply

        • Disregard, I decided to shake my keyboard upside down again and banged it on the desk a few times, that did the trick… A little unorthodox, but effective

          Comment by Clint | July 23, 2012 | Reply

          • Clint,
            The first step is giving the keyboard a good cleaning.. maybe a vacuuming. If, when you banged the keyboard on the desk a bunch of grit/sand/rice grains/etc. did not fall out, then perhaps a sticky fluid got under the keys and dried.. in which case, the “bathtub trick” (or dishwasher trick) may be a good thing to know about.

            But if it is no longer broke.. don’t fix it.

            Glad to hear you got it resolved.

            Comment by techpaul | July 23, 2012 | Reply

  37. We have no more “Accessibility Options” in the Control Panel of W7. Are there any plans to update this page here?

    Comment by Roscoe | October 21, 2012 | Reply

    • Roscoe,
      Though they changed the name (in Windows 7) to “Ease of Access Center“, and the option name to “Make the keyboard easier to use“, everything else is the same.. so, sorry but no, I am in no hurry to update all my prior articles (1,800+ of them) to reflect Windows 7 (nor 8) ‘adjustments’.

      In Vista, but more so in Windows 7, and it’s practically mandatory in Windows 8, they want you to – instead of looking for an icon (or word in a menu list) – type what you’re looking for into the Search pane (above the Start button); whether that be a document you worked on recently, or a program you want to launch, or, whatever.

      So if you do not see “Accessibility Options” or “Ease of Access Center”, click Start and then start typing in a-c-c-e-s-s. It will appear in the list of results by the time you get to the 3rd “c”.

      Looking for an icon (aka “hunting”) is now “old school” and passe. But if you want Windows 7’s Control Panel to be more detailed, and look more like XP’s did, change the “View by” to “small icons”.

      Comment by techpaul | October 21, 2012 | Reply

  38. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very
    nice article.

    Comment by Vilma | October 22, 2012 | Reply

    • Vilma,
      I appreciate your taking the time to let me know you found my writing beneficial.

      Comment by techpaul | October 22, 2012 | Reply

  39. please help, the sticky keys are activated and nothing will turn them off. i’ve even done a system restore and i cannot undo the problem. i did all the normal disabling in the ease of access center, it makes no difference. ive held down buttons and nothing. please please help. i have a lenovo think pad w500 and the darn sticky keys symbol is right next to my battery symbol is tourturing me….notice i use no caps…. please

    Comment by melinda | December 21, 2012 | Reply

    • melinda,
      I think my three best answers (not necessarily in order) for you are:
      1) Uninstall the keyboard in Device Manager, as described here: What To Do When Your Mouse Plays Dead. Or Your Keyboard..
      2) Search the Lenovo user forum and if you don’t find an answer, post this question there.
      3) Have a tech take a look.

      Comment by techpaul | December 21, 2012 | Reply

  40. So My wife has a new hp laptop and every so often the keyboard will stop working and sticky keys, filter keys and so on are all off and this keeps happening all the time can any one help

    Comment by David | February 11, 2013 | Reply

    • David,
      If the whole range of keys intermittently stops responding, you might try uninstalling the keyboard in Device manager, then reboot. If the problem continues, and the laptop is new, call HP support. You might have a defect.

      Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2013 | Reply

  41. I have windows 7 home premium on my computer. all was well with the keyboard and now thhere is a click sound each time a key is pressed. No letter shows up on the screen unless I hit the key for 2 clicks and then it appears very slowly. PLEASE help me reset the keyboard to normal.. I have a Dell system.

    Comment by DONALD OULSNAM | February 19, 2013 | Reply

    • DONALD OULSNAM,
      In my other answers, above, you will see – several times – links to another article (“What to do when your mouse plays dead”). You can try the uninstall technique described there.
      But I don’t want to alarm you with what I say next.. if the machine is still under warranty, call Dell. If it’s not, you may want to have a tech take a look.

      Comment by techpaul | February 19, 2013 | Reply

  42. Thank you. I type faster than my keyboard was allowing me to, and it seemed to happen all of a sudden, and I read the above, and it’s fixed. I can type as fast as I want and don’t have to hard press on keys or wonder why accessibility comes out with only one “c” and I have t go back and add it in. Many thanks. I didn’t know this stuff was here, but apparently I did something somewhere along the line. New Windows, new computer. I’m happy now.

    Comment by Janet | February 26, 2013 | Reply

    • Janet,
      I am very glad to have helped out.

      Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

      Comment by techpaul | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  43. Very helpful. Thanks.

    Comment by pei | March 21, 2013 | Reply

    • pei,
      Thank you for letting me know I helped.

      Comment by techpaul | March 21, 2013 | Reply

  44. Hi Paul,
    I am using Windows 7 Home Premium on an ASUS Notebook UL50a. The keyboard allows me to type fluently and fast, but after a few words the cursor moves sporadically to a random place somewhere else on the page. Very often, the text that I have typed is highlighted and then disappears with the next keystroke. I am a fast and accurate typist and have never encountered this type of problem on any other keyboard. It is making the Notebook unusable. The settings above are ok. I would really appreciate your help.
    Thanks
    Lindsay

    Comment by Lindsay Russell | April 10, 2013 | Reply

    • Lindsay Russell,
      You might try adjusting the “repeat rates” of the keyboard (Start > Control Panel > Keyboards & Mice).

      And you might also try watching to see if your wrists (or bracelets) are brushing the touchpad, and or the left hand ‘function keys’ (Fn, Ctrl, Windows key, Alt). If so, you might need to turn off the touchpad and plug in a mouse.

      Comment by techpaul | April 10, 2013 | Reply

      • Hi,
        Thanks for the tip. I had suspected previously that the touchpad was a problem and am using a wireless mouse. I have never worked out how touch disable the touchpad. FN+F9 or F3 does not work and I cannot find it in the Control panel. Any ideas? Thanks a lot! Lindsay

        Comment by Lindsay Russell | April 11, 2013 | Reply

        • Lindsay Russell,
          Well, Fn+F9 should work, but I found a reply in a forum that said to try Fn+F10 instead.

          And on the ASUS user forum:

          open Control Panel and select Classic View (for easier approach), click for “Mouse” which will open the mouse properties, and look for the tab with the word “ELAN”. Click the tab and look for the check box that says “Disable when external USB mouse plug in”. Check it, press Apply then close. You can also disable the touchpad here for good by selecting “Elan Smart-Pad” at the list and clicking the “Stop Device”.

          .. On some laptops, there is an actual On/Off ‘slider’ switch, but I don’t know your make/model. Google is your friend in these types of questions. (I searched for ASUS UL50a disable touchpad.. I see there’s at least one video how-to on youtube..)

          If those ideas don’t help you, you can “disable” the mouse (trackpad) in Device Manager (again, Google).

          Comment by techpaul | April 11, 2013 | Reply

          • Hi Paul,
            I first had to go to the Asus website and download the Elantech software. Then I was able to do as you suggest and disable the touchpad, Great – thanks a lot for this. And so far it seems to have done the trick and my problem is solved. Thanks a lot!!!
            Cheers
            Lindsay

            Comment by Lindsay Russell | April 15, 2013 | Reply

            • Lindsay Russell,
              I suspected that you might have to download the driver.. but wasn’t certain (and didn’t want to daunt you with TMI, should there prove no reason). Thank you for letting me know the fix.

              Congratulations on solving the puzzle! I hope it proves a permanent cure.

              Comment by techpaul | April 15, 2013 | Reply

  45. Hi paul
    There is something seriously wrong with my laptop i switch on the caps lock and the letters are in lower case then i switched it off and the letters were in upper case as i typed and thats still happening at this minute and some more problem because my fullstop coma shift key and the numbers are all of them not working help please
    kevin

    Comment by Kevin | June 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Kevin,
      If you read my answers to people’s questions (above yours), you will see a pattern of three things to try starting to repeat themselves.
      You might try reading #41 first…

      Comment by techpaul | June 13, 2013 | Reply

  46. I have a desktop running windows vista and I’m having a strange problem
    when I first log on all is fine but after a while several things start happening and the only fix is a restart
    first if numlock is on all txt fields will be filled with 0’s till full then beeping starts

    second if anything is in the clipboard hitting shift will copy it into any txt field over and over till field is full then beeping starts

    third when I open any (zip, rar, or other archive file in 7zip or winzip and I think any large folder as well) and select a file my select point begins moving down the page by itself selecting everything in its path no way to stop it

    the only fix is a restart but that don’t last long b4 its doing it again

    I found the accessibility options none are on
    I updated my keyboard drivers
    still no joy
    if you can help I thnk you in advance

    Comment by mend | July 6, 2013 | Reply

    • mend,
      If you read my replies to questions above yours (in the Comments section) you will see a pattern — of an article, and a few things to try — emerge: check for viruses, uninstall the keyboard in Device Manager, etc..
      I know there are many comments, but it won’t take you long to skim them. I think your answer will be in there.

      Comment by techpaul | July 6, 2013 | Reply

  47. thanks I had already read the hole post and tried everything except totally uninstalling keyboard so I did that b4 riposting.
    was hoping the symptoms would point you in a direction and you might be able to think of something else
    when I tried a different keyboard it still happens, and I’m showing no viruses. I’m beginning to think its input hardware
    it does it in every usb slot,
    to many keys are involved for it to be a dirt problem, and it does same thing with an old crap board I had laying round.
    does it sound like maybe an input card problem or software to you?
    any help would narrow things for me and be much appreciated

    o and BTW the link you gave to an article on drivers in tour answer to post 20 seems to be broken if you could link me that anew I would love to read it

    lastly you have helped a lotta ppl even if you cant fix this thanks for the effort

    Comment by mend | July 7, 2013 | Reply

    • mend,
      I apologize. It seems my “read my other answers” response was inappropriate in your case. And I thank you for pointing out the broken link, though I doubt a device driver is the issue (and uninstalling [all] the keyboards in DevMgr should have removed/reinstalled a/the driver anyway). The link should work now.

      Since your trouble affects every keyboard you try, and every port, my first suspect would be to look at software: make sure the language is set to English, remove any “mapping” (and mapping programs, if you installed any), run a System File Check (sfc /scannow)… If you installed some program right before this started happening, uninstall it (aka the troubleshooting technique known as “undo any recent changes”.)

      The fact that the clipboard and “large files/folder” is mentioned suggests it might be worth your while to check for bad RAM (Vista’s disc has Memory Check). (And if you’ve installed a clipboard/capture utility recently, uninstall that.. [and keyboard software in Control Panel, if any].)

      And I might uninstall all keyboards in DevMgr once again. I have found that sometimes I need to repeat actions two, three times before they “stick”.

      Did you make any changes in your BIOS?

      Comment by techpaul | July 7, 2013 | Reply

      • well I thought I would fill you in on the latest.
        I removed my hard drive and replaced it with another one I had around that had windows xp on it.
        to rule out either hardware or software.
        (if it continued it must be hardware — if not software).

        well it did continue, but just as I was getting really bummed “my computer is dieing WHY ME? ”
        i lucked up and found the problem.
        i was trying to configure my razor naga gaming mouse.
        and when I hit one of the side keys it started filling the txt area I was in with 0000000000000 as it had before.
        when I hit any other side key it would stop.
        It has been the mouse that was malfunctioning all along, and since the naga’s extra keys mimic keybaord keys this is what you get.

        i haven’t been able to recreate the other symptoms yet but as soon as they happen again I bet it will turn out to be another naga key
        I even think I remember setting the naga to past the clipboard at one time in the past.

        thanks for all your help with this
        and I hope this post helps someone else somewhere

        “my naga is dieing WHY ME?”

        Comment by mend | July 13, 2013 | Reply

        • mend,
          Well, that would be under the heading of “mapping” (and also “undo any recent changes” [aka "configuring my mouse"]). I am glad to hear you puzzled it out, and I thank you for the update. I join you in hoping it helps some future reader.

          Comment by techpaul | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  48. I HAVE STICKY KEYS AND IT TAKES LONG TO TYPE A COMMENT ON FACEBOOK I HAVE AN ASUS WINDOWS 8 LAPTOP PLEASE HELP

    Comment by alicia e romo | October 14, 2013 | Reply

    • alicia e romo,
      If you read my replies to other questions (above) you will see the things to try (including reference to another article/technique).

      But if you have already tried those things, well, if the laptop is new enough (1 year) you can contact ASUS’s support. If it is out of warranty, you should have a tech take a look.

      Comment by techpaul | October 14, 2013 | Reply

  49. The optio to turn off Sticky keys will not Show up again what can; do? X

    Comment by Cresencio Rodriguez | December 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Cresencio Rodriguez,
      In Windows XP, execute control access.cpl from the Command Prompt to access Accessibility Options directly.
      In Vista/Win7/Win8, execute control /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter from the Command Prompt to access Ease of Access Center directly.

      Comment by techpaul | December 4, 2013 | Reply

  50. Hello, kind soul. I’d google this if I could, but I don’t have the slightest idea of what exactly to search for, so please bear with me and help me if you can.

    My laptop has an odd case of sticky keys. Every key I press is followed by a phantom m stroke. K turns to km, a to am, all the ctrl and function keys result in an m as well. If I press m by itself it tends to behave most of the time, except for when it throws up a bunch of ms.

    I thought it was windows being weird, but a restart didn’t help. Taking the button off and cleaning the accumulated fluff didn’t help. This article didn’t help. I’m at a complete loss.

    Any ideas of what could help? Or should I just assume the keyboard has died and get it replaced?

    I’m running Windows 7 home premium sp 1 on an emachines laptop that has seen better days.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Lina | January 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Lina,
      I have added supplemental answers in questions posted above, and these answers may answer yours — I’d suggest starting with Comments 27, 29 and 32.

      Comment by techpaul | January 13, 2014 | Reply

  51. Thanks to a required high school typing course in 1972, I am a speedy touch typist. Unfortunately, my keyboard cannot always keep up. It often stops typing as my fingers continue to hit the keys. I have to go back, left click where it left off, and re-type. (Just happened again!) I have a new Asus “Republic of Gamers” laptop with Windows 8. No sticky keys or any other filter keys are being used.

    Comment by Lisa | March 6, 2014 | Reply

  52. Thank you, by the way!

    Comment by Lisa | March 6, 2014 | Reply

    • Lisa,
      If I understand you, the machine actually ignores/forgets your keystrokes after some point, and you have to go back and retype (as opposed to there just being a delay between keystrike and letter appearing on the screen).

      I think I would have to look at your problem to give a better answer. But I can tell you it is a problem: a new gamer should not have that. My suggestion is to visit Trend Micro’s online scanner Housecall to look for any malware. If the problem persists after that, contact ASUS.

      Comment by techpaul | March 6, 2014 | Reply

  53. Hello,i am confused right now,my mouse and keyboard worked perfectly until a few sec they dont respond,until i click on the page back. im scrolling down or up for a while then it suddenly stop,i left click the mouse and its work again for a while..same goes for my keyboard when i used up and down arrow..when i open a video(im using gomplayer) ,its usually works when i just click enter for full screen but it doesnt respond until i click on it and enter,but it doesnt word if it past a few sec after you click on it.usually i just use backward and forward arrow to move the video(forward or backward) but it wont until click on the video ,when i keep on clicking to move the video forward,it just happen for a few sec than it wont respond anymore after that no matter how many time i click the forward button..same goes when im typing,it suddenly wont respond..its really piss me off just for typing on folders name
    i hope someone can help me,i dont think its the mouse problem because its happen before im using it
    thank you

    Comment by wana | June 23, 2014 | Reply

    • wana,
      I can assure you your troubles are not related to the Accessibility Option named “Sticky Keys” (the subject of this article).

      But as to why your computer suddenly started acting so strangely, there might be several causes, ranging from hardware to software.
      The first thing to try (always) is a reboot.
      Then I would suggest downloading and running MBAM (http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html) to look for viruses.
      Then I might try uninstalling any recent software changes (starting with GOM Player).
      Then maybe do a System Restore.
      If those don’t solve it, have a tech take a look.

      Good luck.

      Comment by techpaul | June 23, 2014 | Reply

    • You’re welcome, wana.

      Comment by techpaul | June 24, 2014 | Reply

  54. Thank you soooo much! I couldnt type multiple of the same letter at once, but this helped me a lot to fix it!

    Comment by Bailey | July 1, 2014 | Reply

    • Bailey,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my article helpful.

      Comment by techpaul | July 1, 2014 | Reply

  55. My keyboard is acting funny. It was working a while ago but suddenly something has happened (i doubt that I have pressed some key). Some examples–desktop coming when I press key D, “my computer” opening up on pressing key E, the window size reduces on pressing the down arrow key, increases with up arrow key etc.

    Therefore, I am unable to type anything. Cannot even google. PLEASE HELP.

    Comment by Jitisha | July 2, 2014 | Reply

    • jitisha,
      Sounds like your Windows key (bottom row, left) has become stuck down/’activated’/’toggled). Try pressing it once, and if that doesn’t cure your sudden change, reboot the machine (restart).

      Comment by techpaul | July 2, 2014 | Reply

    • You’re welcome jitisha.

      Comment by techpaul | July 3, 2014 | Reply

  56. hi techpaul, my laptop is fujitsu, and it’s using Window 8, started from yesterday, my right direction key, the “t, q,u,p,j, 1,3″ didn’t work, I tried almost everything you said but it’s not working…
    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Sabrina | July 8, 2014 | Reply

    • Sabrina,
      See my comment #39 (above). If that repair doesn’t work, substitute “fujitsu” for “lenovo”. And if you’re still under warranty, call Fujitsu tech support. (If not, take it to a tech).

      Comment by techpaul | July 9, 2014 | Reply

      • So heres what happened.. this morning i turned on my laptop (which has windows 7) and a few keys were not working. The L, M, N, X, and enter keys. The strange part is that if i press ANY other button on the keyboard at the same time as those, the buttons work. So i am pressing shift key to use them. I have tried cleaning the buttons (of course before i realized i could press shift) and i have gone into the ease of access center and turned all options off. Any advice would be helpful :)

        Comment by amandadee | July 11, 2014 | Reply

        • amandadee,
          Very first thing to do with a new oddity = restart the computer/digital device. If that doesn’t clear it up, proceed to troubleshooting.

          Those are all shortcut function command keys so I suspect the Fn key, or Alt key, or Windows key has somehow become activated. Try pressing those keys once, to see if it clears up (first try the Fn key, then the Alt key..)

          Next, If you recently installed some new keymapping software (such as with a fancy new mouse), or plugged in second keyboard, uninstall them.

          Next (presuming no luck) refer to my answer comment #39 above.

          Good luck.

          Comment by techpaul | July 11, 2014 | Reply

  57. My external keyboard which i used to use for playing games worked fine till yesterday but today it is showing some unusual problem.
    When i press shift tab button they function like caps lock.
    Typing the alphabets button also resluts in some random inputs when pressed.
    what can i do to sort this out?

    Comment by Ujjwal | July 14, 2014 | Reply

    • Ujjwal,
      Like the last two commentors, I am going to refer you to previous answers I’ve given in the comments (above), particularly Comment #39.

      Comment by techpaul | July 14, 2014 | Reply

      • which one is the comment 39?
        my original keypad is working all but fine and i have problem with only the external keyboard.

        Comment by Ujjwal | July 14, 2014 | Reply

        • Ujjwal,
          The comments are numbered (yours was #57). I have given answers previously that may help you.
          But to be clear, uninstall any keybord mapping software, and uninstall the external keyboard in Device Manager (there is a link to my article for how to do that in my reply to comment #39.).
          Good luck.

          Comment by techpaul | July 15, 2014 | Reply


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