Adjusting How Quickly Your Keyboard Responds

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 24, 2020)

One of the primary input devices used for most desktop computers is the keyboard. (I know when I'm writing these tips, I'd have a very hard time doing it without a keyboard!) Like any other device connected to your computer, Windows allows you to adjust how it interacts with your system.

The biggest way you can adjust your keyboard is to change the speed at which it reacts to you. Specifically, you can adjust how long you have to hold down keys in order to have them start repeating and, once they start repeating, how quickly the repeating occurs. This adjustment comes in handy if you tend to rest your fingers "heavily" on keys or if you tend to leave keys depressed longer than you want. Here's how to make the adjustments:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. In the search box (upper-right corner of the Control Panel window) type "keyboard" (without the quotes). Windows displays several matching options.
  3. Click the Keyboard link. Windows displays the Keyboard Properties dialog box with the Speed tab selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Keyboard Properties dialog box.

  5. Use the Repeat Delay slider to adjust how long a key needs to be held down before it starts repeating.
  6. Use the Repeat Rate slider to adjust how quickly a key repeats while you're holding it down.
  7. Click on OK to close the Keyboard Properties dialog box.
  8. Close the Control Panel.

There is no "proper" setting for these controls; you should simply set them so that you can comfortably use the keyboard and have it react as you expect.

 This tip (13420) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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