What Is Key Repeat?- Definition And Steps

Pressing a key and holding it for long can trigger key repeat. What is key repeat? How can you configure keyboard settings? For example in differing Windows Operating Systems.

This article will let you know more about that.

What Is Key Repeat?

This happens when you hold a keyboard key for long. Most especially when you are in the ‘insert text’ area. What happens is that the certain character repeats.

For example, when you press and hold the Delete Key. Then the key continues to delete or remove text. This happens as long as you hold the key down.

This problem is often in differing Operating Systems. In addition, even the Microsoft Corporation is aware of this problem. Thus they have created some features. This will not stop it from happening. But it will let you control how this works.

These features are known as the Repeat Delay and the Repeat Rate.

Repeat Delay

Coming from the term itself, this feature lets it ‘delay’ the process. This will control how long you should hold the key. Before the key or character then starts to repeat.

Repeat Rate

On the other hand, the Repeat Rate refers to how fast the characters repeat. In other words, it is the rate of the repeating process.

Making use of these features, and blending these together shall help. There is no exact formula for the right mixture. However, this depends on the user’s needs. Thus, you can do some experimentation between these features. And when you’ve got your perfect blend, then you’re solved.

Discover how these features work in differing Windows OS. 

Key Repeat Settings In Windows 

Keyboard Properties

Windows 7

  • If you are using Windows 7, then open the Devices and Printers. You will find this in the Start button menu. 
  • Next, right-click the Keyboard icon. Then choose Keyboard Settings.

Windows Vista

  • In Windows Vista, open the Control Panel. Next, choose Hardware and Sound. And then, choose Keyboard.

Windows XP

  • You will find this feature in the Control Panel. When you are in the Control Panel, open the Keyboard Icon.

Speed Tab

  • When you open your keyboard settings, you can then see your speed tab settings. This is where you can find the two features. Namely, the Repeat Rate, and Repeat Delay.
  • Here, the feature comes with a slider. Then, you can choose to speed things the way you opt for them.
  • Next, click the Apply button.


After configuring your keyboard repeat settings, test them. 

  • Click on a text box.
  • Choose a key.
  • Press and hold the key. Then, check the rate and speed.

If you are not yet satisfied, then repeat the whole process until you are. Then you can choose to Click OK when you are done. 

If The Process Do Not Work

Suppose you have gone through these steps over and over again. But it still does not work. This must feel too crazy.

Then, this is a keyboard’s mechanical problem. This is not connected to the software. What you can do, is you can try cleaning the keyboard- especially from the inside. 

If this still doesn’t work, the best option will be replacing your device.

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