How to Turn off Sticky Keys on Windows

Disable this keyboard feature many find annoying in Windows 10, 8, and 7

If your Windows computer executes commands you didn't want it to, like punctuating words in the middle of sentences, the problem may source to sticky keys, a process where instead of holding down a key to perform a command, you tap it, and it remains pressed until you use another key.

The instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

What Are Sticky Keys?

Every keyboard uses modifier keys, which change the function of a letter key. The one you probably use most often is Shift, which changes lowercase letters to uppercase and use the "top row" characters on most keys, like the exclamation point (!) over the 1 key.

Depending on the programs you use on your computer, you can also use Ctrl, Alt, or the Windows keys on Windows devices. Use the Command key on Macs.

The Sticky Keys alert in Windows 10

Sticky keys assist people with disabilities or who suffer from repetitive stress injuries. Instead of holding down a button, you can tap it and it will stay “down” until you press another key. In Windows 7, 8, or 10, try this feature by pressing the Shift key five times. A box pops up asking you if you want to enable sticky keys. Afterward, try typing something, and you'll see it in action.

Sticky keys can be useful if you don't like holding down a key for long periods of time. If you're not a touch-typist, in particular, or if you're learning how to use software that makes heavy use of modifier keys, it can be useful while you track down which key you want to press. Otherwise, they're probably not worth leaving on.

How to Turn off Sticky Keys in Windows 10

The simplest way to turn sticky keys on and off in Windows 10 is the above technique. Press Shift five times with sticky keys enabled to shut it off. You can also press any two keys simultaneously, and that will disable it.

If the above doesn't work, or you want to turn off this shortcut in Settings, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows Key or select the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner and select Settings.

    The Windows 10 Start menu with Settings highlighted
  2. Select Ease of Access > Keyboard

    You can also reach this menu by pressing Win+U.

    The Ease of Access category
  3. Scroll down and select the Sticky Keys toggle to set it to off. You can also disable the shortcut here.

    The Sticky Keys switch
  4. Scroll down to Make It Easier To Type. Verify that both the warning message and make-a-sound options are enabled, so you won't turn sticky keys on by accident.

How to Turn off Sticky Keys on Windows 7 and 8

Windows 7 and 8 also uses the "press Shift five times" shortcut to enable and disable Sticky Keys. Pressing two keys at the same time will also disable it. To disable or enable it in the Settings:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Select Ease of Access > Make the Keyboard Easier To Use

    In Windows 8, you can also do Win+U if your keyboard has a Windows key.

  3. Scroll down to Make it Easier To Type and check or uncheck Turn on Sticky Keys. Then select Apply.