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How to turn your Sticky Keys off

Updated February 21, 2017

"Sticky Keys" are one of many accessibility features found in both Windows and Mac operating systems. When the feature is switched on, you can press the keys for shortcuts such as "Ctrl-Alt-Del" one at a time instead of needing to hold them down simultaneously. By default, both operating systems activate Sticky Keys when you press "Shift" five times in a row; if you regularly switch the feature on by mistake, you will benefit from disabling this keyboard shortcut.

Windows

Tap the "Shift" key five times to disable sticky keys. Then press the "Windows" logo key and "U" to open the "Ease of access centre." Click "Make the keyboard easier to use."

Select "Set up Sticky Keys." Click the check box labelled "Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times" to remove the check mark. Click "OK."

Ensure the check box labelled "Turn on Sticky Keys" is unchecked. Click "OK" and close the "Ease of access centre."

Mac

Tap the "Shift" key five times to disable sticky keys. Click the "Apple" button and select "System Preferences," "Accessibility" and then "Keyboard."

Hit the "Options" button in the Sticky Keys section. Click the check box labelled "Press the Shift key five times to toggle Sticky Keys" to remove the check mark. Click "Done."

Ensure the "Enable Sticky Keys" check box is unchecked and close the "Accessibility" window.

Warning

Information in this article applies to Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.

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About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.