11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2012 2:17 PM by 85dBA
Fred L Johnson Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)
Recently, as I am typing, a key will "stick" electronically, causing the key to repeat endlessly. The keyboard is a wired keyboard. I have been able to stop the repeating by disconnecting the keyboard and reconnecting the keyboard. This has occurred on two different keys at this point, and I have not found either of the keys to be truly stuck down. I have removed the keys and determined that the button underneath the key does not appear to be actually stuck down. Also because this has happened on two different keys ("e" and "t") and because unplugging and replugging in the keyboard stops the repeating, I think the problem is not a mechanical one. It has happened twice now in two days.

Does anyone have any idea what could cause this or a fix for this?

Message was edited by: Fred L Johnson

iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 24", Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,755 points)
    First thing to try: in System Preferences>Keyboard, experiment with different settings in "Key Repeat Rate" and "Delay Until Repeat."
  • Fred L Johnson Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)
    Perhaps I wasn't clear or perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, but the keys that are sticking are not sticking every time. It is a rare occurrence. And so far, it has only happened while using Mail.
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,755 points)
    I've seen a number of threads with this problem and no resolution. Something to try which may or may not help:

    Do a PRAM reset. At the startup chime, hold down CMD-Option-P-R until you hear two more chimes, total 3, then let it finish rebooting.
  • Fred L Johnson Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)
    I think I'll wait for the issue to present itself one more time before resetting the PRAM. That will give me a better idea of how often I might expect to see the problem. It hasn't happened at all today, but I haven't used the computer that much today.
  • Witek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My problem sounds similar so, though I have no answer to yours, maybe this reply will generate some help for us both. My wireless keyboard has worked fine for years but now all the keys have suddenly become hypersensitive and the caps lock is stuck on. This happened after a battery change that I did with the keyboard face down on a table. I can get a single letter by barely touching a key with a fingernail but a standard key press generates 3 or 4 letters. Changing the key board preferences makes no difference at all. What's the problem and how's it fixed?
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,995 points)
    Resetting the PRAM doesn't muck up anything and can resolve issues.
  • tree fort Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I also have this problem with repeating keys. Sometimes it will repeat just one or two and sometimes it will repeat maybe 20 or so! There's no predicting when it will happen. I am using a wireless keyboard with my iMac. It's been doing this off and on for years. I would love to have an answer to what it is.
  • Redsail Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Here's some more data points on this problem….

    I have been affected by this twice. First time was on a wireless keyboard. Second time was a wired keyboard -- so I don't think it's the keyboards.

    My iMac is not normally shut down except after a patch requires it, nor does it sleep, and is used heavily as a work desktop. Patches are up to date. The interval between occurrences was approximately six weeks.

    Disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard had no effect. Interestingly, even when the menu system was not functional because of the repeating key caused them to close immediately, the arrow keys on the wired keyboard still allowed me to navigate through the various desktop icons (though I couldn't get them to open or anything).

    I am going to research this PRAM reset business before trying it…. Not sure what I'm getting myself into with something like that.
  • scrappynoon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I went to the Keyboard (on the System Preferences panel) and reset the Keyboard Shortcuts back to DEFAULT.  That worked - problem solved!

  • iMacNewbie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks scrappynoon! I had a problem where my brand new bluetooth keyboard with my brand new iMac wound do two things:


    1) At random times it would behave as though the down arrow was being held down, causing it to cycle through file lists continuously.

    2) I couldn't produce a capital "I" with the left shift button. All other letters would capitalize with the left shift button, and I could capitalize the "I" with the right shift button or caps lock.


    Based on your post, I pressed every "reset defaults" button I could find within the Keyboard control panel. I though, "Why not?" It didn't seemed to do anything I could see (since I hadn't even opened the control panel since I bought the Mac), however now the cycling seems to have stopped and I can now produce a capital "I" with the left shift button.


    Thanks again. I was not looking forward to lugging a 27" iMac to the Mall.

  • 85dBA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I'm getting strange things with my aluminium wired keyboard:


    First, I wasn't able to produce any boot order, like reset PRAM, boot device, AHT, the keyboard doesn't respond until the OS is bootin (on grey apple logo), and when the OS is in homescreen a repeated sound like a continuosly pressed key is heard, until I touch any key (when I touch any key it's stops). When I change the "Key repeat rate" and "Delay until repeat" to "slow" and "off" it works perfectly, any boot order accepted, and, no freeking noise produced at OS homescreen.


    Any ideas?