How to adjust or turn off keyboard repeat

June 15, 2011 in Mac OS X

The other day my friend Leo, the Windows expert at Ask-Leo.com, answered a question from one of his readers who wanted to completely turn off keyboard repeat in Microsoft Windows for his arthritic 86-year-old father. I figured that some Mac users might have the same question so in this video I show you how to adjust your Mac keyboard repeat settings or just turn it off if you like.

Video too small? Watch full screen by clicking the YouTube Full Screen button button here

You probably won’t use keyboard repeat that often, but when you need a long sequence of one character (like – or _ or * or =) it can come in handy.

Keyboard repeat is adjusted with just two settings:

  • Delay Until Repeat – how long to wait before repeating starts
  • Key Repeat Rate – how fast to repeat key once repeating starts

If you don’t want any keyboard repeat, just set “Delay Until Repeat” to “Off”.

Be careful setting “Key Repeat Rate” too fast and relying on it to help you quickly delete text using the “delete” key. You may zoom by what you wanted deleted and accidentally delete text you wanted to keep.

BONUS TIP: A shortcut to opening the Keyboard Preferences window is press the “option” key along with either of your keyboard brightness function keys. On my MacBook Pro they’re F5 and F6, so either an ⌥-F5 or ⌥-F6 will do the trick.

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