Thursday, February 09, 2017

What Causes Keyboards to Fail Typing Letters Twice? Filter Keys!

There are many parts to computers and laptops, each responsible for something unique. The size and speeds of the drives and processors often get most of the attention. However, there are other key pieces that are equally as important when thinking about device usage. Without a mouse how quickly could you navigate? Without a keyboard how efficient would you be? Would you accomplish anything? 

While there are many reasons a physical keyboard might stop working correctly, the most likely cause when a keyboard fails to type any letter twice is because Filter Keys is enabled. 

Filter Keys Causes Keyboards to Fail Typing Letters Twice

And for good reason. Filter Keys is a Windows Accessibility feature created to assist people with shaky hands. The Filter Keys feature is described as to "Ignore or slow down brief or repeated keystrokes and adjust keyboard repeat rates". The purpose of Filter Keys is to allow the keyboard to ignore what is considered "invalid" input, or multiple strikes of the same key in quick succession. 

While Filter Keys can be handy for people who have enabled it for its original purpose, this feature can be much less helpful when it has accidentally or unknowingly been enabled. Filter Keys can in essence render your keyboard useless if you do not understand what is happening as it makes it more challenging to:
  • Log into the machine
  • Type usernames and passwords
  • Work on documents and other files
  • Type websites into a web browser
  • And more!
If you are working on a keyboard and it prevents you from being able to type any letter twice in a row, try disabling Filter Keys as it is likely the cause. NOTE: If you cannot type any letters, try unplugging the keyboard and plugging it back in, plugging the keyboard into a different USB port, or replacing batteries as applicable.

Disabling Filter Keys
  • Open Control Panel. 
  • Click to open "Ease of Access".

  • Scroll down and click to open "Make the keyboard easier to use".

  • Click to uncheck the box next to "Turn on Filter Keys" to disable the feature.

  • Click "Apply" then "OK" to save the setting.
  • Close the window.
Keyboards are one of the most important and often forgotten parts of our devices. Without them our daily functions are nearly impossible to achieve. There are many things that can go awry with a keyboard, and most are easy to troubleshoot and fix. However, if you experience a keyboard not accepting any letter a second time, which is less common, try disabling Filter Keys before purchasing a new keyboard to fix the issue.
As always, knowing what features are available for use helps us troubleshoot when issues arise! 

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