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Changing Keyboard Repeat Delay on Windows: Keyboard Basics

The Keyboard Repeat Delay setting in Windows allows you to adjust the time it takes for a key to start repeating once held down on a keyboard.

Generally, the default keyboard repeat delay timing is good enough for most Windows users. However, if the default setting is not working for you, you can change the keyboard repeat delay timing so that it is faster or slower.

For example, when configuring Windows for an elderly or someone who types slowly with long key presses, increasing the repeat delay will ensure that they don’t repeat characters unintentionally. On the other hand, if you are a gamer or someone who navigates documents with arrow keys, decreasing the keyboard repeat delay will improve your performance.

In this article, I’ll show you how to change the keyboard repeat delay on Windows 10/11. Whether you’re a casual user or a gamer, customizing your keyboard repeat delay can improve your overall experience.

Table of contents:

  1. What is Keyboard Repeat Delay?
  2. Changing Keyboard Repeat Delay on Windows
  3. Use Registry Editor to change repeat delay on keyboard
  4. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  5. Conclusion

What is Keyboard Repeat Delay?

Keyboard Repeat Delay is nothing but the time it takes for a key to repeat itself after pressing and holding down the key on your keyboard. You can think of it as an accessibility setting, like Sticky Keys.

For example, if you press and hold the “C” key on your keyboard, the time it takes for the key to repeat after the first character appears on the screen is the Keyboard Repeat Delay time.

Generally, the default repeat delay time is set to moderate. Though good enough for most users, you can change it depending on your use case.

Changing Keyboard Repeat Delay on Windows

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

You can change the keyboard repeat delay setting from Keyboard Properties in the Control Panel. Here’s how to find and change the option.

  1. Click the “Start” icon on the taskbar.
  2. Search and open “Control Panel.”
  3. Select “Large icons” from the “View by” dropdown.
  4. Click on the “Keyboard” link.
  5. Click on the “Speed” tab in Keyboard Properties.
  6. Use the “Repeat delay” slider to change the keyboard repeat delay.
  7. Click the “Apply” and “Ok” button to confirm settings.
  8. Close the Keyboard Properties and Control Panel window.
  9. With that, you’ve modified the keyboard repeat delay on Windows.

Steps with more details:

You have to open the old Control Panel to access the repeat delay setting. So, click the “Start” icon on the taskbar or press the Start key on your keyboard, search for “Control Panel” in it, and click on the first result. This action opens the Control Panel window.

Once the Control Panel opens, click on the “View by” dropdown menu and select the “Large icons” option. Next, find and click on the “Keyboard” link.

open keyboard properties in Control Panel
change keyboard repeat delay

The above action opens the Keyboard Properties window. Here, ensure that you are in the Speed tab and use the “Repeat delay” slider to change the keyboard repeat delay. For instance, to increase the delay, move the slider to left. To decrease, move the slider to right.

After adjusting, click the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons in the Keyboard Properties window to confirm the setting. Finally, close both the Keyboard Properties and Control Panel windows.

That’s it. You’ve successfully changed the repeat delay settings for keyboard key presses.

Use Registry Editor to Change Repeat Delay on Keyboard

Back up the registry before making changes. The backup helps in restoring the registry if something goes wrong.

If you cannot access Control Panel or Keyboard Properties, you can modify the Windows Registry to change the repeat delay setting on your keyboard. Let me show you how.

  1. Launch the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Expand the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” folder.
  3. Go to the “Control Panel\Keyboard” under it.
  4. Double-click on the “KeyboardDelay” value.
  5. Type a number between “0” (short) and “3” (long) in the Value Data field.
  6. Click the “Ok” button to confirm the value.
  7. Close the Registry Editor.
  8. Reboot the system or restart explorer.
  9. With that, you’ve modified the keyboard repeat delay on Windows.

Steps with more details:

To launch the Registry Editor on Windows, either search for it “regedit.exe” in the Start menu or type it in the Run (Windows key + R) window and press “Enter.”

open registry editor from start menu

Once it opens, go to the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Keyboard” folder on the sidebar. You can also paste the below path in the registry editor’s address bar to get to it faster.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard
go to keyboard folder in registry

On the right panel, you will see a few registry values that allow you to control the keyboard behavior. Find and double-click on the “KeyboardDelay” value. You can also right-click on the value and select “Modify.”

In the Edit Value window, set the Value Data between 0 (short) and 3 (long). For example, if you want to reduce the delay time, set the value data to 0. If you want to increase it, set the value data to 2 or 3.

Once you set the Value Data, click the “Ok” button to confirm the setting.

modify value data to change keyboard repeat delay from registry

Next, close the Registry Editor and reboot the computer. You can also restart the explorer process if you don’t want to reboot right now. To restart explorer, open the Task Manager, select the “Windows Explorer” process, and click the “Restart” button.

With these modifications in the Registry Editor, you’ve successfully changed the keyboard repeat delay timing.

If you want to restore the default delay timing, set the “KeyboardDelay” value data to “1.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are a few frequently asked questions about Keyboard Repeat Delay and how to change it:

How do I change the repeat delay on my keyboard?

You can change the repeat delay settings for your keyboard using the Keyboard Properties tool or the Windows Registry Editor. Steps for both are available above.

Can I turn off repeat delay completely?

No, it is not possible to turn off the repeat delay completely. However, you can reduce the delay timing to be as low as possible using the Keyboard Properties tool. The steps for that are available above.

What is a good keyboard repeat delay time for gaming?

It depends on your personal preference and the game you are running. In general, a short repeat delay is helpful in fast-paced games where you need to press a key multiple times. That being said, it is recommended that you try different keyboard repeat delay timing and see what works for you.

Quickly Change Keyboard Repeat Delay — Conclusion

As you can see, changing the repeat delay timing on your keyboard is pretty easy whether you use the Keyboard Properties tool or Registry Editor. Depending on what you need, either increase or decrease the delay timing and see how the keyboard responds. Of course, you might have to experiment a little with different delay timings, but once you land on the timing comfortable to you, your typing experience and productivity will increase.

That is it. I think now you know what keyboard repeat delay is and how to change it via Control Panel and Registry Editor.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

If you like this article, check out how to disable page up and page down keys and share a keyboard and mouse between computers.

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