Help! My Shift key is stuck!

Windows has an accessibility feature that's very easy to turn on by mistake that changes the behavior of your shift key and others.


Help! My Shift key is stuck!

Have you ever gotten so frustrated with your computer that you just start randomly pounding on the keyboard or perhaps a particular key?

Yeah, me too.

And that’s likely the source of the problem here. No, Windows isn’t getting even with you, though it might seem that way. It actually thinks you’ve asked it to do something.

Windows XP includes what are known as “accessibility options” that are designed to make the computer more usable by people with various physical challenges. (Prior Windows versions include similar functionality but I’ll focus on the XP specifics here.) Several of those options relate to the keyboard and are fairly easily enabled.

Let’s say you’re frustrated with your work and start pounding on the shift key (or as was my case alternately pounding on both shift keys). If Windows sees the shift key pressed five times in a row it assumes you’re asking for a feature called “Sticky Keys”. This feature makes the Shift, Alt, Ctrl and Windows keys toggle instead of needing to be held down. Windows does throw up a confirmation dialog, but that’s easy to miss if you’re still pounding your keys and happen to hit Return.

No, Windows isn’t getting even with you though it might seem that way.

Maybe you’re not that violent. Perhaps you’re just lost in thought as your finger slowly descends on the Shift key. 8 seconds later Windows thinks you’ve asked for something called “Filter Keys” which is a way to ignore brief keystrokes or repeated keystrokes. If it’s the Num Lock key you’ve held down for 5 seconds, Windows will ask you about something called “Toggle Keys” which beeps a tone whenever you press Caps Lock, Scroll Lock or Num Lock.

USB KeyboardTo be fair, Windows does try to ask before turning on one of these features, but if you hit Return by mistake and the feature gets turned on, it can be frustrating to try and continue to get work done if you didn’t realize what happened. And that of course can lead to more keyboard pounding.

The good news is that they’re easy to turn off and it’s also easy to turn off the detection that got you into trouble in the first place. If your keyboard is in one of these strange states, I suggest using the mouse and selecting: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Accessibility Options. The default panel that comes up will in fact be for the keyboard options. There you can turn off whatever happened to have been turned on. While you’re there for each of the three options, press Settings, and uncheck Use Shortcut. Now Windows will no longer misinterpret your random keystrokes.

Pound away.

There are 200 comments:

  1. Matd Reply

    Well, i’ve turned Sticky Keys off and even removed it by Add / Remove Programs, Windows Components. Its now stopped working in Windows itself, but when i play a game like Counter-Strike or Hitman, i have Shift assigned as duck and the bloody pc still beeps at me as i hold the shift key down!!!

    How the hell do you get rid of Stick Keys for good, its a real pain in the ass!

  2. Maurog Reply

    To get rid of StickyKeys for good go to Control Panel – Accessibility Options – Keyboard – StickyKeys – Settings and uncheck the box called “Keyboard shortcut” which if checked monitors for shift pressed five times.
    There is a similar box to be unchecked in FilterKeys section which monitors pressing shift for 8 seconds.

  3. Mr C Reply

    I have windows XP on my laptop and the filter keys immediately pops up. I also notice that the Numlock key stays ON and I cannot disable it. Do you think this is still related to the sticky keys or probably a bad keyboard?

  4. Leo Reply

    I’m thinking bad keyboard. Sounds like the numlock key is literally stuck.

  5. TaihXe Reply

    I just got the solution…it took me about 5 minutes. Go into the StickyKeys settings and check the “Turn off StickyKeys if 2 keys are pressed at once” Apply the changes then hit 2 keys of your choice. Now disable the damn thing altogether. Enjoy.

  6. Aurora Reply

    everytime i press any key,i hear a beep,at first i didnt mind the noise,but then it got worse,its so annoying,i dont know how to turn it off,ive been to control panel>accessibility options>filter keys>settings>beep when key is pressed is unchecked but still makes that annoying beep,i am about ready to pull my hair out,can you please help?i would greatly appreciate any help!!!!!

    • Mike Reply

      I’m still having trouble with it filter keys is off everything is off i am running windows 8 but ether way holding down both shift keys still isn’t working holding down the right shift doesn’t seem to fix it but i could hold down s and type a bunch of s’s but if i let go and hit shift it still continues to type lower case s’s, How can I fix this

      • Connie Delaney Reply

        One possibility is that you have some dirt stuck in the key. And it might just be a broken keyboard. They can go bad. A quick test would be to borrow and try a different one.

  7. woohoo18 Reply

    RE: the Fn key…

    Hit Fn+Num Lock. That’s what worked on my Dell Inspiron 2600 with XP.

  8. Victor Reply

    well this is my proble Shift + 2 = @ BUT I GET THIS ” AND VISSA VESSA when I click Shift + ; to get ” I get @ can some body tell me what is the problem.

    • deepak Reply

      Hey go to languages section in control panel and then change the keyboard language to English(US), i think you currently have it as English(UK) change it to English(US)… Hope it works, it did worked for me!!

  9. Paul Reply

    Victor, you’ve got your keyboard set to ‘UK’ instead of ‘US’, you can fix it from regional settings in control panel.

  10. Marisa Reply

    My computer mouse was stuck and wasn’t moving. I attempted to fix it with the control setting on windows, but that didn’t work. So I got frustrated and pressed too many keys on the keyboard. I think I pressed the shift key a couple times or held down on it for a couple of seconds. Now my keyboard is not working, there are sounds when I try to hit ANYTHING on the keyboard and my mouse is not working either. The only time something does happen when I hit the keyboard, is when I hit the function button and F3 at the same time, and that just refreshes the page. Please help.

  11. Leo Reply

    Sounds like what the article above addresses. Have you rebooted since? That would be my other suggestion.

  12. david Reply

    alright, i think i too held down the shift key too long while in excel making a formula and now my keyboard is locked up, although it types the numbers as characters as if the shift key is held down, but it does not type any other characters. The real problem is that i rebooted trying to fix it and my boot up screen is password protected and the key board is still not entering any characters, so i can’t log on to fix the problem.

  13. Leo Reply

    Sounds like your keyboard might be broken. I assume you’ve actually powered the machine down? That can often reset a keyboard problem.

  14. Dustin Baker Reply

    I was working in a word document and held the left mouse key along with another shift or cntrl or alt on the keyboard down for a few seconds and windows popped up a dialog that I just disregarded by selecting ‘ok’. Now my computer is acting weird. When i am in a word document, I select with the mouse a point in the file and the behavior that i see is that word is highlighting from the beginning of the document to the point in the file that i clicked on with the mouse. Do you have any suggestions on how i can undo what i didn’t know that i did?

  15. Leo Reply

    That actually sounds almost exactly like what’s described in the article you just commented on. Did those steps not help?

  16. Sam Reply

    Hi there,
    |Everytime I press shift, |I am getting this: ||||. How do |I get rid of it|?


  17. Leo Reply

    That sure looks like a hardware problem to me. I’d borrow another keyboard and swap it out. See if that helps.

  18. Snyder Reply

    There is a bug in the Microsoft mice that have the extra buttons that cause the computer to go to SHIFT LOCK if you press an arrow key wheile clicking button 4/5 on the mouse (which is very easy to accidently do). It has been there since 2003 and not been fixed yet! (see Microsoft article 266140)

  19. Graham Reply

    I live in a very humid area of the world and it seems as though this has caused a short in my keyboard – specifically the ‘alt’. The laptop thinks that I am pressing my alt key repeatedly. This is very frustrating as whenever I am in a window and trying to type, the laptop bring down all sorts of various menus from the menu bar. It’s taking me a ling time just to write this. I have slowed down the repeat key option in the control panel / keyboard window and have even tried blow-drying my key board on a low temp. These things help temporarily, but the problem persists… Is there an option to just turn off the ‘alt’ key? Thank you for your help!

  20. mr_goodvibes Reply

    Hi, I’d just like to thank you for posting this helpful article. Its saturday morning, and I’m in work trying to get some stuff done. i was using excel, and it was behaving as if a phantom shift key was somehow depressed. i couldnt use auto-filters, and it made using outlook a pain in the ass as well. terribly frustrating. i took a stab through google and found this. problem solved. thanx!

  21. samta Reply

    To put sticky keys off:
    1. Check if Control Panel-Accessibility options-‘Use sticky keys’ is ON. If yes turn it off.
    2.Then go to Settings-Options.
    Turn off ‘Press modifier key twice to lock’
    Turn on ‘Turn sticky keys off if 2 keys are ‘pressed at once
    And then press any 2 keys simulataneously.

    The problem goes…and then you can turn off the use shortcut to avoid this in future

  22. viv Reply

    my0 space0 key0 keeps0 putting0 a0 00 in0 front 0so0 when0 ever 0I 0type 0a0 space0 a 00 gets 0inserted.0 How 0do0 i 0stop0 this. 0alse0 all0 my0 number0 keys0 are 0being0 stupid. 0If0 i0 press 0five0 a0 fifty0 four0 appears.0 help

  23. Leo Reply

    My first suggestion would be to try a different keyboard. Borrow one if you have to, just to make sure, or rule out, that the keyboard itself is the problem.

  24. Leslie Reply

    Just got some good advice for the filterkeys problem (holding down the shift key for 8 seconds produces all capitals and >>> for period). Hold down BOTH shift keys to turn it off. Worked for me! Good Luck

  25. Robert Moody Reply

    Microsoft HAS to know that MORE people do NOT use this feature than do. I hope they fix this annoyance in the future. I just got finished dealing with it and had come to this page seeking a solution. Thanks Leo for being out there for us.

    My solution ended up being pressing the OTHER shift-key once turned off the “STUCK CAPS” effect. To clarify, I was stuck in the “sticky keys” mode with the shift constantly on. I turned off the “use shortcut” as Leo suggested and tried other things. Finally, I simply tried pressing the left shift-key once (holding the right one down as I thought for a second was what got me into the mess) and it appeared to toggle the “sticky keys” back to normal mode.

    Again, this is an annoyance more than a help for most people who use the system. If Microsoft can do anything, they should make the “annoyance” for the fewer rather than the bulk of the users. Better yet, fix the damned problem so the regular user does not have to search the web begging others who have figured out how to deal with the people to show them.

    Again, thanks Leo for being out here.

  26. jen Reply

    I got the all caps and> for period problem after I held down the shift key for a while, and then selected cancel when the filter keys option came up. I tried removing the key and making sure that the key was not sticking. I made sure caps loc was off. I made sure in control panel>>accessibility options that all filter keys, sticky keys, etc. were off, and I still had the problem. I even tried turning each option off and on again and it would not go away. I disabled the shortcut for these filters too. Finally, I fixed the problem by holding down the left shift key for while instead of the right. Go figure.

  27. Dave Reply

    Great write up, my wife/kids computer had this irritating Sticky Keys issue. I went through all the steps to cut it off… yet it still kept coming on. I then discovered the chunk of Granola jamming the right shift key down… unchecked all of the shortcut keys so it never gets cut again and all is good! Nice article and find… although the food stuck shift key is a new twist. ;)

  28. jake Reply

    this 8 seccond shift holding has troubled me many times. specialy if you accidently turn it on, i was not able to turn it off. now i know how to do that. thanks everyone.

    that information window that open with ok, cancel and setting buttons does not work or at least it does not have enough information how to use that function. few times when i have clicked cancel filter keys have still turned on, then i have hold shift down another 8 seconds and then clicked ok to make it go off. well after that didnt work i have restarted my computer. that is use full function when you know how to use it, but pain in the ass when you have no idea what it is all about.

  29. Michelle Reply

    Thank you all! A combination of these suggestions fixed my annoying keyboard/mouse problems when sticky keys turned itself on. I did not even hit ok…just the X to get rid of the dialog box! But it was automatically turned on regardless. MS really should make it easier to turn these options off…at the very least! Because unchecking these boxes did not turn it off for me. I had to check and uncheck a bunch of stuff and then hold both of the shift keys down simultaneously before it actually reset. Among other random things I did while I was freaking out trying to turn these options off. And the current default should not be what it is (with shortcuts to these options turned on) but rather that a person should have to go into the options and select them instead. I mean, the majority of PC users are not going to be using these sticky, filter, and toggle key options. What were they thinking?! How annoying!! Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  30. g kerr Reply


    Could you help witha keyboard problem I have. I’ve looked at the articleabove but don’t see the answer.

    I recently had to wipe my hard drive after some fatal error messages. I now don’t appear to be able to use the @ key – when I press the shift button and the @ key I get ” (Not on this computer but another one!)

    Grateful for any suggestions as I can’t get downloads as I can’t specify e mail account without @ key.

  31. Leo Reply

    My first reaction would be to try another keyboard. It’s odd that only that one key would be affected that way.

  32. g kerr Reply

    Thanks for responding, Leo.

    I tried different keyboard but it is the same so I assume it is a prog fault? When I had to wipe the hard disk I wonder if the keyboard is now set to a different language? I tried to check in control panel but got lost.

    I’ve checked every single key and find that the only keys that it affetcs are the

  33. Loi Reply

    @ g kerr,
    Have you tried pressing the ” key to see if you get @.
    If you get @ by doing that it means your keyboard is set up as an american keyboard.

  34. Leo Reply

    I’m with Loi on this one … it seems like a configuration issue. Check out Control Panel, Regional and Language options, Languages, Details, Settings, and make sure that they keyboard selected matches what you have.

    • yusuf Reply

      I bought my toshiba laptop from USA and I can’t get the @ key to appear when ever I need it. Pls help

  35. SaraBelle Reply

    Right here’s the thing. My shift key simply won’t work. I’ve tried all this ‘sticky keys’ business but it’s just not helping. I’ve taken the key out and cleaned it and it is still not working. Neither of the shift keys work and I am going to get very angry. Please help. Gracis

  36. Ken M. Reply

    Leo, Found your site via google search. I, too,have a keyboard problem which I suspect is caused by the Microsoft accessibility program.
    Below are the problems that appear on my laptop. Have you ever seen this happen, and how can I cure it? I have unchecked all the shortcut boxes as you recommend but it still keeps happening with frustrating regularity. Microsoft support could not offer a solution.

    Left shift key + letter a key results in a Capital A but also lights up the caps lock.

    Left shift key + quotation mark key results in

  37. Leo Reply

    This “feels” like a couple of lines crossed within the keyboard itself. I don’t know how old the laptop is, but I’d have the keyboard checked out – or contact the manufacturer if it’s still under warrenty. If you can, plug in an external keyboard and see how that behaves.

  38. m3atalia Reply

    I_have_prolems_with_my_keyoard_ot_typig_certai_letters _or_spacig_…I_have_o_idea_how_to_fix_it….Typig_like_this _drives_me_crazy_&_I_cat_get_ay_work_accomplished _PLEASE_HELP!

  39. IZZO Reply

    ok i do feel a little stupid now.. i found out the problem was that i had skype binded to mute when i pressed m and i guess when u have a key binded with skype it makes it so u cant type that letter at all… :P

  40. Leo Reply

    Thanks for posting that! That’s actually a very good thing for people having similar problems to be aware of … several programs allow you to configure system-wide hotkeys that can then interfere with normal usage of that same key.

  41. chris hargrove Reply

    Okay, I found this searching for MY problem. I have a Sony laptop (mistake #1). The “m” key seems to be stuck…when I boot up, I have to hit space-m-space-m-space-m over and over to get rid of a black screen w/ blinking cursor and a loud beeping noise. Then, when the machine boots up, the first time I try and click on a desktop Icon w/ the mouse, all the icons start blinking rapidly followed by the same loud beeping noise (w/ the volume up, of course). I have to then click back to the desktop to make that stop. Then I can’t type an “m” at all. It just won’t work. The “m” key, either lower or upper case, is completely inoperable. NO ONE has been able to tell me what to do to fix it. Help! (And don’t say “get another keyboard”…that’s just a workaround and I want my problem fixed.)

  42. Leo Reply

    Well, it does sound like a hardware so getting a new keyboard is an appropriate response. In a laptop that’s a pain, I know, but you may not have another option.

    You could try *carefully* popping off the m key from the keyboard and seeing if there’s something stuck in there that’s keeping it from workinf properly. It should then pop back on. Naturally, this could cause more harm than good if you’re not sure about it, so only do this if you are. If you have a repair technician available to look at the machine, that might be a safer alternative.

    Good luck!

  43. chris hargrove Reply

    Well, by “get another keyboard”, I meant an EXTERNAL keyboard, which is what I’ve done as a workaround. Thanks for the advice.

  44. jason Reply

    i was wonderin if you can help me, the at key on my keyboard will not work ,the key im talking about is the one that you use for email adress e.g. bobthornton(AT), the actual key is working when i dont hold the tab key down and the tab is ok but i have to hold down the tab to use the AT key and when i do nothing happens.this means that i cant enter my email adress anywhere except when it is allready in the adress history box

  45. rajeev Reply

    i have windows xp and please advise my shift key is not working rest all are working fine i tried uncheking sticky keys and all other stuff..

  46. Leo Reply

    Is is both, or just one? I would try borrowing another keyboard. It sounds like the keyboard itself, perhaps.

  47. Bo Reply

    Related weirdness:

    Without explanation, my XP system went into full “sticky keys” mode just last night; and turning them all off through Control Panel/Accessibility options has no effect. Swapping keyboards has no effect.

    Many of the letter keys shortcut to their respective Windows system screens, as mentioned above and described on this page:

    I did not turn this on and cannot seem to turn it off.

    Makes it real interesting when you try to type in your Windows user login, or anything in the URL address field in IE! Had to log this question from another computer, even!

    Is there any other place in XP this stupid feature can be accidentally/intentionally turned on, and, hence, turned off?


  48. xargo Reply

    I had my two shift keys not working, and the XP short cuts, too (windows_key+e = explore, etc).
    All the short cuts they were opening the start button menu.

    I connected a PS/2 keyboard and all working normally.

    I disconnected my normal keyboard (creative wireless 8000) three times, but no joy.

    All the accessibility options not selected.

    I selected the Use Stickykeys and I did the next test.

    On the notepad, I hit the shift, I release it, I hit any letter (a for example), and bingo! I had A on the notepad!

    What was happening on my PC? My keyboard wasn

  49. Dan Reply

    For anyone who has their SHIFT key stuck on, causing you to highlight text when clicking on it (such as in a word processor), just unplug the keyboard and plug it in again.

    It worked for me.

  50. Leo Reply

    NO! Please don’t do that with the power on. On some computers you can damage your keyboard. It’s also likely that your keyboard won’t work again until you reboot. Rebooting (including turning off the power) will do everything that unplugging would have.

  51. TJ E Reply

    NM I fixed it (Im sorry to bother you I should have waited and tryed mroe things its seems both of the keyboards i tryed had the shift key stuck literaly so im using this 3rd one and the lesson learned is take time and calm down dont hit sensative equipment)

  52. zach Reply

    first of all, i am on a presario x1000 laptop with windows xp home edition. for some reason, my shift, alt, ctr, and the windows keys dont work. ive tried messing around with stick keys, ive turned it off ive changed the settings, ive tried evrything. also when i follow the directions of sticky keys, like how ur supposed to type shift then a letter to get a capital letter this is what i get kl12sdff56
    see i cant get anything. please email me some help at thisisntzach at remember i cant press shift so i couldnt put the at symbol. pleeeeeease help my mom is mad

  53. Leo Reply

    Offhand is sounds like a broken keyboard. I would plug in an external keyboard, and if that works properly, that pretty much nails it.

  54. Leo Giavino Reply

    Hello, I have a Toshiba Satellite P25-S507 Laptop, and the SHIFT key is broken, I mean is loose, I would like to know if can I buy only the plastic key? and where can I buy. Thank you. Leo

  55. snir Reply

    contril panel >accessibility option>stiky keys>setting>turn stiky keys off

  56. Gary Reply

    As I found on in this forum “Pressing both shift keys at the same time will turn off all caps”. I didn’t have to hold for 5 seconds, just press both at the same time. I also noticed the problem only occurs if you’re in the middle of typing a document or email and you hold the shift key for 8 seconds. Thanks for the advice Leslie.

  57. Andrew Reply

    when i hit shift “N” my key board types “NB” automatically….

    it only happens with my left shift key and not the right one….i have looked at sticky key function with no luck…please HELP…thanks

  58. Leo Reply

    Sounds like a bad keyboard. Try borrowing another to confirm.

  59. Olivier Reply

    Shift Key Problem Resolved

    I had I weird problem with my keyboard. It happened after I had that Filterred Shift Key window from windows XP coming up because I was pressing since a while the shift key button. Since I was thinking about something else, I am not quite sure what I have done. I just wanted this window who just came-up to get out my sight. But after that, I coudn’t help myself but think about this pop-up window; all the letters were writing fine when I was using them, they were all normal except the special keys such as @ ~ { }. It was like I was holding the shift key all the time for those. When I was clicking on an Icone on the Desktop, Windows was selecting all the icones. If I was opening a icone, Windows was starting all the icones of that window.

    To resolve this problem, I went in Control Panel [Press right click to open a window instead of opening as we normally do] -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Keyboards -> [Select your keyboard],{new window come up} -> Select Driver Tabs -> Update Driver -> Install from a list or specified (Advanced) -> Select your current keyboard. After the installation, Windows reboot, so make sure all your works are saved. After reboot, my keyboard was fine again, and I could finally forget about this pop-up window “Filterred Shift Key” and come to what I was thinking.

    Hope this help !!

  60. bien Reply

    this xp irritant (well it is irritating for me) always comes up when i happen to be thinking of the right words to say, and my pinky is pressing on the Shift key for more than 8 seconds. The stupid Filter Key menu comes up.
    No matter what you check or uncheck in the stupid thing, my caps lock becomes reversed. The only way to get my keyboard working normally again is by restarting my computer. Good thing Ms didn’t create a “memory” for this utility or else even a restart won’t help. But it has interrupted my work and that is a big time irritant. Why not put the default button somewhere else, like the useless Pause/Break key? Duh…

  61. Chance Reply

    A few days ago my shift keys would mysteriously stop working for hours at a time, which wouldn’t let me type characters like the question mark, exclamation mark, and percent sign. Now, they won’t work at all… I have to press the caps button to even get capital letters. It’s been really irritating, because I NEED those characters. I have no idea why the shift keys won’t work, but it’s a laptop keyboard.

  62. Leo Reply

    It does sound like a hardware problem. You might try plugging in an external keyboard for a while and see if the problem is there as well.

  63. Patrick Reply

    Ashley!!! Yo the man!!! I followed your proposed solution and it worked!!! I’m just hoping that it would never come back! I’m still open to the possibility of a virus infection. I’ll be observing my laptop and do some research about this. I’ll let you guys know if ever i found out something ! Ciao!

  64. Patrick Reply

    Sadly after 10 minutes it came back. So I researched more and found this.

    Its a registry editor file to totally remove the stickykey option from your machine. hope this solves it. I guess I just have a bad keyboard or something that’s why it is activting itself every now and then. I’ll keep you guys posted.

  65. phil Reply

    this isnt working, my shift key will not work anywhere.. i tried re installing it but im stuck with the same problems, i turned off all sticky key stuff but nothing works.. help1

  66. phil Reply

    Ok, i tried the other key board and look: OSBHAKJSF it works! BUT, this keyboards cord is WAY too short. i have to put it on y lap, plus its a keyboard for Macs so the alt and control buttons dont work the same.. im really bummed, my other keyboard was the best.. i spilt a lot of water on it esterday, could that have done some damage?

  67. Leo A. Notenboom Reply

    Yes spilling water on it could certainly damage it. If it was just water, you might let it dry for a few days and try again. You could get lucky :-).

  68. Brett Reply

    If stickykeys stays on even though it says it is off in the assecibility panel, just unplug, and then reconnect your keyboard

  69. jenn Reply

    I finally figured this out… when your Shift key locks… hold down the right-hand shift button and then press the CAPS lock key… this should stop it…. I had written to HP and they told me it wasn’t possible and that my keyboard was defective…

  70. nag s Reply

    I had as similar problem. If stickykeys stays on even though it says it is off in the assecibility panel then do Ctrl + shift to unlocked it. it worked for me a lot of times.

  71. Sathya Pillutla Reply

    A Quick workaround to this problem is to use the On-Screen Keyboard which is a Graphical Keyboard located at Start-All Programs-Accessories-Accessibility-On-Screen Keyboard. This would help you if happen to be in the middle of a project and if the shift key isnt working like it should.

  72. kylie Reply

    ps im on a compaq laptop does that make a differnce on how to fix it?

  73. Leo Notenboom Reply

    Key might be broken. Try an external keyboard and see if that works. If so – take the laptop in for repair.

  74. BARB MEMORY Reply

    my cat sat on my keyboard. now I, J, K, L, M, O, and some of the numbers on the right are not working. Sticky keys and all other options theretofore are off.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

  75. Leo Notenboom Reply

    try blowing it out with compressed air

    Try another keyboard – it sounds like yours might well have been broken.

  76. Troy Parfitt Reply



  77. Leo Notenboom Reply

    If the problem happens with the replacement keyboard, then no, I would not suspect the keyboard as the problem. Unfortunately in your case, if the steps in the article didn’t help I’m stumped.

  78. jake Reply

    I had this problem too. I think I might have had something stuck in my keyboard that originally turned on the sticky keys. I cleaned the keyboard with compressed air but still couldn’t get it to stop acting as if the Shift Key was pressed. I unchecked all the boxes in the accessability options in control panel…still no help, UNTIL I followed the suggestion to try an external keyboard! For some reason, after I connected the external, the problem “fixed itself” and now my notebook keyboard is also working correctly…go figure!

  79. Ryan Reply

    Ok So I Had This Problem,
    Lmao It Was Driving Me Crazy..

    When Ure Computer Acts Like Shift Key Is Held In All The Time..

    ive Found No Other Way But This one.. And Trust ME Its A Hard Way Around It.
    Simply Un Prlug Ure Keyboard.. Then Plug It Back In..
    Lol Sorted Not hard At All.. :)
    hope I Could Be Of Help.

  80. John Reply

    Found another blog that said to press both shift keys at the same time. This worked for me.

    It is frustrating that XP has been out for 5 years and MS still can’t fix the “Cancel” button on filterKeys to work correctly.

  81. kryst Reply

    my S key is stuck for some reasons. it’s not stuck because it has dirt or just goes sssssss when you are not doing anything on the keyboard. it irritates the hell out of me because it’ll start highlighting whatever that begins with S on my desktop and the desktop icons go crazssysss snow sit’ cosming agsains. si it a virus? pls help!

  82. Leo Notenboom Reply

    Hash: SHA1

    I’m not sure why everyone immediately assumes a virus when individual
    keys start acting up like that.

    MUCH more likely is that your keyboard is broken, has a loose connection
    within it, or – even though you can’t see it – some dirt. Try another
    keyboard. (If on a laptop, plug in an external keyboard and see if it
    works any better.)

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


  83. gustav Reply

    System – HP dv1000 – XP
    Probelm –

    Had stuck shift problem for a while -> tried everything Leo’s article suggested along with comments from others -> no result -> added an external keyboard and tried pressing duble shift -> it worked -> for the time being….

    Now everytime I press any of the four key to the right of left shift key (zxcv) or left of right shift key (m,./) or space the stuck shift gets activated again on my laptop …. I tried this with an external keyboard but there is not problem with that.

    Has anyone experienced such a thing? I have some testing background so I captured some of these scenarios as well –
    1. The pressing of two shift keys does not activate the left shift on my laptop (external KB is fine)
    2. If I have pressed any of these keys (zxcvm,./) or space the above mentioned solutions will not work… I have to press some other key first in order to use external KB
    3. You can also use onscreen keyboard to get rid of this … press any key other than mentioned above and deselect on onscreen KB (again this wont work otherwise)

    Also realized than you can use

  84. jerome Reply

    my D key is stuck in my sony vaio notebook everytym if i wanna use the letter ‘d’ i hav to copy and paste it.
    sometimes without typin the letter the letter’d’ keeps goin on and on ………….. its frustrating when i browse through the net or using word
    HELP ME out guyz………………………

  85. Leo A. Notenboom Reply

    Hash: SHA1

    Sounds like you need to get your keyboard repaired if the key is physically
    stuck, but that seems too obvious – what am I missing about your question?


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


  86. Sam Reply

    For some reason, whenever I type the letter “a” it results in 2-3 “a-s” appearing instead of just 1. Any ideas?

  87. Rei Reply



    I have a rather annoying problem with my left Shift key. Opposite to most of the posters, my problem is about a “shortcut”. My keyboard has these buttons on the Upper Left Corner, from which one of them access my E-Mail Web Site.

    Tonight all of a sudden (I don’t know if I accidentally pressed a combination of keys or what not) when I press my Left Shift Key, it would now work as if I was pressing that “Take me to my E-Mail Web Site – Button”, it works both ways now at the same time:

    1. As an upper casing key for letters and symbols: “A,B,C,D… ! @ # $… etc”.

    2. As my E-Mail Web Site button.

    This is rather annoying, because if I’m working on Word, Excel, on Full Screen in a Game or what not, it will minimize EVERYTHING and take me to my E-Mail Web Site.

    I tried uninstalling the Keyboard driver and reinstalling it, unplugging it, using a restoring point, turning my computer off, etc. Nothing seems to take my Shift Key back to normal…

    Can anyone please tell me how to fix this problem? I know there’s another Shift Key on the right side, but I just want to know the root cause of this.


  88. Christian Reply

    Due too liquid spill ; many different key problems have occured. For example hittin ‘.’ would reslut in this situation : .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Many other keys are malfunctionning but know my main problem is the page dwn button … it is really annoying, as if i was always pressing that button. Does annyonne know what I should doo ?

  89. Leo A. Notenboom Reply

    Hash: SHA1

    Replace your keyboard.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  90. Barb Reply

    |I have a problem with my right shift key, everytime |I try to use it letter it drops a line if front of the letter. |I can’t figure out how to turn it off, but it interfers terribly with entering passwords and such, can anyone help|?

  91. Leo Reply

    Hash: SHA1

    That sounds like a keyboard hardware issue. I’d get/try
    another one.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  92. David Reply

    See if you check check your laptop documentation. I know on my laptop there was a “feature” to turn some of the keys into a number pad that would come on at random and was relatively simple (but not easy to remember) to shut it off. Good luck.

  93. Sian Posserr Reply

    Thanks this really helped. It was my cat that started the whole thing! he decided to lie on top of the laptop because it was warm ;)

  94. Elaine and Patch Reply

    Yes, it seems to be a cat thing! Mine shifted backward onto Right Shift key in a moment of indecision in transition from counter to my lap and suddenly I was lost in cyberspace. Restarting the computer worked but knowing the Left Shift cancel trick will outsmart her and be much faster next time. Thanks!

  95. genienez Reply

    none of these solutions worked for me,i’m using vista and a few days ago my shift keys stopped working, i had to open msn messenger and copy and paste my email address here, its very frustrating, please help me, i tried to change from vista back to xp but apparently you can’t do that, i’m having nothing but trouble with vista.

    Sounds to me like this has nothing to do with Vista. Sounds to me like your keyboard is broken. Try plugging in a different one.

    - Leo
  96. fraser Reply

    not sure what do to now. My shift key appears to be “on” when i try to type numbers or symbols, but off for letters. I am using XP with SP3.

  97. Jake Reply

    fraser, my bet is that you have both the shift key locked (with either sticky keys or some other way mentioned on this site) AND caps lock on… Caps lock and shift would cause the letters to be lower case (they cancel each other out), but shift would cause the numbers to be the corresponding symbols.

  98. Pree Reply

    I have a PC with windows XP but my problem is that somehow my shift key combination of Shift +2 or +3 have now different signs. It now shows double quotes and the pound sign respectively. There are other combination errors too. And I don’t know how to correct them to the default settings. Tried everything. Help. On screen keyboard through accessibility option, too, shows the erratic key combination

  99. Lisa Reply

    To unlock Shift Key : First verify that Control Panel Accessibilities to Sticky keys and the like are turned off. Second press and hold down left shift key. DONE

  100. Ken Pukenis Reply

    Same thing happened to me when I accidently held my shift key too long. Difficult to navigate w/some keyboard features inop & w/”sticky keys” & “filter keys” enabled. I wound up using “system restore” to an earlier restore point by navigating w/a partial mouse and lt/rt/up/dn keys. It worked.

  101. Shania Reply

    i have a Toshiba Laptop ,& my capS lock is stuck ……. i always have to push ShifT to make them litte again …. its anoyying & Sometimes my backSpace doesnt work . Can SOmeone HELp me!!!??? >:( ,im 13 o_O

    Sounds like a hardware issue. Try an external keyboard, and if that helps you’ll know you need to get your laptop keyboard repaired.

    - Leo
  102. Liza Reply

    To turn off the toggle keys (or whichever one you can turn on by accidentally holding down the right shif key too long) just press both shift keys simultaneously.

  103. shana Reply

    hi, i just installed firefox 3.5 and it messed up my shift key. now it doesnt work at all when i want to toggle between the numbers and special characters. the only way i can get the special characters out is when i press both shift key and then shift the key character i want to get the upper chacters to show. can u advice how can i get my original keyboard setting back/ am using windows xp with sp3, logitech cordless keyboard. i swear my hardware is perfectly fine until ff 3.5 completed its installation and even after i uninstall and deleted all related folder in regedit, my keyboard problem remains.. hope u can help me. thanks1

  104. Connie Reply

    I have a Dell w/ Windows XP. I cannot type numbers. It’s as though the shift key is held down. It types lower case letters when the CAPS LOCK is on, and vice versa. I’ve tried rebooting, I’ve unchecked all the boxes for sticky keys and toggle keys, and even held down both shift keys (many times…once for 20 minutes!) It still doesn’t work and i’m ready to throw the laptop against the wall! It’s not like I can replace the keyboard on a laptop! HELP!

  105. Roger Heathcote Reply

    To all those still struggling…

    Often ‘Sticky Keys’ is hard to disable, it says it’s not on when it quite clearly is. The solution is to press any two alphabetic keys simultaneously – Hey Presto! normal service is resumed :)

  106. Marie Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you.
    I’ve tried so many things to fix this issue, but yours was finally the answer. Much better than closing everything and restarting my computer everytime this happened. I will try to be nicer to my keboard too!

  107. sophie Reply

    i turned my computer off before reading this (im on a friends computer) and cant access my own computer because the shift key is stuck and i cannot enter my password correctly (its all numbers)!

  108. BEHZAD RouHANI Reply


    Sounds like you have a physical problem with your keyboard. Try a different keyboard and see if the problem goes away. (Just plug in a USB keyboard for this test if you have a laptop.)


  109. Raine Reply

    I need help!!! I read the article but I have no answer for my problema…

    I have a DELL inspiron, brand new (bought it 3 months ago) and I have a problem with my keyboard (which came up yesterday)… everytime I hit CAPS LOCK to change between lower and uppercase , I can’t continue writing!! It kind of gets blocked, so I have to click in order to continue typing…

  110. pramod Reply

    i have a sony vaio laptop with windows vista in my laptop now suddenly i notice my shift key has stoped functioning. now yr suggestion of Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Accessibility Options is also not helping as i dont have accessibility options in my control panel kindly help pleaseeee……….

  111. vasko Reply

    when i press ctrl or shift key it’s like it toggles it or something like that and its like im still pressing it when im not actually and it realy anoys me…ive tryed pressing the two shft keys but it doesnt work…please reply to my E-mail and sorry for my english its not very good

  112. steve Reply

    i recently cleaned my laptop keyboard with the suction of my vacuum cleaner. now, my tab, shift, @, caps-lock, as well as ‘p’ and ‘1’ keys.
    how can i get them back? i followed yr directions for sticky keys and that didn’t work. i ressed 2 alha keys at once, and nothing changed. hel and thanks

  113. Jeff Reply

    This happened to me when I held down the right shift key longer than 8 seconds. The solution was easy: Hold down the left shift key for 8 seconds. I believe it has to do with filterkeys.

  114. Tim Reply

    Yeah, the sticky keys button doesnt turn it off for some reason. I had to resort to surfing the web for one definitive answer and that was to hold down both shift keys for a couple of second and the problem went away. WTG Microsoft! No single answer for 1 problem…and a possibly broken radio button!

  115. Ian Reply

    Thanks to Steve above, I had enabled, and thought I had disabled stickey keys with my right shift key, I took Steve’s advice and held down the Left Shift key for more than 8 secs, no message came up but it did disable the stickey key feature

  116. azourra Reply

    hello, i have a sony vaio laptop fs series, i put window 7 on it and the shift button doesn’t work anymore what shall i do in this case,
    thanks in advance for ur help

  117. Bill Reply

    YES!! I couldn’t type numbers. “123” was always “!@#”. Holding the left shift for more than 8 seconds gets everything back to normal. WHEW!!

  118. ghalib Reply

    i went on accessibilty option and corrected it as per instruction. no result. when i go on screen keyboard and click one shift, both shift keys are highlighted. used pressing method of shift keys, even it did not work. please help.

  119. kaylaanne Reply

    my shift key won’t press down. does this have to do with me downloading windows seven and how do i fix it

  120. Radha Reply

    Thanks Bill you helped me.
    By holding the left shift for more than 5 seconds got everything back to normal. But the thing with my computer was that my left shift was already broken, I didn’t know what to do!!! Then I went to Key Board on Screen and press the left shift more than 5 second, then everything went back to normal. :D thanks.

  121. Subhrajit Samal Reply

    I want to lock a key from my lenovo laptop,because key repeated automatically,kindly solve this problem

  122. abby Reply

    omygosh. thank you. it works perfectly now.youre a real lifesaver.

  123. Fiachra Reply

    Hi Leo. I followed your instructions but I think my problem is down to a different source. Sticky keys are not on, which I know because firstly, I followed your instructions and secondly, windows keeps asking me if I want to turn StickyKeys on. My laptop’s shift key just seems to be constantly switched on. I can’t type properly, my passwords aren’t being accepted because they’re being input in upper case. I just don’t know what to do. I’d reinstall windows but I don’t know if that will help. Please if you can help out, I’d be so grateful if you did. I’m a college student and this is taking a toll on my work

    Sounds like it might actually be the keyboard itself. Try an external keyboard and see if that has the same problem.


  124. Ray Reply

    Well, okay i hitted some key combinations
    now when i go to use my right shift key
    on numbers and some letters,it starts bringing up other [edited] like “Find” and “Help”..
    Basically.. right now my right shift is work as an alt key….

    Can someone help me fix it please?

  125. Saauul Reply

    I just have the same problem. Luckly I could solve it easily this way:
    When you get the window asking to click “OK”, “CANCEL” and “SETTINGS”, click on “SETTINGS” and uncheck “sticky keys” on the new window and voila!!!

  126. Doug Reply

    Thank you sir for saving my sanity. These were “default??” settings on my new laptop.

  127. Cian Reply

    I had the same problem, but “Use StickyKeys” was unchecked, so I couldn’t resolve it that way. Pressing my left key twice in quick succession seem to clear the problem away…

  128. KIM Reply


  129. Hayleyy Reply


  130. Simon Reply

    Thanks for saving my sanity, came close to throwing my computer out of the window!

  131. Sherri Reply

    By holding the left shift key for 8 seconds, it turned it off. I tried that after making the control panel changes suggested.

  132. Paul Walker Reply

    My problem is with the CAPS lock key not sounding in Windows XP although the Control Panel is set to make it happen in Accessibility Options—works dine in Windows 7, not in XP! I’ve done the Google search also, with no result.

  133. Mike Reply

    The left side of my right shift key doesn’t pop back up after I press it down after getting [edited] at vista and hammering on my keyboard, any help?

    New keyboard? I mean, I’m not really sure what else you might expect?


  134. shanebond Reply

    I followed your instructions and secondly, windows keeps asking me if I want to turn StickyKeys on. My laptop’s shift key just seems to be constantly switched on. I can’t type properly, my passwords aren’t being accepted because they’re being input in upper case. I just don’t know what to do. I’d reinstall windows but I don’t know if that will help.
    House Help Desk

  135. Bret Reply

    Hey, its really hard to survive even if its just one key not working.. if you need to get a replacement you could try out this company where i got my key fixed from few weeks back. Im very happy with their service

  136. Nic Houghton Reply

    My shift key has stopped working. I think its a physical problem. My temporary solution is to use the ‘Shift’key on the right of the keyboard. Most keyboards have two ‘shift’keys!

  137. norman Reply

    my capslock and shift key held on when i start my windows. (0s: windows 7 ultimate) i know you have answer for this. please help me.

  138. Rhazuko Reply

    i figured out my shift key problem, after resting my wrists firmly on my laptop for a long period of time, playing games and whatever, i realize my shift key is stuck, it had nothing to do with sticky keys, nor hold shift, but the underneath of my shift had been jammed due to the amount of pressure i had been putting on my laptop keyboard. in otherwords, in order to reverse this effect u have to pry the top half of your laptop upwards, this may help those of you with the same problem, searching for random solutions on the internet telling me my sticky keys was on or ly caps lock was on, really got me stressed and frusterated.

  139. Rhazuko Reply

    i didnt proof read, i dont mean to pry, literally but to unjam the top half give it some room up top so ur keys are not stuck underneath

  140. Pramod Kumar Reply

    Sir,when i working with my PC a option is showing on the screen that to set sticky key, filter key and toggle key frequently and all the key board function is jammed.kindly suggest to set the shift key in normal mode in window xp please.

  141. brianna Reply

    hi, i am having a big and very annoying problem with my shift buttons. they are the only buttons that will not work on my keyboard. and not being able to use shift, leads to not being able to write questionmarks, exclamation points and all the other symbols and signs in the top left corner of each number button.

    i went in on ‘control panel’ and looked for ‘accessibility options’ but quickly realized my computer doesn’t have that… so what am i suppose to do?

    i hate having to copy and paste ‘?’ and ‘!’ while f.ex. writing a letter… or chatting with someone, just because my stupid keyboard is on some sort of annoying setting…

    Please help!

  142. Kris Reply

    I had an issue with sticky keys in Windows 7. However now i hear an annoying typing sound with every single keystroke i make. I have messed around with all the settings and sometimes there is noise and sometimes not. I realized it happens when i am running a specific game. Well not the game but even anything related to the game such at the downloader. Any ideas where i begin to fix this?

  143. candice Reply

    can you please email me? my shift keys will not make a capital letter when i am typing. in order to make a capital letter i have to hit the cap lock button, make the letter, then unlock the cap lock button to continue typing. very annoying!!! yet the shift button is still making all the other symbols and punctuation marks! can’t figure it out, tried some suggestions in the comment sections and nothing is working. can you help?

    Sounds like a broken keyboard. I’d test a replacement (or plug in an external USB one if this is a laptop, just to check it out.)


  144. candice Reply

    I know have the left shift key working properly but the right shift key will not make a capital m or the symblos . I can only do them wth the left shift key. The right shift key is working for all other keys. I’ve checked the sticky key seetings, cleaned the keyboard, and have tried a lot of the suggestions posted on the comments section but i can’t get these last few keys to work! Ideas???

    Sounds like a problem with the keyboard itself. Borrow one to see, and if that works replace this one.


  145. anji Reply

    hi Leo
    im using laptop with vista os. my shift keys are not working. I checked the sticky keys and others u mentioned in your posts, but they are all ok. so, what is the problem with my keyboard. thanks.

  146. shannon Reply

    i have a problem >> for one my caps key is at opposite> for example right now my caps light is showing me that caps are on right now but theyre not> NOW THAT I PUSHED THE CAPS LOCK THE LIGHT SAYS THAT THEYRE NOT ON AND THEY ARE> another thing is my period button as you can see doesn”t work along with other ” : : ment to be a semicolon so pretty much my shift key >> and i did what your first post said to turn of sticky keys etc>
    last thing> whenever i use my mouse it highlights everything! as if i clicked and held the button down to highlight but i didn”t at all! please help me! also instead of opening a new tab

  147. Jc Reply

    hellow mr. leo Im having a problem with my rx-560 keyboard, it’s on auto shift mode I dont know how to fix this. I try holding both left shift and right shift but nothing happen also I try holding the shift for 8 secods and nothing appears on the screen. . PLEASE HELP ME . . .

  148. amira Reply

    i played harvest moon using the gba emulator and often i would use the shift+F1 option to save my game. but after playing and using the instant saving option for quite a while, a small window suddenly appears at the bottom and said something about the game have delayed in saving my progress. i thought it was nothing serious but after shutting down and re-starting my computer, i found out that both of my shift key were ‘pressed’.at first i didn’t know what went wrong when all letters i keyed in were all in capital letters, then i decided to check the keyboard using the accessibility option and that’s when i discovered the reason behind this annoyance. I suspected that it must have got something to do with registry. can this peculiarity rooted from missing and corrupted registries?

  149. Brenda Reply

    hi, I am having a problem using both of my shift keys, I have to hold down the shift key twice and type the letter twice for my letter to capitalize. The first time I press the shift key it does not capitalize.
    Example: kK bB
    I have already replaced the keyboard thinking that was the problem but I now think it must be a setting that was changed. Please help

  150. Crocdile Reply


    I had shift key problem and has been solved.

    I tries a key log software and thought that I had turned it off. But it was running in the background. I realized that it was running by accident. After I uninstalled it my shift key works fine now. the key logging software is Desktop Shark. In addition takes a lot of CPU’s time. I feel really bad about it.

    I would be happy if this could be of help to you who are experiencing shift key issues.

    Good luck


  151. Katrina Reply

    Hi, I recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite Pro and It’s been working perfectly for a few months, but a few days ago I turned the Laptop on and a few of the keys completely stopped working, for example whenever I try to press z nothing shows up. The 4 arrows have also stopped working. That seems to be all, I’ve tried cleaning under the keys, Turning Sticky Keys on and then off and I’ve turned the laptop off to see if that helps and It’s just playing up.

    If you know whats happened and how I could possible repair it, could you tell me. Many Thanks.

    You might see if that keyboard has a “Fn” key, or a Numlock or other modifier key that’s stuck. Otherwise it’s looking like a broken keyboard.


  152. Michiel Van Kets Reply


    something weird is going on with the shift function or button … or some nasty virus is doing it.

    right now it’s ok again and the typing is right, but when i’m typing it’s like something is pushing the shift button and then not; it would like this ; CaPItaL anD SMalL Text ALL SCrewEd up .>.

    is it a function, a VIRUs


  153. Gert Reply

    Dell E6410, both shift keys stopped working. No characters can be selected. i tried what was mentioned on the net and here but still faulty.

  154. surnam Reply

    Dell Latitude E6410, both shift keys stopped working. No characters can be selected. what should i do/ urgent reply, please///

    I’d start by trying a different keyboard – borrow and plug in a USB keyboard and see if the problem persists.


  155. Grog3471 Reply

    I tryed everything you said and I even looked at some of the user comments that have simular problems to mine.
    I had the beeping noises and everytime i clicked the sreen it highlighted everything, the zoom function on the mouse refreshed the page and the shift key was stuck. oh and the numberpad on the right side didnt work apart from the enter.
    oh it still dosnt.
    ^I switched off after turning off every stickykeys and stuff in the dialogue box, the keyboard works fine but cant seem to get the right side numbers to.. oh the beeping is still there. help meeeeeeeee

  156. SARA Reply


  157. Taeya Reply

    Press the start key, the four flag thingy next to alt, and fn. and type in, On-Screen keyboard. Then, if this is what i think it is, the “Shift” key should be a different color, then if it is, click the shift key. That’s what fixed mine!
    PS. this may not work…im only 12….

  158. Lisa Reply

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! IT WORKED!! oops I mean it worked! You’re awesome- most info on the net is crap but actually helped! :)

  159. Milena Reply

    Thank you so much! 12 or not, you just made my life so much better. kudos to you :)

  160. sonja Reply

    Help. It seems the keyboard filter keeps coming on while I am using Facebook. All I want to do is type a message to a friend. It is worse than a manual typewriter. You have to press really hard to get even one letter typed. I have tried to change the filter setting repeatedly. This is not happening elsewhere on my computer.


    Typing hard implies a physical problem with the keyboard. There are no filters or software settings that can be dealt with by typing harder. Try another keyboard.

  161. sonja Reply

    The keyboard is fine when I exit Facebook. This problem just appeared 3 days ago when accidentally holding the shift key down too long. I cancel the filter key and it just comes back on…..only when using Facebook. How do I get the filter key to stay off?

  162. ARUN KHALKHO Reply

    Thank you Sir…….!!! For your help because I am a new user and had never gone to any Computer Institute. I learned it by myself and with the help of internet.

  163. kia Reply

    hi admin, I have problem with right SHIFT keyword
    when I press board her right SHIFT key will be appearing
    CAPS LOCK word (ON / OFF)?
    that that make me surprised’
    in fact I I did not press board CAPS LOCK key’
    ok admin help answer ya

  164. Luke Reply


    My keyboard is acting as if the shift key is being held down. I cannot type any numbers. It’s basically the problem that has been answered, however, I have rebooted my computer and now I cannot re-enter my user, because my password has numbers in it. Since my shift key is ‘being held down’ I cant type these numbers. I would most appreciate a solution. Thank you very much.

    With Win 7, at least, you can access the accessibility options using a button that’s on the login screen.

  165. Guy Reply

    I have a problem with keyboard when I press shift + 3
    the pound sign does not appear instead it shows #

    Heh … the “#” is what some refer to here as a pound sign. I assume you mean the British Pound currency. You’ll need to go Control Panel, Region and Language and make sure things are set up properly for a UK configuration.

  166. adam smith Reply

    hello , when i press left shift+z it doesn’t works but when i press right shift +z it works i have checked that my left shift and right shift both works but for some specific keys … any solution ?

  167. Connie Reply

    That sounds like a keyboard problem. A good trouble shooting step would be to plug in another keyboard and see if that works.

    This article has more:
    Broken Keyboard

  168. Brenda Reply

    Awesome. Thanks!! This was the best, easy answer (I looked on Yahoo and some other site that came up on the Bing search list, but yours was the best answer.)

  169. louis Reply

    hello i am having a problem with my left shift key only it will not work with numbers at all it works perfectly fine with letters and such my right shift key works fine with everything its just the left it happend randomly when i was playing an online game and i noticed i could not use some of my abilities its really frustrating me.. thx!

  170. casper Reply

    hi i cant use either of my shift buttons since i hade to restore my emachines nav51 it was working before i reset it but i cant restore the shift key for some strange reason all my buttons work but the shift ones

  171. SUBHAN Reply


  172. Tommy Reply

    I have the same left Shift key problem. I enables by itself as if it was hold down at random. All accessibility options are off.
    Any ideas ?

  173. Mark Jacobs Reply

    There are a few possibilities. It could be a hardware problem. You might want to try a USB keyboard or another USB keyboard if you are already using one. Sometimes compressed air can help if something is stuck under the key. I have that problem my self. In my case it’s a defective finger :-) It sometimes accidentally hits the shift lock key.

  174. Lauren Reply

    When I turned on my laptop and started typing it would not type the letter p unless I hold down the fn key and then press p if I just press the p and “*” come up. What do I do. all my keys are all messed up. and some of the keys that have the different puncuations also don’t work they are mixed u*

    • Leo Reply

      Sounds like a broken keyboard to me. Try plugging in an external USB keyboard and see if that works properly.

  175. Fitzstephen Nanton Reply

    I have a toshiba laptop with windows 7 and everytime I’m typing and press the letter f on the keyboard it goes to the beginning of the sentance and continues my word at the beginning. I’ve tried touchfreeze, disableing pointer precision etc. and nothing seems to work. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Have you tried using a different keyboard. It might just be a broken keyboard.

  176. om Reply

    I have a problem with my laptop keyboard always pressing down the “\” key\\. i\ve completley\ removed th\e bu\tton from the\ keyboard (yes i completel\y\ broke it off), and i also uninstalled the driver. Sti\ll nothi\ng. Mu\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ st use on screen keyboard to be able to ty\pe an\\\\\ y\thi\ng . Any suggesions? Thank you.

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Have you tried plugging in a different keyboard? It sounds like a faulty keyboard to me.

  177. deepak Reply

    Hey my ctrl key have just stucked, sticky key is turned off, but still it is stucked, can anyone plz help me… it would be very helpful, because i am not able to play CS and whenever i open some folder it opens in a new tab.

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Sounds like it might be a faulty keyboard or maybe some dirt lodged under the Ctrl kry.

  178. Sunny Reply

    Pls what might be the cause of Hp system (Laptop) turn off automatically once u press the caps lock. i removed the entirely keyboard, plug external usb keyboard, the problems remains the same, i change the keyboard, the problem remains, i use on screen keyboard, the problem still remain, i reset the system to defaults, still the same, in fact i even formatted (reload) new operating system, still the same. I carefully checked, the keyboard is not touching the board, pls what is the solution to this particular problem? Please, anyone can be of help. Thanks

  179. soumya panda Reply

    sir, my laptop beeps continuously during start up, when i press shift and enter key it stops,. sometimes my mouse cursor is also not working and it automatically scrolls down but when i press shift key it starts working.what is the problem i cant understand. sir pls help

  180. Aureo d D Cunha Reply


    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Try turning your computer off and cleaning your keyboard. Use compressed air. You might have something stuck down in there.

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article. Seriously. You'd be shocked at how many people make comments that prove they didn't.
  • Comment only on the article. If you have a new, unrelated question start with the search box at the top of the page.
  • Don't post personal information. Email addresses, phone numbers and such will be removed.

VERY IMPORTANT: because of a rise in comment spam that's making it through our filters any comments that do not add to the discussion - typically off topic or content-free comments - run a very high risk of being flagged as spam and removed.

If you have a new question unrelated to the article above, ask it on the Ask Leo! ask-a-question page.