Keys on my computer keyboard are repeating

Computer keyboardIf your keyboard seems to be repeating one or more keys when you press them, it could be due to one of the reasons below.

Spilled liquid or food

If food or liquid has ever been spilled into the keyboard, it can cause the keys to stick and be repeated. Spilled liquid can also cause the circuit board in the keyboard to short out, causing keys to be repeated. It can be worth trying to use canned air and blowing out any food material and dry out any spilled liquid, to see if that fixes the repeating keys issue. However, food and some liquids may leave behind a sticky residue, which could cause they keys to continue sticking and repeating.

Loose or bad connection

Make sure the connection between the keyboard and computer is not loose by disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard. When disconnecting keep the below suggestions in mind.

  • When disconnecting make sure nothing is connected between the keyboard and the computer. Keyloggers and other devices may cause keys to repeat.
  • If your keyboard is a PS/2 connection keyboard make sure to shutdown the computer before disconnecting and reconnecting.
  • If you're using a USB keyboard, make sure it is directly connected to the computer and not a USB hub.

Sticking keys

As keyboards get used and wear down over time, some of the keys can begin to stick. Sometimes it's a physical sticking, where the keys don't release back to their normal position after you press them. This can cause the keyboard to repeat those keys. Other times the keys may release back to their normal position, but the circuit board in the keyboard may be experiencing a sort of sticking as well, causing the keys to be repeated.

Software bug or glitch

A software program may have a bug or glitch that is causing one or more keys to repeat. It may not be a fault of the keyboard, but rather the software's receiving and interpretation of the inputs from the keyboard. Restarting the computer may resolve this issue. If you continue to experience the problem in the same program make sure you have all the latest updates for that program.

The above reasons are the most common causes of keys being repeated. It's also possible the keyboard is just old and no longer functioning correctly. If the above suggestions did not resolve the issue or the sticking keys are being caused by spilled food or liquid we suggest replacing the keyboard. Keyboards are rather inexpensive and considered a throw-away device, so it's not likely worth trying to find a computer repair shop to fix it.

Additional information

  • See our keyboard and keys definitions for further information and related links on these terms.