Windows, like other operating systems, makes allowance for people with factors keeping them from using their computer in the manner most others do. One example of this is the keyboard. For people with little or no typing abilities, or those with disabilities which affect their typing, the solution is something called Sticky Keys.
Sticky Keys come in handy when attempting to type a keyboard combination, such as Control-Shift-n to create a new folder. When typing the combination, it’s necessary to hold down both the Control and Shift keys simultaneously while typing the “n” key in order for the combination to work. If someone has difficulty hitting multiple keys at once, this can be a problem.
To turn on Sticky Keys, one only needs to hit either Shift key five times in a row. If this is done, you’ll see the following window.
Similarly, if you hold down the right Shift key for eight seconds, you’ll see this window, which offers to turn on the Filter Keys service.
Filter keys are a way to “filter” out accidental touches, such as when a key is hit twice in a row, the second time by accident. Again, this is a nice feature to offer, but many, if not most, will not need it. If you look at the two images above, you’ll see “Go to the Ease of Access Center to disable the keyboard shortcut” links on both. If clicked, you’ll come to control panel windows where you can configure either (a different window for Sticky and Filter Keys).
But what if you simply dismiss the window? How do you reach the settings then? As it turns out, there are a couple other ways (besides hitting either Shift key five times or holding down the right Shift key for eight seconds).
First, click the Start Orb, then the Control Panel link in the Start Menu.
If your Control Panel is in Icon view, click the Ease of Access link.
If your Control Panel is in Category view, you’ll first need to click the Ease of Access link to reach that category.
Now click the “Change how your keyboard works” link.
When this window loads, you should see the following section, where you can turn off or on both Sticky Keys and Filter Keys (as well as Toggle keys for laptop users needing a keypad).
However, simply unticking the appropriate checkboxes will not stop the windows from popping up, offering to turn on the appropriate feature, whenever a shift key is triggered (by being hit five times or held down for eight seconds. For that, you’ll need to use the “Set up Sticky Keys” and “Set up Filter Keys” links as seen in the image above.
On the Sticky Keys configuration window, under the Keyboard Shortcut heading, simply untick the option to “Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times,” as shown below, and no window will appear if Shift is pressed five times.
Similarly, in the Filter Keys configuration window, again under the Keyboard Shortcut heading, make sure the first option is unticked, as shown below, to ensure no window appears should the right Shift key be held down for eight seconds.
And that’s pretty much it! None of the changes made in this article will keep you from turning on Sticky Keys or Filter Keys at a later date. It will, however, force you do turn on those features via the Control Panel, and not (potentially accidentally), by hitting your keyboard too many times, or for too long.