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Windows XP Slow Keyboard Response Cause

Have you experienced slow keyboard response? The time between key strokes and screen output, is extremely slow, even in some simple task like word processing. You type some five letters ahead of what’s shown on the screen.

There are a number of cause for this:

  • accidentally turned on windows “Sticky Keys” feature
  • keyboard auto-repeat delay and rate misconfiguration
  • rogue process running
  • virus/worm/spy bot infection
  • computer overheating

The list could go further but those are the common ones. If you have some experience, maybe you could share some of the reasons too.

68 Responses to “Windows XP Slow Keyboard Response Cause”

  1. Amichai Says:

    Maybe this helps someone:
    from time to time, my keyboard gets slower (I use windows XP). None of the above reasons seems to be at my case. All is configured fine at my computer. The solution I found is to go to the control panel, keyboard, move the repeat delay to long and short, and click on the OK.
    Than the keyboard slowness is solved (until the next time ;-).

  2. Steve Says:

    Thanks Amichai that did indeed solve my problem.

  3. tony Says:

    hi amichai,
    thanks.. yes. that’s keyboard auto-repeat delay..
    so the pointer should be set to the following:
    Repeat delay = Short
    Repeat rate = Fast

  4. efthren Says:

    i think i tried like 20 “solutions” i found on the internet,including these ones and still my keyboard sucks

  5. mimi Says:

    same problem. but ur tip didnt help.

  6. British Peter Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Using the F1 for help ask about Sticky keys, then go to the Filter Keys option!

    You may find someone has turned this on. If so it slows down the input rate to almost zero.

    best of, Peter…

  7. Jeff K Says:

    Maybe you have a data logger.
    Unplug the internet and try to type.
    If it speeds up and works ok, guess what?
    Look for Nurech using spybot…….

  8. paulo Says:

    i have the same problam but only in games can some1 help me?

  9. Nicole Says:

    hey you guys, in msconfig ati hotkey poller uitschakelen. OR if it isnt there, then turn off PCM services (cyberlink), Work fine.

  10. brian Says:

    peter, your my hero, never thought about the filter keys! worked great. thank you!

  11. CrmD Says:

    Just in case. I had the same problem with my keyborad and all the above did not work for me. After checking keyboard/HDD/Ram failure, IRQ conflicts, Fresh Widows install, I have finally understood what Nicole tried to say. Here is my system:

    Dell Latitude 131L;
    Windows XP SP3;
    Dual core AMD Turion 1.83 Ghz;
    1.5 GB RAM;
    160 GB HDD;
    ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 with CCC and all.

    This was were the problem lied. After installing/updating the graphic drivers from ATI, check for “Ati2evxx.exe”. In: Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services. the ATI Hotkey Poller may be set to run. Go to Properties and disable it; reboot the system. I did not have any Cyberlink s/w and this service was not showing in msconfig, but it is listed in the services list.

    Now my system is back to normal and I’m really glad not to be bothered about it anymore, so irritating.

  12. Dane Says:

    CrmD, you are da man! This was racking my brain and now it is fixed. Thanks so much.

  13. mindy Says:

    bless you… my god, it’s taken me over a week of “professional service” – and I finally find the answer with a google search. I very much appreciate those of you who share your expertise!

  14. Carl Says:

    My problem is similar. I was away for 4 days, my laptop was off during my absence. I booted up when I got home and found that ANY key on the keyboard is so slow as to be near non-responsive. If a key is depressed for about 3 seconds, it will register, then you can move on to your next key. Ideas????

  15. Janice Says:

    Wow! Thank you! I have been trying to solve this problem for months. Thank you Nicole, and then CrmD for translating what Nicole said.

  16. Ryan Says:


    Try what British Peter said:

    go to control panel, then accessibility options, and then disable “filter keys.”

    That solved it for me, at least!

  17. jb1228 Says:


    Thank You Thank You, nothing else would work but your fix DID IT!

  18. Adrian Hammle Says:

    Thanks CRMD! you ARE the man!

  19. nh Says:

    Thank you so much nicole and all of you, deactivating the ati hotkey solved my problem (I am using dell inspiron/xp) I am so pleased to write these few lines.
    Tx again

  20. kim Says:

    I’ve tried all of the above and my keys are so slow I don’t use my computer much anymore. I’ve run my virus scan as well. Any other suggestions?

  21. kim Says:

    Just to update you all – I found some help through another website. It suggested that it could be the battery. I knew I had a dead battery, but I was using the outlet so I didn’t feel the need to replace the battery. I took out the battery and my problem is fixed.

  22. A R Johnson Says:

    FYI – disabling the ATI Hot Keys service did it for me as well. If you own a dell with this issue, look there first, as ATI is a Dell favorite. Thanks to those who contributed.

    Also, Kim – that makes sense as even when your notebook is plugged into an outlet it is still running from battery (hence the ability to remove it from wall power without a hiccup in power supply), so if the battery is waning and the voltage drops, things just wont run right (to put it simply).

  23. deb Says:

    Thanks Kim
    It WORKS!!!
    You’re a GEM

  24. Becca Says:

    I tried nearly everything on this page. Too bad your post is near the bottom! I knew my battery was having issues, but I had no idea it was causing my keyboard issues. I removed the battery and – voila! I’m typing like a pro on my Dell laptop again!

  25. Lidgeu Says:

    Since MONTHS, I tried to solve that problem too.
    For me, it was the CMD and Nicole solution that works.
    Many, many thanks !!!

    I’m keeping the Kim’s battery trick in mind : mine (battery, of course) is slowly getting exhausted ;o)

  26. Womble Says:

    Nice one Kim – that worked for me too. This web site has been FAB.

  27. Sender Says:

    Nicloe and Crmd
    Thank you, I tried all kinds of things to make this work, and this was the first website I tied and it worked. Thank you

  28. Don Says:

    I have been trying for over a month to fix this problem on my Dell Laptop and one google search was the answer.

  29. Tom Says:

    I borrowed a friend’s Dell Vostro 1000 because my XPS M1330 was in the shop. (Never buy a Dell again but that’s another story).

    Here’s the catch. The Dell Vostro with Windows XP was sooooo slow. Anything I hit on the keyboard would take 10 seconds per key response virtually rendering it unusuable. I deleted almost every program. Reinstalled Windows XP 6 times. Spyware. Antivirus. Defrag. Norton. Nothing worked.

    Then I came across this post by CRMD saying to disable the ATI Hotkey Poller and ….. viola!

    That damn disable trick worked like a charm.

    I am sooo grateful. I now have a functioning computer.

    Thanks again.

  30. Matt Says:

    Thank you Crmd!!! Not sure how in the world you discovered that but it did the trick!

  31. Sateesh Says:

    Thanks a lot, really working fine, thx ryan.

  32. Val Says:

    None of the above worked for me. I’ll have made a cup of tea before this prints out and I can submit it.

  33. drbob Says:

    Thanks British Peter, sure enough, filter keys was the culprit. Owner of PC is an elderly gentleman with helpful children who played around with accessibility options for him.

  34. Rissa Says:

    Carl, ur a genius!

  35. Owen Says:

    I’m having a similar problem to all these. It’s wierd. One minute my typing will be fine and then it slows down and speeds back up again. It was working fine earlier today then suddenly started doing this.

    I’ve tried taking out my battery, looking for the ATI thing, virus scans, the lot and nothing is working. It keeps switching between typing fine then delayed.

    Any suggestions?

  36. Paul Says:

    Ditto Owen, really bizarre since my comp has worked fine for around 2 years, now is quietly dying it seem, don’t have an ati have nVidia, but is a dell laptop, any got any pointers?

  37. Kevin Says:

    Yes, same here Owen. It started just yesterday and I have not found a solution here…

  38. Craig Says:

    I had the problem on my dell -major delay with keyboard response times. This problem started very acutely today. Turns out, it was the battery (a Dell Battery!). For the sake of completenes, during the past 6-12 months when i boot up my computer i got a message indicating that the system could not recognize the battery and would not be able to charge it. odd and frustrating. btw, i think dells are crap.

  39. Tim Says:

    With Windows Vista and Windows 7, there is a bug in the keyboard driver, especially if you use a PS/2 keyboard. See this blog for details:

  40. charm Says:

    well what the hell now this works like a charm

  41. Brian Says:

    Experienced this problem twice but only when I enter data into my customised IGoogle home page search box! I cured it the 1st time by unchecking the “display seconds” option on my world clocks gadget.
    After a recent system rebuild, I got the same problem but this time, getting rid of the second hands did not cure it so I deleted the the world clocks gadget entirely and this cured it.
    It’s a bit annoying not to have this gadget on my IGoogle home page as I have relations in Oz and Canada.

  42. Kenneth Says:

    Thank you so much for the tips about Ati Hotkey Poller. You made my day πŸ™‚

  43. Madhur Says:

    I had a lag between my key strokes and display on the screen on a Windows XP OS on my laptop. Odd thing was the lag seemed to be inconsistent, it appeared to be filling a buffer and emptying it and so display varied from normal key stroke to display response and heavily delayed response. Was fearful that it was some kind of key tracker virus. But online scanners did not find anything. After reading this log and trying out the couple tips on the ATI hotkey poller and keyboard I was able to fix the issue.

    Many thanks to all who have spent time to post their problems and to those who suggested these solutions.

  44. Will T Says:

    WORKING AGAIN – – I tried all of the mentioned fixes and none worked. I have an ATI graphics card – I just downloaded the latest version of the Catalyst Software Suite (10.2) and my keyboard is finally working fine again. Click “Start”, “All Programs”, Open the CCC (Catalyst Control Center) and click “help”. Click “Check for Driver updates”. Enter your system and graphics card information (in the CCC window on the lefthand side, you can click Information Center to get this info easily). Anyway, I downloaded the software (it automatically uninstalled the old version during the process), rebooted, and the computer is working fine again. Thanks to all for your repairs and fixes. Although I tried them all and none worked for me, I see that several folks were helped.

  45. Peter Says:

    A friend of mine had the slow keyboard issue at a client. Tried everything including to move the user to a new laptop. He then phoned me.

    I googled this page and over the phone we tried everything on this page except the battery thing but to no avail.

    In the end I mentioned the battery and he informed me that he did transfer the battery from the old laptop to the new one. He then removed the batter and voila!
    No more slow keyboard…

  46. Mohit Says:

    Thanks a lot Ryan, Disabling Filter key worked out….thanks a million…

  47. CarlosLR Says:

    If you guys have some key logger, just make sure you clear the log frequently, I had that same problem, just cleared the log an that’s it.

    BTW, thanks to everyone!

  48. Nick Says:

    CmD, you are awesome.

    Desktop support pays my bills and I was a bit stumped by the issue in till I read over your comment. Thanks for saving me a bunch of trouble shooting time.

    The issue occurred on a Dell Vostro 1000, hopefully the spider will pick up on that.

  49. joaquin Says:

    toshiba nb100 with the same problem, but only when typing in hotmail. word, excel and other applications typing OK.
    is it a network problem? i found that it gets worse when i travel to europe.
    pls help!!! i’m about to buy a new netbook πŸ™

  50. Tuna Says:

    I am having hp pavillion dv2000 laptop,after boot the laptop when i login my accounts with my password, the key board typing speed is good, but whenever i am typing in any word file,notepad its getting very slow
    means after 5 second one letter typing,still i user one external usb keyboard there also same problem,please suggest me how to resolve this problem.

    Thank you so much in Advance.

  51. Chester Says:

    My Dell XPS M1210 had worked fine for more than 4 years until last week then severe keyboard lag appeared out of nowhere.

    None of the suggested fixes worked for me then I found a reference to Dell Media Direct in another forum.

    Disabled “Instant Office” in Media Direct and problem solved.

    If you have a Dell with Media Direct, I suggest you try this fix. Just go to Media Direct settings and disable Instant Office (I have no idea what this app does).

  52. SkyEye Says:

    Thanks Nicole ! It helped me big time!

  53. Reddy Says:

    Thanks you Peter British πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  54. dany Says:

    Hi,my problem is only in games,i ve tried all of that but in vain.any other suggetsions?thanks

  55. Jo Says:

    Thanks again for the tip for disabling the ATI Hotkey Poller. I was also using a Dell and had a fresh installation of XP, but no idea why the text input was crawling. It’s now back to a real computer!

  56. Racker Says:


    Great! Now why didn’t I come to that solution myself?? :/ Thx; all is working normally again!

  57. N8s Says:

    thanks everyone! in my case it was the “Filter keys” that was enabled in the accessibility options. After I unticked the check box, my keyboard is ok.

  58. Sleepwalker Says:

    Carl & Ryan…Thank you SO F’ing much….I have been ripping my hair out for 2 days…I’m not one for reading ‘updates’ or help and you two saved my life….Seriously….I couldn’t find a suicide hotline number and my keyboard wouldn’t work….You guys did the trick!! god bless and have a happy life!!! thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! all my love…..

  59. Richard Poutrat Says:

    Thanks very much Cmd for share your solution, I read many solution but no one solve the problem until I tried

    This was were the problem lied. After installing/updating the graphic drivers from ATI, check for β€œAti2evxx.exe”. In: Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services. the ATI Hotkey Poller may be set to run. Go to Properties and disable it; reboot the system. I did not have any Cyberlink s/w and this service was not showing in msconfig, but it is listed in the services list.

    Work for me thanks

  60. Barbara Kraemer Says:

    Thank you Peter British

  61. jim Says:

    Kim thanks so much My battery has been dead for years and i 2 plug in. everything had worked fine up until about 4 days ago. took out the battery and everything is back the same.
    Thanks so much I play online games so the slow keyboard was getting me killed

  62. matt Says:

    @ Ryan Says:
    Thank you so much, I have been struggling to figure out why my keyboard was so unresponsive for the last week and a half. My daughter got to it and did who knows what to it. But going to the accessibility options and turning off the filter keys worked great. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Kid Says:

    I unplug the keyboard and plug it again. worked

  64. beach004 Says:

    A related question (I think!) Last two days, there’s been a lag between typing and appearing on the monitor–I’d get three or four letters behind. My PC (Windows XP) had not been rebooted in several days or more, so I did so; and it appears the problem went away. My question: Can this happen because all the memory is in some sense “used up” by what we used to call TSR programs? I don’t do games; had only Firefox, OE, and Pando opened at the time. As you can tell, I am anything but a power user!

  65. atunam Says:

    Thank you, Ryan. I am a techo-peasant of the pariah class and you gave me the directions that allowed even me to solve the issues.


  66. Eddy Says:

    Lots of great options, the filter key on in accessablilty/keyboard was my issue, so many thanks British Mike.

  67. jiang Says:

    kim’s suggestion at October 19th, 2009 at 7:26 am worked for me. I knew my battery was dead and I just changed it and my keyboard now works as normal. Thanks!

  68. topmrwm Says:

    CrmD knows what he is talking about! it fixed my problem. Thank you!!!!!

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