Turn Off the Sticky Keys Warning on Windows PCs

By Dan Gookin

A keyboard problem you may need to troubleshoot is the Sticky Keys warning that pops up when Shift is pressed 5 times in a row. Some video games use the Shift key as an action key, so learning to undo the Sticky Keys warning can come in handy.


Sticky Keys is one of the Windows accessibility features, designed for folks who have trouble using a computer keyboard. The feature is activated whenever you press the Shift key five times in a row. It can be unexpected and startling, but it can be switched off.

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, heed these steps:

  1. Click the link Go to the Ease of Access Center to Disable the Keyboard Shortcut.

    If you already dismissed the Sticky Keys window, follow these substeps:

    1. Open the Control Panel’s Ease of Access Center.

    2. Click the link Change How Your Keyboard Works.

    3. Click the link Set Up Sticky Keys.

  2. Remove the check mark by the option Turn On Sticky Keys When SHIFT Is Pressed Five Times.

  3. Click the Save button.

  4. Close the window.

In Windows XP, follow these steps to disable the Sticky Keys warning:

  1. Click the Settings button in the Sticky Keys dialog box.

    If you banished the Sticky Keys dialog box, open the Control Panel’s Accessibility Options icon. Click the Keyboard tab (if necessary) in the Accessibility Options dialog box.

  2. Click the Settings button in the StickyKeys area.

  3. Remove the check mark by the option Use Shortcut.

  4. Click the OK button and then click OK to dismiss the Accessibility Options dialog box. (Optional) Close the Control Panel window.

Sticky Keys helps people use a computer keyboard with only one hand, but it would be sweet if Microsoft turned it off as opposed to leaving it on and having it shock people unexpectedly.