Oops! 10 Keyboard Shortcuts Users Keep Hitting by Mistake

Ben Stegner Updated 14-12-2019

Have you ever had something weird happen to your computer, seemingly out of nowhere? Suddenly, your display turns on its side, you can’t type correctly, or an annoying dialog box keeps popping up.


Chances are that you’ve hit a keyboard shortcut by accident. Here’s a guide to several common keyboard shortcuts you can mistakenly activate, and how to fix them.

1. My Display Is Flipped!

Windows Rotated Screen

One of the most common keyboard goofs results in your computer’s display rotating 90 degrees in some direction. This means you have to deal with irregular mouse movement, which seemingly prevents you from using your computer as normal.

Thankfully, the key combination to fix this is basically the same as what triggers it. Use Ctrl + Alt + Arrow keys to re-align your display. Pressing the Up arrow should set it back to normal.

Note that this shortcut typically only works on displays using Intel integrated graphics. If your Windows screen turns sideways and the above shortcut does nothing, head to Settings > System > Display. Scroll down until you find Scale and layout, then set Orientation to Landscape.


Windows 10 Screen Orientation

2. This Website Says My Password Is Wrong!

Google Account Caps Lock On

Sometimes you’ll type your password for a website several times but see that it’s still incorrect. During your repeated attempts, you’re sure that you typed it out correctly. What’s the problem?

Chances are that you accidentally hit the Caps Lock key. The key above your left Shift key makes all characters you type uppercase, which causes you to enter your password incorrectly. Double-check if Caps Lock is on (most keyboard have a light for it) and try again.


Some websites will let you know if Caps Lock is on. The above screenshot is from Microsoft Edge, which also does this. Regardless, this is a frustrating oversight that’s easily fixed.

3. My Keyboard Won’t Type Numbers!

Num Lock Keyboard Light
Image Credit: Orin Zebest/Flickr

This is another Lock key mishap. The Num Lock key forces the number pad (present on almost all desktop keyboards, and many laptop keyboards) to type numbers.

If you have Num Lock turned off, the number pad keys will function as arrow keys, the Home and End keys, and similar. The reverse problem can also occur on some laptop keyboards that don’t have a number pad. On those, enabling Num Lock will cause some regular keys to type numbers instead.


If your keyboard has one, make sure the Num Lock light is on before you start typing numbers. On some laptops, you might need to hold the Function key to toggle Num Lock.

4. My Display Changes Size on Its Own!

Wikipedia Zoomed Out

Seeing your current window quickly zoom in or out? You’re not going crazy; this is another useful shortcut that’s easy to activate by mistake. Holding Ctrl and scrolling your mouse wheel is a shortcut common for many apps that zooms in and out.

This is quite handy if a web page is too small for you to see, or if you want to fit more information on the screen. But next time your display zooms in or out all over the place, check your Ctrl keys. One of them could be stuck, which results in the zoom when you scroll your mouse wheel.


To quick reset to 100% zoom, just press Ctrl + 0.

5. The Arrow Keys Scroll My Excel Spreadsheet!

We’ve so far looked at two issues that involve the Lock keys on your keyboard; this one completes the trio. Scroll Lock is rarely used on modern systems; because of this, one of its few actual uses can trip people up.

By default in Microsoft Excel, pressing the arrow keys moves the current cell selection. But with Scroll Lock enabled, the arrow keys will scroll the entire screen around instead.

Which behavior you prefer is up to you. But if you run into this issue, check the Scroll Lock light on your keyboard to see if you’re accidentally enabled it. Check out more useful keys you can add to your keyboard 4 Keys Missing From Your Keyboard and How to Add Them Do you have keys on your keyboard that you haven't touched for weeks? Here's how to re-purpose those to unlock more functionality right under your fingers. Read More if this one makes you scratch your head.

6. Typing Erases the Next Letter!

Insert Key

Normally, typing simply inserts the new text next to what’s already there. But sometimes you’ll find that typing erases the text in front of it. This is the fault of the Insert key on your keyboard.

Hitting this switches between Insert and Overwrite modes. The former is what you’re probably familiar with; the the latter causes entered text to erase what’s on the page. Overwrite mode often makes your cursor into a highlighted box around the current character.

Simply tap Insert to change this. If you often do this by mistake, you might want to look into remapping your keyboard layout Missing A Key? How To Remap & Fix Your Keyboard Layout Whether you're missing a key on your keyboard or just want to improve your productivity, remapping can be extremely useful. We'll show you how. Read More to get rid of the Insert key.

7. My Touchpad Won’t Work!

Laptop Touchpad

While there are many potential causes for a laptop touchpad not working, one of them is the keyboard’s fault. Most laptops have a Fn key that performs additional functions when combined with other keys. These include adjusting brightness, controlling media, and similar.

However, a lot of keyboards have a button that disables the touchpad. The exact key depends on your laptop model, but it’s often one of the F keys at the top of your keyboard. It’s easy to hit by mistake, so if you suddenly find your touchpad stops working, press that key and see if it’s fixed.

8. I Can’t Exit the Current Screen!

Chrome Full Screen

If you find that the current app fills your whole screen and certain control elements (like your browser’s address bar) have disappeared, you’ve probably entered full-screen mode by mistake. In many apps, you can switch to this by pressing F11.

Next time you find yourself stuck in an app, give this a try.

9. Nothing Is Working Right and I Hear Beeping!

Windows Sticky Keys Dialog

If you’re experiencing complete chaos with your keyboard, such as random text highlighting, windows minimizing, and lots of beeping, you’ve probably accidentally activated a feature called Sticky Keys. Windows has many accessibility features that are vital to people who need them but can cause problems for other users.

Sticky Keys is one such feature; it allows you to use shortcuts that require the Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and Win keys by pressing them one at a time. For instance, instead of hitting Ctrl + Alt + Del all at once, you can press them in succession.

Pressing Shift five times in a row brings up the Sticky Keys dialog box. If you say Yes to its prompt, you’ll enable it. This is easy to do by mistake. To disable Sticky Keys, just press Shift five times in a row again, or press any two of the modifier keys at the same time. You’ll hear a beep to confirm the action.

How to Turn Off Sticky Keys in Windows 10

If you don’t need Sticky Keys, it’s a good idea to disable this shortcut. Head to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and under Use Sticky Keys, uncheck the Allow the shortcut key to start Sticky Keys box.

Windows Sticky Keys Options

While you’re here, you may want to disable the shortcut for Toggle Keys too, as it can cause similar issues.

10. My Keyboard Still Won’t Type Correctly!

In this guide, we’ve mainly covered specific keyboard shortcuts that trigger unwanted behavior. However, your keyboard can misbehave for several reasons. Discussing every possibility is beyond the scope of this article, but here are a few general tips:

  • Make sure you haven’t selected the wrong keyboard layout or language. If you have more than one enabled, use Win + Space to cycle between them. Remove any languages you don’t need (visit Settings > Time & language > Language) to reduce potential issues.
  • Confirm that you don’t have a key physically stuck. A bit of dust or an old keyboard could result in a jammed key.
  • Reboot your computer. It could be a temporary glitch that’s simple to clear up.

See our guide to fixing a laptop keyboard that’s not working Laptop Keyboard Not Working? 4 Tips to Fix It Your laptop keyboard not working? Try these tips to pinpoint and fix the issue before you think of replacing the entire keyboard. Read More for more help. This covers important troubleshooting tips like reinstalling the keyboard driver.

Your Keyboard Is a Friend, Not an Enemy

As it turns out, your keyboard is working fine after all. Now you know how to stop several annoying behaviors. And with all this talk of accidental shortcuts, you might think that your keyboard is out to get you. But that’s far from the case.

After you’ve learned to recognize, avoid, and correct these mistaken shortcuts, look at the wealth of handy Windows keyboard shortcuts Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts can save you hours of time. Master the universal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work. Read More you can master.

Related topics: Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts, Troubleshooting, Windows Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Drake
    June 28, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Thanks! Number six has to be the dumbest hotkey ever. I doubt anyone will ever need to rewrite over characters like that, the backspace works just as well.

  2. Lorie
    April 16, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    I have a problem, when I tap the Google recorder mic to record my voice, for texting etc. Sound cue suddenly is so low, I can't tell when it's ready to record. Not sure how that suddenly happened

  3. ragged-gothic
    November 10, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Thank you for this page. I've been going crazy the last couple of hours because of the Fn (function key) on my laptop. Normally, I use this in conjunction with the ALT key in order to access special punctuation, accented characters, symbols and the like. Tonight, it started acting strangely. I couldn't get the Em dash I wanted, instead all I could do was to change the keyboard from typing digits (as in num lock on) back to typing letters, but I couldn't get the Fn + ALT combination to work. After reading your article, I guessed the problem might be with the scroll lock and num lock keys, which, on my HP laptop, are (in)conveniently located on the same physical key and right next to the pause key which I use a lot when playing computer games. Somehow I managed to change BOTH the scroll lock and num lock settings at one so that I couldn't get the Fn number pad to work like it should. By drawing attention to problems with both the num lock and scroll lock, you lead me to the problem and, after a little experimentation the solution by implementing the correct combination of scroll and num lock. I probably changed the setting inadvertently while repeatedly pausing a game with the adjacent pause key. :/ Thanks again.
    Also the tip about the keyboard language, too: I find that my keyboard language sometimes seems to change spontaneously, so I must be making a variation of the ALT+SHIFT error you reference. In my case I must be hitting ALT+SHIFT by accident when trying to do something else, and thereby changing the language on the keyboard. I usually discover this by typing a "?" and getting a "É", instead.

  4. KATHY
    August 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I had obviously hit the sticky keys combo but didn't know it. Every time I pressed a key there was a tapping in the lamp across the room and no letters would show up on monitor. I finally looked at the task bar icons and there was the note that the sticky keys were on. So I just clicked that and turned it off. But it was really weird that every time I punched a key the lamp would click or tap and my keyboard and mouse are both wireless.

  5. Marcurios
    July 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Don't forget CTRL-Shift, it's a pain in the ass like nothing else..

  6. WingedCat
    July 23, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I was watching a show on a website ive been using for a couple days (long show) when I woke up today and went back to it and hit "next" instead of going to the page with the next episode, it auto downloaded the website. I had to click open on the download to load the next page. I opened a new tab and was about to search for answers when I noticed my keyboard wasn't being recognized by the search bar and was instead opening all sorts of menu's. I restarted my laptop and it seemed to fix it, I think. My keyboard is being recognized.

    instead of a url I was seeing a file destination from the download and regular webpages wouldn't open when clicked on. I am still confused. would like to know how to fix this if it happens again.

  7. Ziana
    July 15, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you so much the shift key 5 times fixed my problem. I wished I'd found this article before doing system restores, and uninstalling and reinstalling keyboard device drivers.

  8. Carys
    June 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    My cat stomped on my keyboard and turned al the apps from the start menu as very large icons and all my usual desktop shortcuts vanished. The solution was to click on the notifications icon next to the clock and turn tablet mode off. Clever moggy had me stumped for ages which is how I came to find this web page. Fantastic and thank you for a great job!

  9. Sylvia
    April 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I would like to know what key it is that I accidently touch and everything I've written gets wiped out. Drives me nuts. Finished a long email and have no idea what key got touched but I lost everything. Happens too many times.

    • Anita
      November 25, 2017 at 4:37 am

      That happens to me too! I have not yet figured it out. But if I know I have to type something long in an email, I now type it into Word first, saving as I go. When done, I copy and paste the content into the email. So frustrating.

    • Belinda
      May 9, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      This happens to me when I accidentally hit CTRL A then the space bar. So irritating! Haven't figured out how to disable this yet.

  10. Denise
    February 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I use a Macbook Air and am a touch typist so I don't usually need to look at my keys and I can type very fast.
    My keyboard has some odd behavior when typing text in email or text doc. The center cluster of letters R, B, I perhaps Y - When my fingers are flying in an email or text doc. suddenly the insertion point/cursor jumps to the top of the previously typed word. I think it is [the'ination'*]JUST HAPPENED
    quick, nearly simultaneous comb* (the cursor jumped to [the] above after B, I - in the word combination and moved above [*]. I tested typing this combination a few times and it didn't do it again. Maybe it is the autocorrect - I will turn that off and test. (Someone suggested an inadvertent touchpad which I have been careful to rule out).

    I have been trying to ignore it and lately making a mental note of when and why. Seems the center of the keyboard is mapped to some strange move. Any suggestions appreciated.

    I will try another user account to see if it follows.

  11. Denise
    February 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the great tips and the screenshots are my top tip for any support!

    I use a Macbook Air and am a touch typist so I don't usually need to look at my keys and I can type very fast.
    My keyboard has some odd behavior when typing text in email or text doc. The center cluster of letters R, B, I perhaps Y - When my fingers are flying in an email or text doc. suddenly the insertion point/cursor jumps to the top of the previously typed word. I think it is [the'ination'*]JUST HAPPENED!
    quick, nearly simultaneous comb* (the cursor jumped to [the] above after rapid B, I - in the word combination! It does not happen again - I tested typing this combination a few times just now and it didn't do it. Maybe it is the autocorrect - I will turn that off and test. (Someone suggested an inadvertent finger on touchpad which I have been careful to rule out).

    I have been trying to ignore it and lately making a mental note of when and why. Seems the center of the keyboard is mapped to some strange move. Any suggestions appreciated.

    I will try another user account profile to see if it follows.

  12. Ruthie
    February 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I just bought this computer it was working when I closed it up today my letters will not function my numbers and symbols are OK what is the function key to get the letters to work?

  13. kat unk
    February 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    My cat disabled my enter key completely. I spent a few hours trying to find out how to re-enable it. Turns out I needed to hold down the num lock key for 5 seconds.

  14. madness
    January 27, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I was working diligently, and while compiling a program I hit a combination of keys on my Windows 7 machine and now I have this red rectangle following my cursor around. Now I 've stopped working to find out what the heck this is and to get rid of it. It's a priority now, but shouldn't be! It's not zooming, just a semitransparent rectangle, then when I get near the edges of the rectangle with my mouse pointer, it moves in the direction I'm closest to. WTF?! It's mad!

  15. christine
    January 18, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I am typing on my laptop and then out of the blue my keyboard is not working. I can hit enter but cannot type anything. I have to stop close out of everything and restart my computer to get back the keyboard. What am I doing!!

  16. Quila Rider
    January 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    When I go back to correct a mistake in a word, the next letter I type erases the next letter to it.
    What keyboard key have I mistakenly activated?

    • Mik
      January 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm


      I usually change my keyboard shortcuts so that doesn't work any more.
      I was pretty surprised not to see it up there, too!

    • Anita
      November 25, 2017 at 4:34 am

      I think you are hitting the "insert" key. After you hit that key, anything you type replaces the letters that are just after the cursor with your new letters.

  17. Mai Ali
    January 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Thankyou! You're a life-saver!

  18. Suze
    January 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    My phone was suddenly on 'zoom mode' but I read -thankfully, that if you use 3 fingers-tap on top portion of series 2 Apple Watch...voila! It fixed.. NOW, I'm off the Southwest airplane, & it's 12 30 p.m. But my watch is an HOUR FSST?! How do I FIX THAT & Y did that happen?

  19. Robin Ijzerman
    December 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    when i touch the letter L my pc goes to lock screen and a short cut mode has taken over me keyboard.. so i cant typt anymore

  20. Peg Conroy
    December 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I'm not big on key combos because they are a menace more often than not. Now I'm on Win 8.1, have had the Charms Bar (and clock, which pops in and out with it) deactivated for many months, still pops in for no reason. I have Hot Corners turned off. Just typing online "day" or possibly "ay" will often activate them - I'm just typing along and there is the Charms Bar, which halts everything I'm doing. This is true no matter what browser I use so seems to be a hidden Win gremlin. It just makes me long that much more for Win 7, or something that RELIABLY deactivates all the new features of 8.1 but not the improved security, networking, etc. There is no way I'll ever go to 10 unless Stardock or someone similar helps us get rid of all the new garbage. Between my laptop and my iPhone, I've decided Microsoft and Apple have their heads up their posteriors permanently. Their OS's were all so much better a few years ago.

  21. Toni Criger
    November 22, 2016 at 3:59 pm


    November 13, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    all i can say is thank you for the helpfull tips on keyboard mistakes

  23. Leila
    November 8, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    So i will be doing normal things and all of the sudden if i press a key it wont type but instead it pulls up different setting screens. Why is this happening?

  24. Jo Walsh
    October 24, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Well in my case FILTER KEYS got me. Thanks for getting me to the area to fix it.

  25. jeff
    October 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    If I hold the shift key down for a fraction of a second too long, the web page goes back. I'm using Win 7 and Chrome. This didn't use to happen. I checked the Ease of Access Center, too. Please help.

    • Ginger
      November 12, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Maybe me too with this command? something on left side of laptop is causing random closing of browser, I don't even get the "sure you want to close all tabs" message. It is instant. Probably useful to hide your PR0N from someone approaching but irritating for me. It is recent, sloppy a keyboarder as I am in bed, and in spite of having a broken sticky D key affecting WSRDZXCF , I have only seen this since summer started. And I hate it.

  26. darlene
    October 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    my screen disappears on to the side for no reason that i know of.....i have to click on whatever piece i can still see in order to bring it back! ughhhhhhhhh!

  27. Mary
    August 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Great article - my problem was listed, and following your advice fixed it.

    Thanks for your help!

    P.S. Found a typo in the first paragraph: "you're" should be "your" --

    "...when you’re cat or child decide it’s party time..."

    Many thanks again!

  28. Martie
    August 21, 2016 at 2:23 am

    When I type, I'll come to a random letter and a box will appear at the top right with that letter in it. That letter (or sometimes a combination of letters) will be highlighted in yellow in every appearance on the page, and the scroll bar will have yellow stripes in it. It happened three times while I was typing this! It's SO irritating!

  29. Jean
    August 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I had to post here, because you saved my life.
    It happened to me several years, in almost all my computers, and I realized I was the only one with that problems!

    When I change tabs in a browser, I use control+shift+tab / control+tab command. And when I use it, sometimes and zooms in and out the page. The solution: turn off those sticky keys.
    Thank you very much!!!

  30. Ampex
    August 9, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Sticky keys not working

    I have come across lots and lots of postings regarding the ubiquitous Sticky Keys being accidentally activated and how to disable them- BUT what if you're one of those unfortunate individuals who can't operate the Ctrl/Alt/Del keys in the sequence necessary to bring up the task manager etc and NEED the Sticky keys - only to find that despite having been correctly selected in your Ease of Access Centre (Make the keyboard easier to use) suddenly they aren't working? Well, check the Numbers Lock utility on your keyboard hasn't been enabled, because this will prevent the Sticky Keys from operating!

  31. Jen
    August 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    On Google Chrome, sometimes suddenly my screen shows from top to bottom and my address line and tabs are not showing. There doesn't seem to be a way to close the window/page I'm on. I have to go to the Windows key to get to desktop and close Google from the Taskbar. What key(s) am I hitting that results in this dastardly phenomena? It occurs while I'm typing pretty fast. Thank you for your help! Jen

    • yossi cohen
      August 3, 2016 at 7:24 pm


  32. Jenee
    July 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Also regarding the password lockout--I recently had that problem and it wasn't the caps lock, it was because my right hand was shifted over one key when I typed it in, my right index finger was on the K instead of the J. So when I typed in the password it was all wrong. I simply shifted my right hand over one letter, typed in the password by memory and using the same movements of those fingers for the letters and it actually worked! Saved me a lot of money and lost data. If all else fails, try that and see if it works. I can't be the only one that has ever done that.

  33. Padam
    July 7, 2016 at 5:36 am

    on pressing spacebar its showing restore, minimize, maximize, close button. what could be the issue???

    • Fedos
      July 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      If that's happening when you press the spacebar then the Alt key is down.

  34. Austin Jackson
    June 18, 2016 at 1:40 am

    when i hit the shift key it will type what you see below cant figure out how to stop itd token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t\"Nevermore!""
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGAL
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t
    SLd token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t\"Nevermore!""
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGAL
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t
    SLd token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t\"Nevermore!""
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGAL
    Line 1: Unexpected token ILLEGALYou can't use the same quotes within each other, try making the outer quotes single quotes or escaping the inner double quotes.
    > "Quoth the raven:\n\t

    • Austin Jackson
      June 18, 2016 at 1:43 am

      by the way this is a coding sequence or something that was up on my computerfor a short time. the cat was on the keyboard so absolutely no idea what was hit.

  35. caroline
    June 14, 2016 at 10:36 am

    my cat sat on my laptop now my touchpad wont work help.

  36. gooday goodbye
    June 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    And i have just found out that holding Shift for 8 seconds made me able to type the same letter every second....

  37. Jules
    May 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

    "Is there an annoying keyboard shortcut I forgot to mention?"

    A big problem is jumping apllications and losing text having no idea what keystrokes one just made.
    Is there a list somewhere?

    More importantly does the list describe the effect in everyday language and not Tech speak.
    (As a User for over 20 years there are still Tech terms that are a mystery!)

    I have seen short lists - but I rarely recognise the effect just experienced.

    More importantly - how can keyboard short-cuts be disabled?

    (Better would be allowing the User to select a few manually. I don't mind Underline, Bold and Italic)

  38. sharon
    May 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I'm on windows 10 on my laptop....this happened before and I can't remember how to fix it. I must have hit some button that caused my touchpad scrolling to not work....can someone help me out here? I checked the settings and it is enabled.

  39. Tammy Duggan
    April 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    This is one I cannot find. This seems to only happen when I am typing on the web or in a search bar, but when I tap the scroll wheel on my Microsoft wireless mobile mouse 3500 it will type the letter c. I have searched for a solution for days. Any ideas why this would be happening?

    • yossi cohen
      August 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      maybe the charms menu shortcut or something...
      check your microsoft driver.

  40. Andrew
    April 23, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Whenever I play a game in which I have to use W A S and D to move , I have to hold W however , instead of continuing the movement , my keyboard registers that I keep tapping W rather than holding it down and it spams the moving animation!

    • yossi cohen
      August 3, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Try another keyboard.
      It usually happens on android with a wired keyboard or on some really weird keyboards(touch/lazer projected ones...)

  41. Gamorkface
    April 22, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    every time i press the arrow buttons when i'm typing, instead of moving the cursor over, it HIGHLIGHTS the letter next to it. so I can't add words without erasing the whole thing and starting over. It's pretty annoying, I have no idea how i did it or how to fix it.

    • yossi cohen
      August 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      ctrl or shift stuck.
      Shift highlights text. ctrl+shift highlights a word.

  42. Tracey M
    December 9, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you, i mean that but it didn't address my current and new and improved, never happened before problem. I have 165 pages instead of 6 WHAT DID I DO?

    • Tracey M
      December 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      EXCEL sorry. i forgot to add that

  43. brandon
    December 2, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Ive had my new laptop for a few weeks and just recently my L key has turned into a Arrow Right key, can anyone help me with this?

  44. Leanna
    November 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I was trying to insert an em dash with the alt code, but instead, a different symbol was inserted, and my cursor will now not let me select in between characters. It only highlights the nearest character or all the text.

  45. Anonymous
    October 5, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Okay, my cat walked across the keyboard and now the control key is locked far I have accidentally turned off my speakers, and really messed things up...and I can't fix anything because the control key is locked

  46. Anonymous
    June 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I am going to cry, I bought this laptop (Acer Aspire V15 Touch) not even three months ago and soon after it started this

    -making me unable to type with my on screen keyboard, my external or the laptop keys themselves (all my shortcut options are disabled)

    -scrolling with my mouse maximizes and minimizes the windows, my desktop etc...its annoying

    -when i go to move one of my programs on my desktop it creates a shortcut/and entirely new original program of the one i am moving.

    -when i go to click on a link on a page, it should use the same tab to open the new page right?(assuming i am not on facebook) but it doesn't it creates a new tab every time especially when i go to use youtube....

    Some days like right now it acts like it did the day i bought it which is like it should but others i can't seem to have a properly functioning laptop...please does anyone know what's wrong????

    I have had it sent in to where i bought it from and they thought it was a sticky ctrl key but they "fixed it" and ctrl sticking wasn't at all the problem

  47. Lisa Jaynes
    June 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for the article! I've been having an issue where I have to keep hitting Ctrl+Shift to use some shortcuts and also keep things I type on the numeric keypad from showing as letters with umlauts or acute/grave accents. What do I do to keep this from happening?

  48. daniel
    March 22, 2015 at 3:23 am

    I put the space bar in a a pass word for the users. Password tlogin. And it won't let me. Input it at all

  49. Susie
    January 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for this article - my problem was caused by my small dog who climbed on the desk and decided to sleep on the keyboard...! The dog hairs gave him away, and your article gave me the answer to the reason why half the keys were not working - Number lock!

  50. Drake
    December 30, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I've been playing a game recently, and I was actually recording a video... and this really got on my nerves. Anyways, I type really fast and I just so happened to hit a certain symbol or whatever was on my keyboard to make this happen. I don't know why it does it but whenever I type "{" it inputs a space, and whenever I type "}" it inputs an accented e "é"... but it doesn't do it outside of the game. It's really annoying me, since I'm already half way through the video and this happened and I don't know what it could possibly be.

  51. Adam
    December 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I have A problem with my letters P and e when i Press those Keys my computer types other Keys Like on P :æ' and on e it just types y and Enter

    My keyboard is on Danish help

  52. Scott MacDonald
    March 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I'm surprised the language change didn't make it in here. That's one of the big slip ups I find in my office.

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 27, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Well, many people don't use multiple languages, but I actually did include what happens when you change languages and the Alt button stays activated. I hate that. :)

  53. Dena's Graphics
    February 21, 2013 at 3:50 am

    my numbers on laptop wont work --it just stopped during me working on it and the NUM LOCK is not on. Something else caused this it did it one time and someone told me to do something with other keys to unlock them

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Do you mean the numbers on your numpad or the numbers at the top of the keyboard?

      If you're talking about the numpad, your num lock key needs to be ON. Otherwise these keys are arrows.

      • Deanne
        March 2, 2018 at 8:21 pm

        So, if the Numlock IS on, and it's still only acting like arrows, what do you do? I know there is a key combo to switch it back to numbers instead of arrows, but I can't find it now!

  54. Somaiya Ebrahim
    December 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    never faced any such problems..

  55. Aaron Couch
    November 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Haha Yaara, this is great! I've been meaning to check this article out for a while... I can relate to every single one of these.

    • lAURA
      December 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm


  56. Eserpess Eserpess
    October 16, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Thank you so much, Iv always had a problem with sticky keys i don't know why but ever single time i dump my headphones or the cats come to say hellow STICKY KEYS appear. before i just turned my computer on and off again so than you very much for helping me with this.

  57. U.N. Owen
    October 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    These are M'soft problems (and, the more they can have…)

  58. Praveen pandey
    October 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    initially i suffer from it. but not now.

  59. Sebastian Cork
    October 15, 2012 at 6:01 am

    My most common enemies are...sticky keys and NUMpad. I didn't know about the scroll lock effect in MS Excel. Thanks for the tips!

  60. CooL PsP3
    October 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    it's nice to know that there is a CooL site like that really! helps a lot to a someone like me? Really appreciate all the infos you had such as computers, mobile etc's keep it up and more power. Me and the rest of the Filipino's all over the world (i hope so) likes

  61. Prabha Rani
    October 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    When I play GTA Vice City, I want to go fast and press Shift 5 times in a row, and the game suddenly minimizes and sticky keys dialog appears! It always happens to me! :D

  62. Ah San
    October 13, 2012 at 6:59 am

    The Arrow Keys Scroll My Entire Excel Spreadsheet,this the one experience the most.

  63. Deb
    October 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I was typing, hit CTRL by mistake. The text was highlighted and then it disappeared! What happened? It has nothing to do with sticky keys. I hit CTRL again--trying to undo my mistake-nothing.I am new to computers and things like this drive me crazy.Can you help??? Would you EMAIL me? I would really appreciate it!!!
    Thankyou Deb

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      My guess is that you hot Ctrl+A by mistake. This selects all your text, and when you go on typing, you actually erase everything that's highlighted. If this happens in the future, try hitting Ctrl+Z to undo your last action.

  64. Imya Last
    October 11, 2012 at 10:53 am

    First one is most usefull

  65. Nightshadow
    October 11, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Terrific article, and I learned something new. I knew I could used the Control key and the + and _ keys to zoom in and out of a web page but did not know I could achieve the same thing using the Control key and my mouse scroll button. Very useful.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Acro
      October 11, 2012 at 7:57 am

      In addition to Ctrl with +- to zoom in/out, Ctrl and 0 will zoom to the original aspect
      My usual accidental key combination other than the ones mentioned above, Ctrl+W instead of Ctrl+S(Save). Ctrl+W closes (W)indow. It's like Alt+F4 :)

      • Yaara Lancet
        October 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Interesting, it never happened to me before, although W and S are definitely close. Sounds annoying!

  66. Mark Silos
    October 11, 2012 at 12:09 am

    hahahaha i always remember this on our office. people seems to be pissed off when this kind of thing happens and it was simple to fix. They thought they have done something wrong.

  67. Alex Perkins
    October 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I love playing the rotated display trick, i did it once at school and the school admin didn't even know how to fix it. I would have thought we would considering he's meant to be running the whole network. I had to be pulled out of class to fix it for him.

  68. Lyn Sweetapple
    October 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I turned off sticky keys in my computer lab as the students kept turning them on. Under Control Panel, Ease of Access, Making the Keyboard Easier to Use, you can uncheck use sticky keys. If there are other features you keep invoking by accident, you could probably find a checkbox for them under Control Panel.

    I do wish that Word would show Overstrike/Insert in the status bar like they used to. However, when you have Insert on by mistake, quickly press Ctrl+Z.

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 11, 2012 at 1:45 am

      Thanks for the tips! I wish I remembered how annoying the insert button is when writing this. :)

  69. Sam Kar
    October 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Ctrl+Alt+Arrow Keys does not works for me in XP.

  70. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Im glad my gaming keyboard tunes most of these keystrokes out.

  71. josemon maliakal
    October 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    funny , these things used to happen when i started used my computer..nostalgia ..:)

  72. Arron Walker
    October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I've just had a thought - I'm going to get auto hot key on my laptop again and try it. Why not set up a macro, whenever you press caps lock - the system will press it again for you, immediately disabling it.

    • Arron Walker
      October 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

      If you have auto hotkey, run CapsLock::ScrollLock. It'll remap it to scroll lock, which no one ever uses anyway. Or another key of your choice you're unlikely to use.

      • Yaara Lancet
        October 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

        Brilliant! :)

      • jj
        October 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

        I’ve remapped mine to Backspace. Now I use it more often than the one on the right as it's easier to reach.

        • Arron Walker
          October 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

          Oh, that sounds useful! I might try it. I have no trouble learnign new keyboard shortcuts, but when replacing something, I tend to drag awfully. Still, I'll give it a go

  73. Adrian Rea
    October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Oh yup 2 others, function keys especially f1 for some reason (probably mistake for a 1 or ESC), brining up a help window. Secondly netbook and laptop users accidentally touching the mouse pad sending them anywhere on the screen. With a Dell mini9 it is the bane of my life!

    • Arron Walker
      October 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

      If you look at the function keys, one may have the image of a mouse or a touch pad on it. Press fn and that to temporarily disable it. If you're feeling brave you could disable your touch pad in device manager. I'd only do that if you can get to device manager without using the mouse to begin with though. And only if your computer will disable it without restarting, that would be inconvenient.

      • Adrian Rea
        October 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

        Thank you Arron, I have seen this symbol on other machines but I have sadly not seen or found such an ability on the Dell Mini9. I think there may be a program out there to make a control key to enable and disable the touchpad, but not sure how legit it is. and I have heard there is a dell update that disables the touchpad when a usb mouse is in operation. but no use unless at a desk. Thanks again

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

      F1 is a great one which I should have thought about, thanks!

  74. Adrian Rea
    October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am

    A nice article, but remember to state this is MS Windows based as other operating systems are available.
    I would add to the list a couple of main annoyances. The Insert key. When pressed once, its effects may not be immediately noticed, when you go back and edit a sentence you find you are overwiting what is already there. Simply pressing Insert again to fix it. Next Autocorrect - Word and a number of other programs may automattically correct spelling mistakes or words that are not in its dictionary. This can lead to unreadable text as the replace words may be unrelated to the article. To fix, turn off autocorrect and proof read your work before moving on.
    Nice tip Andrew on the rotating display, I will do that on the wife's PC straight away as it always confuses her!

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

      You're absolutely right, I was sure I mentioned that I'm a Windows user so most of these are probably Windows only. Sorry about that.

      Thanks for your suggestions and tips!

    • Nightshadow
      October 11, 2012 at 5:56 am

      "and proof read your work before moving on."

      Proof read? Does anyone proof read any more? Seems very few do, unfortunately.

      • Donald
        November 3, 2016 at 10:29 am

        I always thought that proof reading is what you do just after sending the document.

    • Drew Butler
      October 16, 2012 at 12:18 am

      very true

  75. Marek
    October 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

    The only listed problem i've had was the alt+shift issue - it caused letters 'y' and 'z' get swaped. This was really annoying.
    But the most frustrating for me was hitting the 'insert' button. I totally didn't know what to do when suddenly during editing my text everything i was writing started deleting the already existing text. It took me some time to discover the simple solution :)

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 11, 2012 at 1:41 am

      The insert button is an excellent addition. It hasn't happened to me in years because of my current keyboard layout so I completely forgot how annoying it is. Thanks!

    • Anique
      February 2, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I used to have a 'compact' keyboard where the insert key was very close to the backspace. I hit it by accident so often, that in the end I physically removed that key...

  76. Krishnaji Ki2
    October 10, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Good article............could anyone please tell me the thing to block the stick keys

  77. Suresh Volam
    October 10, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Thanks for the article. I tried Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys, but my screen is not flipped though.

    • Lee
      October 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      If you're stuck in a different orientation, you can usually find an option in your video card settings to flip the display too.

  78. Félix S. De Jesús
    October 10, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Shift Key is the most common hahahaha

  79. memo1288
    October 10, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Very nice article! I didn't know the function of scroll lock and sticky keys.
    Also, I was reading that first paragraph in a curious way:
    "...when you lean on your keyboard, and of course, when you’re a cat or child..."

  80. Andrew Niklas
    October 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    for the rotating display this can be completely avoided by going into control panel--> uninstall programs--> Turn windows features on or off--> and then uncheck "tablet PC components--> apply.

    this will remove that feature and the chance of it ever happening again :)

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 10, 2012 at 1:54 am

      Great tip, and really useful here. Thanks!

    • Ahmed Khalil
      October 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

      it is first time for me to know about this shortcut

      • Ahmed Khalil
        October 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

        by the way i try it but not work with me ? i do not why

        • Harish Jonnalagadda
          October 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          It should.. Windows started including this feature when they started making tablets, not Surface, but those chunky Gateway machines way back in 2003. As is their wont, they have included the functionality for all versions of WIndows.

        • Yaara Lancet
          October 11, 2012 at 1:39 am

          Well, who knows when you might want to flip your laptop sideways! It's a very original way to work.

    • Alex Downs
      October 15, 2012 at 2:23 am

      I always wondered why mine never did that, I would try that combination and nothing happens lol.