How to change the keyboard settings in Windows Vista

This page explains step-by-step how to change the keyboard settings in Windows Vista. Filter Keys provides you with the ability to control the pace of repeated keystrokes and to slow down the acceptance of keystrokes (if required), helping you to avoid accidental keystrokes.

Note: The 'Ease of Access Center' has replaced 'Accessibility Options' (which was used in earlier versions of Windows) in the 'Control Panel' of Windows Vista. For more information, read the Introduction to the Ease of Access Center.

Video how to guide

Text version

Changing keyboard settings in Windows Vista

Set up Filter Keys

Step 1: Turn on Filter Keys

Open the 'Ease of Access Center' window by pressing the Windows key + U, or by clicking the 'Start' button, followed by 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center'.

Under the 'Explore all settings' header, click on 'Make the keyboard easier to use' or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Under the 'Make it easier to type' header, tick the box next to 'Turn on Filter Keys' by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + I.

Step 2: Customise Filter Keys

To customise your settings, click on 'Set up Filter Keys', or press Alt + L, to open the 'Set up Filter Keys' window (Fig 1).

Fig 1Detail from 'Set up Filter Keys' window

The box next to 'Turn on Filter Keys' should be ticked. If it is not, click on it or press Alt + L to tick it.

To use the keyboard shortcut to turn Filter Keys on and off, tick the box next to 'Turn on Filter Keys when right SHIFT is held down for 8 seconds' or press Alt + K to tick the box.

If you want the additional features listed, tick the box next to 'Display a warning message when turning a setting on' or press Alt + M. Then tick the box next to 'Make a sound when turning a setting on or off' or press Alt + A.

Step 3: Turn on Bounce Keys

Bounce Keys prevents a keystroke being recorded should your finger accidently repeatedly touch a key on the keyboard. To turn this function on, click the radio button next to 'Turn on Bounce Keys' or press Alt + B, as shown in Fig 2.

You can set the time that a key has to be held down before it is recorded by clicking on the drop-down button and selecting a time limit or pressing Tab until it is highlighted and using the up and down arrow keys.

Fig 2Detail from 'Set up Filter Keys' window

Step 4: Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys

To prevent brief keystrokes from being recorded, click the radio button next to 'Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys', or press Alt + R.

Fig 3Detail from 'Set up Filter Keys' window

Step 5: Further options

If you want to hear a sound when keystrokes are accepted, tick the box next to 'Beep when keys are pressed or accepted', shown in Fig 4, or press Alt + W to tick it.

Fig 4Detail from 'Set up Filter Keys' window

If you want a reminder that Filter Keys is on, tick the box next to 'Display the Filter Key icon on the taskbar', or press Alt + I to tick it.

Click the 'Save' button, or press Alt + S, to save your changes.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Back to How to guides - I find a keyboard or mouse hard to use

More ways to: Make your keyboard easier to use

Use the keyboard with one hand

Set it so you don't have to hold down multiple keys at once

Turn on and customise the on-screen keyboard

Use a mouse or other pointing device instead of a keyboard

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