What Causes Delayed Keystrokes?

By Nina Nixon

When a keystroke returns a slow response, usually the communication between the hardware and the software "by way of the driver" is off kilter. Therefore, keyboard hardware driver malfunction is the first issue to address out of a list of possible explanations. Repetitive key pressing, a loaded hard drive, needed hot fixes and other issues should not be ruled out.

Keyboard Driver Malfunction

Go through the Device Manager to check for updates or alternatives to replace outdated drivers. To do this, click on the "Start" menu and click "Administrative Tools." Next, choose "Computer Management," "Device Manager" and then click on the "Keyboards" expansion node (plus sign symbol). Highlight the active keyboard that is in use and right-click. Select "Update Driver."

Repetitive Keystrokes

When the same key is pressed quickly many times, the computer can experience lag in reading commands. The constant key pattern often leads to disk freeze-ups. Although usually temporary, the stifled computer can be reset by rebooting. However, the underlying reason of why the key was pressed should be addressed. For example, the key could have been pressed so many times because it was slow in responding. In this case, the root cause of it being slow to respond may lie with the driver as stated in the above section, "Keyboard Driver Malfunction."

Full Capacity Hard Disk Drive

A sluggish computer can be due to a hard disk drive running at full capacity. This will cause everything to move at a slower rate. Because the query must search through the entire disk drive to sort and find selected items, the more data stored on it, the longer it will take to find it. This is logically true even after compression has taken place. The less information stored, the faster the search and retrieval of it.

Computer Needs Hot Fixes and Service Packs

If there are hot fixes and service packs available that have not yet been installed, computer functionality will be affected. Hot fixes typically cure a specific known computer issue, such as a bug based on a defective script, while service packs are more complex, containing many hot fixes and security repairs.

Natural vs. Incompatible Keyboard

If an appropriate driver cannot be found in the Windows Catalog, the keyboard itself is likely to be incompatible. Avoid this situation by installing keyboards that have the identifiable Windows logo, if it is known that Windows software will also be set up on the computer.

Microsoft Word 2004 Running in Macintosh Environment

In Macintosh operating systems, slow performance may occur when data is typed in a table within a Microsoft Word document. This is due to the cache repeatedly emptying and refilling while the entire table is being read in order to make the adjustment. The slowness can be reduced by first opening Word. Next, select "Tools" and then click "Macros." Type "ToolsAdvancedSettings" in the Macro Name box and then click "Run."