How to fix input lag or lag in Windows

Having characters appear on the screen a few seconds after you press them on the keyboard can slow you down and reduce your productivity. Many factors make input feel out of sync across Windows devices. Slow computers, faulty USB ports, outdated keyboard drivers, and misconfigured keyboard settings are some of the causes of keyboard lag.

Let’s explore ten troubleshooting steps that can fix keyboard lag when typing.

Close unused apps

The keyboard response time may start to slow down when computer running slow. More precisely when it is running low on core system resources (CPU and/or RAM). Close unused apps and check if that improves keyboard input speed.

You can also refer to this guide on how to increase the speed of Windows to learn why your PC is running slow and how to fix performance issues.

Troubleshooting keyboard connection

If you’re using a wired external keyboard, make sure the cable is securely plugged into your PC’s USB port. Unplug the keyboard and plug it back into the port, or switch the keyboard to another USB port. You can also use the keyboard on another computer. If the typing delay persists, the keyboard may be faulty.

Other USB accessories can also affect your keyboard connection and cause it to lag. Unplug other USB devices connected to your PC and check if that fixes the input speed delay.

Because wireless keyboard, make sure the USB receiver/protector is correctly plugged into your computer. If you have it connected to a USB hub, plug it directly into your computer. Also, check if the keyboard’s battery is low. If not, plug the keyboard into a power source or replace the keyboard battery.

Also, make sure the keyboard is near the receiver/protector or your computer. This also applies to Bluetooth enabled keyboards. Using the wireless keyboard a few yards away from your PC can result in input lag.

Turn off filter keys

How often do you press a key multiple times before the PC receives input? Does your computer fail to register keystrokes when you press a key briefly? You may have accidentally activated the “Filter key”; hold the right Shift key for 8 seconds to enable this feature. Filter keys prevent unwanted keystrokes by reducing the keyboard’s typing speed.

Microsoft designed the Filter Key function to make it easier for users to enter text for people with neurological disabilities such as tremors or stiff hands. If the Filter Key is active on your computer, turn it off and check if that normalizes the keyboard response speed.

1. Open the Windows Settings menu, select Easy access.

2. Scroll through the sidebar and select Keyboard.

3. In the keyboard settings menu, turn off Filter key and uncheck “Allow keyboard shortcuts to launch Filter Keys”.

Besides, launch Control Paneloption Easy access to the centerand choose Make your computer easier to use.

Unchecked Turn on the filter keys options and click ALRIGHT to save then change.

Run the Windows Hardware Troubleshooter

Windows can sometimes fix itself depending on the nature of the problem. Windows 10 comes with a built-in troubleshooting tool that can diagnose and fix typing delays with your PC’s keyboard. Use this tool to solve the problem with a specific key or the entire keyboard.

Go Setting > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Keyboard and choose Run the debugger button.

Wait for the troubleshooter to scan your computer — it may take about 1-5 minutes — and follow the instructions on the next page. Try the next suggestion if the troubleshooter didn’t detect any problems with your keyboard.

Restart your computer

Close all applications and documents (so you don’t lose unsaved changes) and restart your computer. If you are using an external or wireless keyboard, disconnect it from your PC before restarting. Plug in or reconnect the keyboard when your PC comes back up and see if that resolves the typing lag.

Update keyboard driver

Device drivers define how the PC’s internal and external hardware components (e.g. display, keyboard, speakers, drives, etc.) communicate with Windows. A device may misbehave if its drivers are out of date.

If your keyboard slows down keystrokes as you type, go to Windows Device Manager and check if your keyboard driver is up to date.

1. Right-click the Start menu icon (or press Windows key + X) and select Equipment management.

2. Expand the Keyboard category, right-click the keyboard driver and select Device update.

3. Select Automatically search for updated driver software.

Connect your PC to the Internet for best results. Wait until Windows has finished checking and installing any available driver updates. If Windows says you have the latest driver version, uninstall the driver (see steps below) and try again.

Reinstall the keyboard driver

You may experience input delays if your PC’s keyboard driver is damaged or incompatible with the keyboard. Fix this by uninstalling the driver; Windows will install a fresh copy afterwards.

1. Launch Device Manager, right-click the keyboard driver and select Device Uninstall.

2. Select Uninstall on the confirmation prompt to continue.

3. To reinstall the keyboard driver, select Work on the Device Manager menu bar and select Scan for hardware changes.

Restarting your PC will also reinstall the keyboard driver.

Modify keyboard properties

One good thing about Windows is that it offers extensive customization options. If a delay occurs when you hold or press a key repeatedly, follow the steps below to adjust the “Character Repeat Settings” on your keyboard.

1. Press Windows key + CHEAP to launch the Windows Run box.

2. Type or paste control keyboard in the dialog and click ALRIGHT.

3. Adjust the “Repeat Delay” or “Repeat Rate” slider to fix input lag. Before you do so, here’s what both options mean:

  • Repeat delay: This describes how long you have to hold down a key before Windows repeats your on-screen input.
  • Repeat rate: This option describes how fast you want Windows to repeat keystrokes when you hold down a key.

To fix keyboard lag when typing, increase the “Repeat Rate” (from Slow to Fast) and shorten the “Repeat Delay” (from Long to Short). Note that fast repetition rates and short repeat delays can also lead to unintentional copying of keystrokes. Experiment with these options until you find the perfect balance.

4. Click the empty dialog box and hold down any key to test your keyboard’s repetition rate before closing the window. Option ALRIGHT to save the changes.

Troubleshoot Wi-Fi interference

You may experience lag when typing on a wireless keyboard if a Wi-Fi router is near your computer. That’s because the signal from your router can interfere with the Bluetooth keyboard’s signal. To avoid this, you can turn off Wi-Fi or move your PC away from the router. That fixed the problem for some Windows 10 users.

Perform a clean reboot

Some system (and third-party) applications and services start automatically when you start your computer. While some of these services keep your PC running, they can sometimes slow down your PC and other applications.

A clean boot loads Windows only with the necessary applications, drivers, and programs. That can resolve conflicts and help you determine if an application or service is responsible for input lag. Refer this guide on how to perform a clean boot in Windows 10 to find more about.

Check for dirt and hardware damage

Your keyboard may not be able to register keystrokes if dirt, dust, or other foreign matter is trapped underneath the keys. The problem can also be caused by physical damage to the PC’s keyboard or memory module.

Clean the keyboardand if possible, take out your PC’s memory modules and plug them back in properly. We recommend that you take your computer to an authorized service center to do these things. Do not attempt to do it yourself so as not to damage the keyboard and other components of the device.

Enjoy typing without delay

If the keyboard lag continues, try reset keyboard settings to factory defaults. You can also try performing a system restore if the problem started after installing a new driver, operating system update, or third-party software.

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