Sticky Key

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

In {Windows, Mac, Linux}, there's a sticky key feature. When you need to press a key chord, such as Ctrl+x, you can just type them separately Ctrl x. That's what the sticky key feature does.

Microsoft Windows

On Windows 10, press ❖ Window, then type “stickykey” to launch the settings.

Windows 10 sticky keys 2021-06-03
Windows 10 sticky keys 2021-06-03

Alternatively, go to Control Panel, “Ease of Access Center”, then the Keyboard section. Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Ease of Access Center\Set up Sticky Keys

Windows 10 sticky keys 2021-06-03 7
Windows 10 sticky keys 2021-06-03


On Mac, go to menu [System Preferences ▸ Universal Access ▸ Keyboard tab].

macOS sticky key 2019-08-13 ztdhw
macOS sticky key 2019-08-13


For Linux, it's usually under the system preference settings, Accessibility section or Keyboard section.

linux xfce sticky key
Linux xfce sticky key

Sticky Key Problems

Eventually, i stopped using sticky keys, because, it's not 100% reliable. Sometimes you get a stuck Shift or Ctrl. When that happens, it is super annoying, because you don't know which modifier is stuck. This happened in linux, and i think it has also happened to me on macOS and Microsoft Windows.

Emacs People Using Sticky Key

Some emacs people really love sticky keys. They are, at least:

Xah Keyboard Guide