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Windows 7: Ctrl key "sticks"

31 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Ctrl key "sticks"

I haven't figured out what triggers it, but sometimes (often after waking from hibernation??) my Ctrl key "sticks." The physical key isn't stuck, but the software thinks it is. I can't type non-Ctrl keys or do almost anything.

I used to see this occasionally with my previous (Vista) laptop. When that happened, I could often clear it up by hitting the Windows key, or Shift, or some other locking key. That doesn't seem to work with Win7. If it gets into this state, I have to reboot to clear it.

What causes this, and how can I prevent it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2011   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Gary,

It may be Sticky Keys doing this. In the Ease of Access Center under Make the keyboard easier to use, make sure that you have the Turn on Stick Keys and Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times boxes unchecked. Step 4 in the tutorial below can help show you more on this.

Sticky Keys - Vista Forums

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

No, I don't think that's it. Sticky Keys wasn't turned on in the Ease of Access Center. I turned off everything that could possibly engage it, like hitting Shift 5 times. But I've seen that before, when I hit or held down a locking key, and the system always warns me that it's turning on the feature. This seemed to start by itself, without any warning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

It just happened again. I was typing in a text editor, typed a few lines. Might have used the arrow keys. Then suddenly things weren't working right. Up/down arrow acted as scroll, at least in the editor I was using. Letter keys had CTRL modifiers. E.g. typing "f" in a text editor opened the Ctrl-F search dialog.

It definitely wasn't Sticky Keys. It happened without warning, and I couldn't clear it. I tried switching apps, sleeping the system, everything I could think of. Only rebooting fixed it.

EDIT: Aaaand, it just did it again, not 10 minutes after I rebooted to clear it the first time. This is getting REALLY REALLY annoying.

It's just barely possible this could be connected to the touchpad on my laptop. It causes the mouse to jump like crazy and do weird stuff (zoom the browser, Scrybe touch gestures, etc) when I'm typing. *Maybe* that does something to trigger it? But I'm 99% sure I've had this happen when I was using the laptop in my office, with an external keyboard and mouse, so I don't *think* it's the touchpad.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I've just started having the same problem you describe. This is on a relatively new (couple of weeks old) Samsung Series 9 laptop, which also occasionally has flaky touchpad behavior. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what was going wrong at first, and even rebooted more than once (full power down too) without clearing the problem. But then I figured out that it was acting like the CTRL key was stuck, and now I find that I can clear it by tapping the CTRL key (perhaps a few times, perhaps holding it slightly longer).

It's been over a year since you posted - have you found the source of the problem? We're running exactly the same OS version, what hardware are you using?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professinal 32bit

hii, anyone can fixed problem above?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #7

South Carolina

Hi everyone,

Do you have autohotkey? It's a great little program that lets you define your own keyboard shortcuts.

However, I have experienced the problem myself, and I discovered that it went away when I disabled autohotkey. Then I went and tweaked in my "code" in the program a little bit, reenabled it, and it seems to be working better now.

I don't know for sure that it's this program doing it, but it would make sense in my case becuase I have a lot of custom shortcuts involving the ctrl, alt, and windows keys (the ones that seem to get stuck in my case)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

@palewine: it certainly is reasonable to suspect AutoHotkey in your case, but I have never had it installed on this computer. So it can't be the common element behind the problems described in this thread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Perhaps the key isn't physically stuck, but there is a short on one of your ctrl. keys. Try a USB keyboard and see if the problem is still happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2014   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

if you run into that problem, you can hit Ctrl + Alt + Pause/Break
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Ctrl key "sticks"

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