We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Shift Key Slow

DavidLeary asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
The shift key on my Mac (both at home and at work) has become very slow.

In other words, frequently when I try to type a capital letter, it comes out as lower case. If I am very slow & deliberate in my typing this does not happen. but at any reasonable typing speed, the problem is very annoying. This happens an a Motorola StarMax running System 7.6.1, a 7200/90 running system 7.6.1 and a 9500 running 7.5.3.

At least one co-worker has had this happen on his machine also.

Does anyone else have this happening?
Is this a known problem?
Does system 8 make a difference?

Thanks for any help or advice.


Watch Question

Need more input.  How much RAM do you have installed, and/or are you using?  I had a similar problem with my mouse cursor under system 7.5.5, and it was a memory difficulty.  Also, check to make sure that you are not running "mixed" system software, and that the keyboards in question are clean.


I have various amounts of RAM on the three machines I mentioned. The StarMax has 96 meg, the 9500 has 48 meg, and the 7200/90 has 24 meg. None of them have mixed system softeware. I doubt very much that it is a keyboard issue that simultaneously struck three different keyboards.

On the StarMax I had been using an Apple keyboard, but went back to the one that came with the machine and the problem persists. So, it has happened with no less than four different keyboards.


My best suggestion at this point would be to double check that you are not running any "memory hogs" in the background.  Do you use MacTCP or OT?  


I don't think you are on the right track here.

I use OT and OT/PPP.

The fact that this is happening on *three* completely different systems and that at least on coworker has the same thing on yet a fourth system indicates some more generic type of problem to me rahter than something specific to my machine.


Actually, if you have the same applications installed on all of the machines, what I was driving at was whether or not you are experiencing a memory loss all across the board due to a system configuration which has been repeated on more than one machine...I had the slow cursor problem when I had applications running in the background that were eating RAM.  I had installed MacTCP by accident (if you install your system software before the communications software, the Mac system software automatically installs MacTCP *first*...then, when you install OT on top of it, it automatically renders MacTCP invisible in your system folder...upon which it then eats memory like crazy.  The biggest problem I've found when things slow down (I also have three different drives on which I've experienced slow-downs) is that somehow, I have repeatedly configured software inaccurately and something in the background is eating all of the available system memory...that's all I was trying to point out by the OT/MacTCP question...was just trying to help, not mislead! :)

Do you (and affected co-workers) have any software that is configured to use the Shift key (possibly along with another key) as a "trigger" to do something?  A Control Panel, maybe?  If you restart with All Extensions OFF, do you still experience the symptom?
try the usual pram zap and rebuild your desktop. also raise your cache levels and make sure your apps aren't usuaing all tyhe memory, try no virtual memory, no ram doubler speed doubler or any other strange app in and see if that helps. it could be your shift key was hit too hard too many times or just got dirty take it in and get it looked at.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Again, this is happenoing on three (maybe four0 different machines. On the StarMax at home, I have only been using the keyboard for about two months, so i doubt that dirt is the answer. i don't hit it any harder than usual. (You can see in the typing above the problem, in the lack of capital I's) This didn't start happening until about 6-12 months ago, and I was really wondering if it was a generic problem with some version of the system software. I have already zapperd PRAM (using TechTool) and rebouilt the desktop. I do have RAM Doubler installed, and I will try turning it off. )

Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.