I've tried searching for an app or tools that can do this in macOS but I couldn't find any.

There seems to be a key repeat setting in system prefs but it seems to have no effect. For example in notes, if I hold a key it would not repeat?

Ideally I can have the key repeat behaviour on and off as I only want it during the day for work activities

  • No I'm looking for a way to do this
    – erotsppa
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:32
  • & the linked question gives exactly the same answer as below.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


There is a terminal command to set the option. Go to terminal and type

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

This actually turns it on. You have to restart your computer for this to take effect. You turn it off by typing the same line with true instead of false.

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool true

  • And then the settings like speed in system prefs will take effect? If so, is there a way to have app specific settings?
    – erotsppa
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:36
  • No, this is a global switch, reboot to toggle.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:37
  • yes. then the speed and delay can be adjusted from the system preferences. There is no way to do this for a specific app.
    – Natsfan
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 15:38
  • You would think that Apple would expose this in Settings to repeat keys or not. Seems silly.
    – james-see
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 16:25

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