I used to delete characters continuously by pressing my delete key on apple keyboard but for some reason now I can not do it. I have to release and press again to delete the previous character.

For example:

If I have a line like "This is a text to delete". In the past, I will just place my cursor at the end of the sentence.. e.g after delete and keep pressing delete key until the entire sentence is removed. Now, I have press the delete key and release for every character.

I have set keyboard setting to default but still see the same issue.

Any ideas?

Thanks, Rj

  • 2
    Are other keys like the arrow keys repeated?
    – Lri
    Feb 25, 2013 at 6:24

4 Answers 4


This might be a setting in your keyboard system preferences panel. Try adjusting your Key Repeat setting as shown: Keyboard system preferences screenshot

  • thanks I've been wondering about this for a few past os's
    – rclyde
    Feb 25, 2013 at 21:43
  • After update to Sierra, even though my sliders above were set correctly, key repeating wouldn't work. For me, it was enough to just move them a little and then move back.
    – meeDamian
    Aug 13, 2016 at 7:43
  • 1
    on mac-os ventura i have to adjust the Delay until Repeat to Short as well
    – Sam
    Nov 16, 2022 at 23:26

Go to settings - keyboard - key repeat, change to fast - delay until repeat, change to short. this is how it should look for fastest results


Reducing the Delay Until Repeat to short will also reduce the wait before the cursor starts moving.

Alternative Method: Holding down the option key while hitting delete enables you to delete a word at each press (except for punctuation).

  • Thanks. This helped me. It allowed me to delete at least one word at a time. Before it would only delete a letter at a time. Delete key used to delete an entire sentence but something went wrong. Deleting one word at a time really helps.
    – user191578
    Jul 10, 2016 at 18:42

go to settings. click on keyboard icon. under on screen key board, look for filter keys and turn it off.

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