Solve: A fast Windows PC feels sluggish when moving through code or a list

There are times when a Windows 10 PC feels very sluggish when you’re going through a list (e.g. emails in Outlook or Thunderbird) or even code in a text editor. Often, it has nothing to do with the computer per se, but just the keyboard settings.

I recently had this problem that I was editing code and every time I pressed the down cursor key to scroll through code, the cursor would move down by 1 line and then appear to wait before continuing on. It looked and felt as if the keyboard (and PC) were very sluggish. I often just use the cursor key to go through the code (rather than Page Down, etc.) and it felt very strange and disconcerting. A bit of digging around and I found that it had nothing to do with the PC or the keyboard. It was due to Windows settings.

Check the settings yourself by doing this.

1. Open Control Panel

2. Click on Keyboard to see the keyboard settings

3. Check the settings for ‘Character Repeat’, specifically: ‘Repeat Delay’ and ‘Repeat Rate’

Adjust the two settings till you’re satisfied.

  • Repeat Delay: this is representative of how long Windows will wait before it repeats the key that you typed. If this is on ‘Long’, it will wait for a longer time before starting to repeat the key. This only affects the time between pressing the key the first
  • Repeat Rate: this represents how quickly the characters will continue to repeat.

See the picture below.

So, if you encounter this issue, be warned – this could be the cause. I just wish more people knew about this.

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