Why is my computer dropping letters as I type?

Today, my computer started dropping the occasional letter as I input text.

Like right now, as I type this, I have to back up and fix every third word, or else my entries endup looking soething like this. See how it skippe the spac and the m in the las sentance? What gves?

I should add that I have restarted, checked for updates, and that this happens while typing in any app.


Just a WAG: sticky keyboard issue? Try a different/new keyboard? Every time I’ve ever had gonzo input difficulties, it has always been the keyboard.

Hmmmm, well, it’s a laptop. It seems like an electronic/software issue.

I’d vote for a keyboard issue, also. Unfortunately, a laptop has an integrated keyboard, and they can be a little expensive to replace. Do you have a port you can plug a regular keyboard in to?

That would be a diagnostic start, anyway.

Not necessarily. I’ve replaced the keyboard on my 7-year-old Toshiba Tecra laptop twice now, buying the part on eBay for about $15 and swapping it in based on directions I found online. The keyboard is “integrated” by means of a connector that attaches it to the motherboard, it’s not soldered on or anything – it just basically plugs in and out. Finding where the snappy bits and screws are that allow you to remove and replace the keyboard is the tricky part.

Hey that’s a good idea: the external keyboard test.

I’ll try it.

This is also a common symptom of a machine that is loaded down with viruses or other processes running in the background, and using up the machine resources.

PC keyboards do not actually send a character code to the machine, they just send a code indicating that ‘button #42 has been pressed’. The machine has to convert that into the appropriate ASCII character code. (Which is why it’s so easy, using software, to change your keyboard layout from English to French to Danish etc.)

But not having this conversion hard-wired into the keyboard means that the CPU must spend time doing this. If the CPU is under a heavy load, it might be too busy to keep up with a fast typer. Generally this only happens when the computer is running a very intensive computing operation – or when many viruses/spyware/adware/ are running hidden in the background.

So if you don’t find any hardware problems, you might look into this.

Yes, that was something I considered.

I ran my antivirus program, defragged, cleaned out my temp files and cookies, checked all of the apps that are running in the task manager. The CPU doesn’t seem to be working too hard at all… and still the problem exists…

That happens to me on my Satellite P105. It’s the most infuriating thing ever. But for me it certainly does appear to be heat related; it only happens after I’ve been playing graphics/CPU-intensive games for a while. I bought myself a laptop cooler and it seems to have gone away.

Does it ever happen to you right when you first start using the laptop? And did you try the external keyboard? I actually never tried that myself.

Do you eat near your computer? I once had a piece of tortilla chip stuck under my Shift key and, while it felt normal, it wasn’t actually being pressed down all the way. If it’s just select keys, that could be the issue. Laptop keys are pretty easy to pop on and off though, so fixing it isn’t a huge problem.

try plugging in an external keyboard and see if the problem goes away.

Laptop keyboards seem to be less durable than standard keyboards. Worn out sensors under the keys will cause this problem. But before you replace the keyboard, get a can of compressed air and blow it under the keys; you might just have a bunch of junk under there, even if you don’t eat while using the computer.