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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate System
Everybody knows that you can get a pretty fast keyboard repeat rate by changing a slider on the Keyboard tab of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel. But you can make it even faster! In Terminal, run this command:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0
Then log out and log in again. The fastest setting obtainable via System Preferences is 2 (lower numbers are faster), so you may also want to try a value of 1 if 0 seems too fast. You can always visit the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel to undo your changes.

You may find that a few applications don't handle extremely fast keyboard input very well, but most will do just fine with it.

[robg adds: We originally ran a very similar hint back in 2003. However, that hint had the order of the values reversed, and made the change via editing a preferences file instead of via a defaults write command. So I felt it worth re-running this version as it's simpler and more correct. If anyone knows what service to restart to skip the logout/login step, please comment.]
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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: mistersquid on Aug 31, '09 08:24:34AM

I really wanted this to work but it leads to unpredicatable results in Mac OS X v. 10.6 on a Summer 2009 Quad-core PowerMac.

Safari, for example, takes the setting. However BBEdit grabs hold of the System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard > Key Repeat Rate setting which shows up as "Slow" on the slider.



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Mistaken, above
Authored by: mistersquid on Aug 31, '09 08:31:07AM

In further testing, I discovered that while the slider in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard > Key Repeat Rate is set to "slow," BBEdit takes the ultrafast repeat rate.



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: sjmills on Aug 31, '09 06:32:00PM

Hooray! I abhor slow key repeat rates. I get so impatient when I see somebody using a Mac (or other) with the way-too-slow default rate (and delay until repeat).



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: beheadedmyway on Sep 02, '09 01:41:04AM

You can also set the initial time it waits to start repeating.

defaults write NSGlobalDomain InitialKeyRepeat -int 4



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: Lanark on Oct 11, '09 01:42:35AM

I wish this took fractional numbers, I find 2 is too fast and 3 is ridiculously slow, are there really any people who would set this to 9!



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: beheadedmyway on Aug 26, '10 10:04:17AM

There's a Mac System Preference plugin just for this called "Better Key Rates" at http://gngrwzrd.com/



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: ollyg on May 28, '11 11:46:06PM

For this I can also recommend another free Preferences Pane plugin - KeyRemap4MacBook.

As well as controlling all the key repeat settings, there are many many other options to help with either using non-Apple keyboards or keyboards of different localities on the Mac. It works on any Mac not just the MacBook.



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Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
Authored by: sprocketeer on Aug 14, '11 12:56:24PM
I couldn't get this to work properly. I kept digging, since I love having a lightning fast key repeat speed for coding in VIM. I finally had success with setting key repeat speeds with keyremap4macbook. It's straightforward enough, but I've posted a quick guide here.

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