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How to disable accented characters when holding down a key on macOS

If you want to enter accented characters on macOS, all you have to do is hold down a key and a bar will appear revealing the accented characters that you can enter. You can select them with your mouse, or use the numbers indicated under a character to select and enter it. If you were to compare the process on macOS with that on Windows 10, macOS is definitely better. That said, if you don’t need to enter accented characters, you can disable the feature. Here’s how you can disable accented characters on macOS.

Disable accented characters

Open Terminal and run the following command to disable accented characters on macOS.

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

Once you’ve execute the command, log out and log back in to your user account. When you log back in, the accented characters will be disabled. Pressing and holding down a key on your keyboard will only repeat it.

If you ever need to get the accented characters back, you can enable them again by running the following command in Terminal. Like before, you will have to log out, and log back in to your user account to get the command to work.

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool true

Entering accented characters on macOS doesn’t require bringing up a virtual keyboard nor does it require that you set up a keyboard layout that’s specific for a language. For any languages that can be typed using the regular roman English characters, you don’t have to do much to get the job done. It’s really only a problem if you don’t need to use them.

When you don’t need to use accented characters, and you hold down a key for just a bit too long, the bar appears and adds a small, unnecessary pause to your typing. It’s better to disable it if you don’t see yourself needing the feature.

If you have a MacBook that suffers from the key press bug though, you should use this with caution. It’s not going to break anything else however, it may interfere or have an impact by how much a key is repeated. If it ends up causing more problems, it’s probably best to just live with the accented characters. That said, it might just help fix the problem to some extent. The only way to know for sure is to try it out and make the decision to disable or enable it based on how your MacBook responds to it.

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