Keyboard Double Space Problem, Fix

Several users have reported an issue that when the space bar is pressed once, a double space is entered instead. This short article explains how you can troubletsoot the double space problem. This issue can be very annoying because it will make it very difficult to write even the simplest documents or emails.

See also: Slow Mac?

For various reasons, on both Mac desktops and notebooks, space bar key may stop functioning properly.

Basically, there can be two reasons. It can be a setting problem. It is highly likely that, however, this is a hardware problem (a mechanical issue), especially if all of the other keys on your keyboard are working as expected. It is possible that the space key (bar) is probably sticking that you can fix easily.

And there are three ways to address and fix this problem:

  1. First, let us see if this is a setting issue. Consider adjusting your keyboard settings. Your Mac has various keyboard settings. So you can control how your Mac’s keyboard works. Try to adjust your keyboard’s “Key Repeat” and “Delay Until Repeat” settings. On your Mac, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > and Keyboard:Mac Keyboard
    1. Key Repeat: When you press and hold a key on your keyboard, the key repeat itself. How fast you do want it to repeat? Changing this setting may help you. You can turn repeat off completely. Try this. Then type something to test the space key.
    2. Delay Until Repeat: You can also change the delay before a key starts repeating when it is pressed. You can also try to adjust this setting.
  2. If you think your problem is hardware problem, you will need to clean your keyboard. Carefully check beneath the space button, do you see any debris, bits of dirts, hair, various pieces of stuff?Follow the steps below:
    1. Turn off your computer
    2. Hold your laptop or keyboard upside down
    3. Tap the back side
    4. Give it a good shake while tapping
    5. If you have a keyboard vacuum, use it
    6. You may want to use compressed air to blow any debris out.
    7. Another cleaning method that we recommend is to sucking. Cover your space key with your mouth and suck.
  3. If nothing above works. Contact Apple. You may want to make a Genius Bar appointment. If your Mac is still under warranty, Apple will fix this. If you are not sure, you can check the AppleCare warranty status by going to Apple’s check warranty page. If not, consider replacing your keyboard because it is likely that your keyboard is defective and needs to be replaced.

You may use these tips if your keyboard is typing every letter twice, not just the space bar.

See also: iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Says “This Accessory Is Not Supported By This Device”

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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56 thoughts on “Keyboard Double Space Problem, Fix”

  1. The method of covering the space bar with your mouth and sucking is extremely effective. Make sure to find someone with a large mouth and strong lung capacity to really get all the debris out. 10/10 would recommend.

  2. I didn’t want to believe it, but wouldn’t you know, it worked. 5 colorful slams with my middle and ring finger, followed by a nintendo clearing blow under the space bar…everything’s back to normal.

  3. OMG – it just worked for me too – although the problem migrated over to the e key but I’ll do it again over there. obviously there is something under there so at some point, I’ll have it cleaned professionally

  4. This worked for me — on a third party “gamer” keyboard attached to my imac desktop! It’s not even an Apple keyboard!! I’ve been backspacing that one random extra space for a year. Tried compressed air etc. nothing ever worked. Five slams on the space bar .. and I have my life back! Thanks for rescuing me!!!

  5. I cannot believe this worked that is amazing!! I wasted all of my day being on the phone with apple trying to fix this and this worked!! I would so recommend! THANK YOU

  6. what kinda slam are we talking here? My wife just looked at me like im mental? and as you can see, it didnt work yet…

  7. O my gosh this fixed my problem. by firmly hitting the spacebar my problems has vanished.
    well i guess brute force can work after all.

  8. i hope the double spacing is gone now. Someone who doesn’t have a life please proof read this, as i tried the five hard slaams on the keybord, but i’m not so sure about it, just saw i typed another double space. UUUUGHHH i haave so many keys thata double its so aannoying. maainly the a. which makes me sound like a pirate in emails or someone who forgot how to type maainly. god. does aanyone haave any advise because i can’t be bothered going to the apple store or proof reading this paragraph. PLEEEEEase help!

  9. Hahahahaha. I have been fighting with this for weeks. I didn’t “slam” mine but struck with extra force 5 times and sure as hell if it didn’t work!

    • This is a test of the keyboard after hitting the spacebar 5 times. So far there are no double spaces. I can’t believe this worked and without issue. Exactly 5 hits with some decent force and no more double spaces. The key repeat being completely off did not work at all, which baffles me still. Wow this really worked..

  10. I’m having trouble with my computer adding spaces after the word “i ” is typed. Example, it just happened above! It happens in gmail and other internet forms but NOT in word. any help?

  11. this is crazy…when in doubt, be rough with it. Worked for me too although i was a little unsure how “slam” was defined. 5 good firm taps worked for me! Thanks!

  12. I honestly thought that the “slamming 5 times” method was ridiculous….but my gosh it worked!!! I tried everything, including calling tech, going to the Apple store…..but my problem is completely resolved from the 5x’s slam! Thanks!

  13. I noticed that turning off key repeat does NOT apply to the spacebar—just characters. This is annoying, because the only key that is randomly repeating for me is the spacebar. I tried the slamming it hard five times trick. No dice for me.

  14. I got rid of the double space by slamming the space bar very hard like 5 times. I tried shaking it, compressed air, etc. Nothing worked until I just figured some blunt force may shake out whatever was loose or dust that was in the way.

    • Peter,

      You are an absolute genius, my friend. I was literally tearing my hair out because of the double spacing problem, and the five slams on the space bar fixed it immediately!

      I write for a living and this has saved me. I tried cleaning, settings BS, all that crap.

      Five bangs on the space bar. No more, no less. Miraculous!!!

      A million thank yous to you.

    • Peter,

      I originally looked at your comment and thought it was a joke. More wrong I couldn’t have been. Your five hit method works like a charm however it does require more hits every once in a while.

    • THIS…FREAKING…WORKED. I mean, I am sure that everyone at this Starbucks is convinced that I might need an anger intervention, but This worked.

    • Thanks so much Peter, I was gonna send it to Apple for fixing but the 5 slams definitely worked! Saves me so much time and hassles!

    • This is insane, but I tried this and it apparently actually worked! It has been driving me crazy for months, as everything I’ve typed has been riddled with extra spaces. I’ve tried cleaning and changing settings (which weren’t changed from the original settings). I was about to call tech support but knew I couldn’t take my computer in and couldn’t do without it long enough to get it repaired.

      Five bangs exactly to the space bar, and voila! You are the true Apple genius!

    • Holy mother of god, how did you even figure this out. I did this too and now I’m sorted. 5 smacks to the spacebar!!! Wuhoooo

  15. I have a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and I’m encountering this problem as well. Extremely frustrating. I went to my local Apple Store at Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh, the Genius Bar replaced the space bar in the store however the issue is still occurring. I will be sending in my computer to Apple for repair. Also, I wish Apple would maintain equal specs on non Touch Bar MacBook Pro for users who do heavy data entry. Touch Bar is not necessarily the wave of the future.


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