Atleast, on my and a few of my friends' PCs, when I press and hold all the arrow keys together on Windows 7 and the System sounds are on in the mixer, a beep sound starts playing until I release the keys. On experimenting, I found the following key combinations do the same:

1) Top, Left, Bottom (without right)

2) Home, End, PageUp

3) A few others that I can't remember right now. They have something to with Ctrl and Shift keys.

So I just want to know by curiosity, why does this happen. Can I change the sound as per my needs? Or do some fun stuff with it?

System Info:

Dual booting Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 (Currently on ubuntu so can't check those other keys). 2GB RAM. Sound Card-Realtek AC'97 Audio.

4 Answers 4


It meant error - you've pressed too many keys and it's not possible to send the entire combination of keys to the motherboard.

This is limited by old keyboard designs and ports, how they are "wired".

Probably new USB keyboards and OS-s have a larger limit.


Apparently, this beep sound dates all the way back to the DOS age. If you press a lot of keys, the PC speaker (back then, there's an actual speaker inside the PC) will make a loud beep sound.


This is related to a keyboard limitation known as 'N Key Rollover.' On older keyboards, and cheaper modern ones, there can be a pretty low limit of how many simultaneous keys you could press before the keyboard simply couldn't tell which ones you were pushing anymore.

This is actually one of the reasons that gaming standardized early on the 'WASD' keys rather than 'ESDF', because that allowed your pinky easy access to using Shift and Ctrl for movement... these keys were usually specially wired to not count against the limit of simultaneous keys, since they were by necessity included in multi-key combos.


If sounds are made when you press the windows key ctrl key and alt and shift it's probably the Sticky Keys function, invoked by quickly pressing the Shift key 5 times in a row. To disable it, press the Shift key 5 times again. There is no easy way to change the sound if it is Sticky Keys without third party software or registry/system file hacks.

  • 1
    No, its not about sticky key. And they why for all the arrow keys? Also, does it happen on your pc as well? Feb 8, 2014 at 7:46
  • No, I do not know about this on the arrow keys because it does not happen on my computer. Sorry if I could not solve your problem. Feb 8, 2014 at 9:45

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