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Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

Posted in Computers & Technology by Micronion on the November 15th, 2007


So you’re typing in a word document and everything you type seems to run right over the text in front of it — that is, instead of inserting more letters like you’re used to the computer erases an existing letter for every new letter you type. This is called “Overtype” and it’s an evil, evil feature that plagues windows computers. To disable the overtype mode, simply press the “Insert” button on your keyboard. To enable it, just press it again.

Note: Unlike the Caps Lock key, there is no light on your keyboard that will tell you if overtype is enabled or not. There is usually an indicator in your word document on the status bar that will say “OVR” if it is enabled.

More on overtype mode and the insert key can be found on Wikipedia here.

79 Responses to 'Disable typing over text in front of the cursor'

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  1. James said,

    on June 1st, 2009 at 11:49 am

    great.. thanks. :)

  2. bugbug88 said,

    on June 5th, 2009 at 8:34 am


  3. Yup said,

    on August 18th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Entirely useless and annoying feature. Truly truly evil…

    Thanks for the tip.

  4. Vanessa said,

    on October 18th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Thank You!!

  5. SecretestAgent said,

    on February 1st, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I write a lot and that crap has always bothered the crap out of me. Especially now that I writing computer code.

  6. JH said,

    on October 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am

    This is perfect! I’d somehow turn this dreadful feature on (or my cat would!) and couldn’t get it off without restarting the computer. This works great. THANK YOU!

  7. Jewel said,

    on November 7th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you! You just saved me hours of frustration. I usually use a Mac and didn’t even know the PC had an insert key!

  8. Rhea said,

    on November 11th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you!! I have always had this problem and never knew about this!!! You are wonderful!

  9. Alice said,

    on June 23rd, 2015 at 4:46 am

    I think I might actually love you.

  10. April said,

    on June 30th, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I googled “turn off evil type over setting” but I wasn’t expecting to find an article that actually called it evil, too!! XD

  11. Fred said,

    on July 23rd, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Type over was accidentally activated on facebook,
    Held down fn key then pressed delete/insert key to turn off

  12. Sandra said,

    on July 26th, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    THANK YOU! Long time problem solved.
    For those who are confused about where the keys are:
    “fn” is on the bottom left, next to the Ctrl key.
    “delete” is the 5th key to the left on the right side of the top row.
    “insert” is the numeral “0” key.

    Press fn, and while holding down fn, press the delete and insert keys at the same time. It works! No more typing on top of text.

  13. Duryodhan said,

    on October 15th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    What about so-called caps lock . On a Wintel keyboard, it’s not: it’s a caps toglge. If you hold the shift key while caps lock is on, it goes back to lower case.Apple got this one right.

  14. Grateful said,

    on December 4th, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Thank you! This was driving me INSANE!

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    It’s great to find an expert who can explain things so well

  17. on February 15th, 2016 at 7:20 am

    That’s the thinking of a creative mind

  18. on February 16th, 2016 at 2:03 am

    The ability to think like that shows you’re an expert

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  20. on February 16th, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

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  26. on February 18th, 2016 at 9:00 am

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  27. on February 20th, 2016 at 10:03 am

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    That’s an apt answer to an interesting question

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  53. Chester said,

    on January 14th, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    THANK YOU! Whomever you are. Thank you. Overtype is purely evil.

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  56. Ron Z said,

    on March 23rd, 2018 at 9:22 am

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to fix my issues – thank you!

  57. Nicole said,

    on March 31st, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    My laptop does not have an insert key

  58. It's over said,

    on April 3rd, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Yesssssss! The nightmare is over! I don’t know why it took so long (years) for me to find out how to turn off this feature that has been occasionally (when i accidentally hit insert) driving me crazy. Thank you so much =)

  59. Robin said,

    on April 6th, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Yes it is an evil thing! And thank you for such a timely and easy fix! Thank you.

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    on April 18th, 2018 at 2:11 am


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  66. Sex said,

    on September 10th, 2018 at 2:59 am


    Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

  67. Enema said,

    on September 12th, 2018 at 12:52 am


    Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

  68. Xxx said,

    on September 12th, 2018 at 1:15 am


    Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

  69. Cyber Monday said,

    on November 12th, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Black Friday

    Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

  70. mehtab ahmed said,

    on January 7th, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. This is the most useless feature and unfortunately I didn’t even know the exact name of this evil to search it,thanks .

  71. Tina Bakr said,

    on February 6th, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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    on February 10th, 2019 at 2:52 pm

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  73. on March 15th, 2019 at 4:19 pm


  74. Robin said,

    on March 27th, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you!

  75. subinmysore said,

    on May 3rd, 2019 at 12:37 am

    Hi nice post, very useful and thanks for sharing

  76. on May 20th, 2019 at 7:56 am

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  77. on May 25th, 2019 at 1:32 am

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    where can i do it please help out.

  78. AT said,

    on July 18th, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Thank you/ Diolch.

    I’ve just wasted part of my day, trying to switch this thing off.

    Soooo frustrating

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