Selecting Multiple Items With The Ctrl Key

Dear Computer Lady,

I have recently discovered a problem with trying to delete icons on my windows explorer page, I am using Windows 7 ultimate.

When I try to highlight the icons I want deleted I first of all start highlighting the icons while holding down the control button, the first two or three will highlight then when I press the next icon the first or second highlight disappears. I just can’t get a continuous list to form.

I can do them one at a time but I know I shouldn’t have to and it takes up way too much time, I know this is possible because I have done it before for many years, is it a glitch with windows 7?

Thank you for your help, Mary

Dear Mary,

This is not a glitch in Windows 7 that I have heard of, and when I tried the steps you outlined on my Windows 7 computer, all the files stayed highlighted.

My conclusion is that there is either a hardware issue happening here, or you have a problem with your windows installation.

If this is a laptop you are using, I wonder if you might be accidentally brushing the touchpad while selecting icons. Sometimes a touchpad can be extremely sensitive.

There could also be a problem with your Ctrl key. Perhaps it is not maintaining a connection when you hold it down for long periods of time. Try using the other Ctrl key on your keyboard, or periodically release and then repress the Ctrl key as you are making your selections.

If you want to select a long list of icons in a row, click on the top one, then hold down the shift key and click on the bottom one. All the icons between the two will be highlighted.

One last thing to check, is to be sure that you are not leaning on your keyboard in any way. Sometimes, we can accidentally lean on the keyboard without realizing that we are pressing a key.

I hope this helps, Elizabeth


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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