Function keys are the 12 keys from F1 to F12 that perform certain special functions apart from the usual legacy function. Every laptop has these keys which perform a unique function.
These F1 to F12 keys are also known as HotKeys or Action Keys.
You can increase/decrease volume, turn on or off the WiFi, increase/decrease the brightness of the laptop with these special keys.
If you own a Windows Laptop then you’ll find that just pressing the particular Function key doesn’t do anything. Instead, you have to press Fn key + Function Key( F1 to F12).
Example – If F1 increases the brightness then you have to press Fn Key and F1 Key together in order to increase the brightness. Simply pressing the F1 key doesn’t work.
This situation gets a little problematic if you have to hold two keys every time. Who wants to put so much effort right?
Well, you can use these Function Keys without pressing the Fn key anymore. I will show you two methods that will get it done for you.
How To Use Function Keys Without Pressing Fn Key?
There are two main methods through which you can Enable Function keys. This works for only Windows Laptop. It works for all Laptop manufacturers like Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Acer, Samsung, Toshiba and others.
These methods will make sure you don’t have to press the Fn key + Function Key to perform a particular function.
METHOD 1 – Using BIOS or UEFI Firmware Settings
The BIOS or UEFI Settings can be used to enable or disable the Fn key. The first step is to enter the BIOS Setup of your laptop.
You can enter the BIOS on your laptop by pressing a particular key when you power on your laptop and enter the boot screen. The boot screen is the screen where you see the Logo of your laptop manufacturer.
The key needed to press when you see the boot screen depends on your laptop manufacturer.
For Acer Laptops you need to press the F2 key or Del key when you see the Acer Logo after powering on or restarting your laptop.
For Asus Laptops you need to press and hold the F2 key when you see the Asus Logo after powering on or restarting your laptop.
For Dell Laptops you need to press the F2 key when you see the Dell Logo after powering on or restarting your laptop.
For HP Laptops you need to press F1 or F2 or F10 or F12 key depending on the model when you see the HP Logo after powering on or restarting your laptop.
For Lenovo Laptops you need to press F1 or F2 key when you see the Lenovo Logo after powering on or restarting your laptop.
You can find the key to enter BIOS Setup at the bottom when the manufacturer logo appears during powering on or restarting.
After you enter the BIOS Setup just follow these steps.
Step 1 – Once inside the BIOS Setup Press the Right Arrow Key on your keyboard to navigate to Configuration Tab.
Step 2 – Press Down Arrow Key until you reach HotKey Mode option.
Step 3 – Press Enter and select Enabled if you want to use Function keys without pressing the Fn key. Select Disabled if you want to press Fn + Function keys. After selecting Enabled or Disabled press Enter key again.
Step 4 – Now you have to press Fn + F10 key to Save and Exit. This will be different for other manufacturers. See the bottom to find out what key you need to press.
Step 5 – You will get an option Exit Saving Changes? Select Yes and press Enter.
Step 6 – Restart your Laptop and your changes will be saved. Mine is showing Enabled now.
That’s it you’re done. In some laptops HotKeys is named as Action Keys.
If you Enable this then you won’t have to press Fn key + Function key to perform those functions.
If you Disable this then you will have to press Fn + Function key to perform those functions.
If you find difficulty in entering BIOS Setup by this method then you can enter the BIOS Setup using UEFI Settings. Here are the steps to do that.
Step 1 – Hover your mouse over the Windows Startup button and click the gear icon which is your System Settings.
Step 2 – Click on Update and Security.
Step 3 – Click on Recovery.
Step 4 – Click on Restart Now button under Advanced Startup.
Step 5 – Click on Troubleshoot.
Step 6 – Click on UEFI Firmware Settings.
Step 7 – Click on Restart button.
Step 8 – Press the particular Function key to enter BIOS Setup. My laptop shows F10 so I will press F10. It can be different for your laptop manufacturer.
That’s it. Now you have entered the BIOS. In order to enable or disable the Fn key just follow the 6 steps that I shared earlier.
METHOD 2 – Keyboard Fn Lock
This method is only for those who have a Function lock option on their Keyboard. You can identify the Function Lock by looking for a Padlock symbol on the Keyboard. Dell Laptops have this padlock symbol under the Esc key.
I will provide an example with Dell laptop that has Fn lock on Esc Key. Your laptop may have it on some other key.
Now in order to enable or disable Function Keys or HotKeys press Fn + Esc button together for around 3 seconds.
That’s it now you can use all the Function Keys without having to press the Fn key.
If you want to use the Function keys by pressing both Fn + Function key then press Fn + Esc button together again.
If your laptop doesn’t have this Fn lock option then you will have to enable or disable Fn keys using the BIOS or UEFI settings method.
You can follow any of the two methods to enable or disable the Fn key. I recommend the BIOS method because it will work for every laptop out there in the market.
Entering the BIOS Setup is a little tricky so I recommend using UEFI Firmware settings to enter the BIOS setup.
If you Enable the Function keys or HotKeys then you won’t have to press the Fn key to use these functions.
If you Disable the Function Keys or HotKeys then you will have to press the Fn key along with the particular Function Key to perform that particular function.