The function key, commonly referred to as the Fn key, is a special key present on most keyboards, especially on laptops. Why is it specifically found on laptops? The reason is the size limitations of their keyboards. What are the main functionalities of the Fn key on the keyboard? It allows you to control various functions that you would typically manage through the system settings. These functions not only save time but also can be irksome in some situations. If something useful turns out to be frustrating, then how to fix it? The only remedy is to lock the Fn key when it’s not needed. Now you might be wondering How to lock and unlock the Fn key on your keyboard, right? Well, keep on reading the guide below. Surely, you will find answers to your questions at the end of the article.
Table of Contents
The Fn key is a modifier key just like other modifier keys, such as Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and AltGr. For a standard modifier, the internal microcontroller in the keyboard transmits a scan code for the modifier itself. This code is then interpreted by the operating system and combined with other key presses occurring concurrently.
Conversely, the Fn key is a type of meta-modifier key. As such, it results in the operating system receiving modified scancodes when you press other keys simultaneously. These functions enable the keyboard to directly emulate a full-sized keyboard. This way, the operating system can use standard keymaps designed for a full-sized keyboard.
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Because of this feature, you get the feeling of using a full-blown keyboard on a laptop keyboard.
Mapping describes the process of setting up the functions of the Fn key. Yes, you can configure it. The handling of the Fn key doesn’t provide any information to the main computer, leaving the computer confused about whether the Fn key has been pressed or not. Hence, some manufacturers, like Lenovo, perform this mapping in the BIOS operating system on the primary CPU. This feature allows the Fn key to be remapped by altering the BIOS interrupt handler. In the case of Apple products, the Fn key is mappable and serves additional purposes as well. You can activate the dictation feature by pressing the Fn key twice.
CAPACITIES OF FUNCTION(Fn) KEY
It is usually located between the special keys such as Ctrl, Alt, and the Windows key. It’s generally positioned at the bottom left or right of the keyboard. With the Fn key, you can achieve another level of control over the keyboard. These functionalities vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and also change between models of the same brand.
You can quickly identify the secondary assignment for the function key by a corresponding symbol. Most of these symbols are usually in a certain color. You can perform the following functions with an Fn key combination.
- Adjust screen brightness
- Switching the laptop into standby mode.
- Volume controls (increase, decrease, mute)
- Screen on/off
- Touchpad deactivation
- Handling external displays
- And finally, the Numpad on the right half of the keyboard.
HOW TO LOCK Fn KEY
There may be times when the Fn key becomes a nuisance. During such situations, you can deactivate the Fn key as you may not need it. Let’s look at how to lock the Fn key using the following steps.
STEP1: Switch on your computer.
STEP2: Press the F10 key to access the BIOS setup window.
STEP3: Navigate to the system configuration option using the arrow keys.
STEP4: Enter the Action keys mode option.
STEP5: Now press the enter key to display enable or disable menu.
STEP6: Choose disable and press the F10 key to save the setting.
Remember to reboot the system after making the changes.
HOW TO UNLOCK Fn KEY
Sometimes the Fn key might accidentally get locked or deactivated. You can easily resolve the problem by following the steps mentioned below. To release the Fn keys lock, there are different combinations based on different manufacturers and models. Test out the following key combinations one by one to unlock the Fn key.
By using any one of the above-suggested combinations, you can effectively unlock the Fn key.
That’s it, guys. I hope you got the solutions to your problems with the Fn key. A function key is a handy tool and an exciting feature on laptop keyboards. It permits you to control many functions even without adjusting the system settings. It gives you the experience of using a fully equipped keyboard. The inconvenience caused by the Fn key can be rectified with the above-detailed methods. Thank you for reading. Stay equipped and keep updating your knowledge about technology.