The Fn key is generally known only to laptop users, as it is mainly found on small keyboards . The reason lies in its function: with the corresponding key combination, alternative assignments of other keys are activated. This multiple assignment is necessary especially for small laptop keyboards to be able to offer all the usual functions. We explain what commands can be executed with the Fn key and how to activate and deactivate it..
The Function key is marked with the abbreviation Fn on computer keyboards. It works in a similar way to the CapsLock and AltGr keys, which allow access to secondary or tertiary assignments on all types of keyboards. Similarly, the Fn key also accesses secondary assignments, although this key is primarily found on laptop keyboards . Thanks to the multiple assignment it is possible to access a myriad of functions without the need for an additional key.
The Control (Ctrl) key also offers special functions when combined with other keys. You will find more information about it in our article on the Ctrl key..
On the keyboard, we find the Fn key in the bottom row , near the Control key. The exact position of the keys varies by manufacturer and model.
If you activate the Fn key, it modifies the function of different keys. Depending on the manufacturer and model of the keyboard, the secondary uses that are activated are different. Here is a summary of the most common functions:
Numeric keypad - A numeric keypad allows for quick and convenient entry of numbers, but is generally not included on small laptop keyboards. With the Fn key, you activate letter and number keys with a secondary assignment on the right side of the keyboard and use them as a numeric keypad..
System Settings - With the secondary F-key assignments, you access a variety of frequently used functions without having to navigate the system setup menu. These settings are indicated by a symbol above the key in question . The available commands vary between manufacturers and models. Among the most common functions are the following:
Navigation : If you have a numeric keypad, you also have a secondary mapping available for document navigation . The functions are indicated on the keys as follows:
By simultaneously pressing the Fn key and the keys with secondary assignments, you access additional functions of these. If, for long periods, you mainly use the secondary assignments, it is recommended to activate the Fn key . This saves you from having to press multiple keys at the same time, which is especially handy for using the optional numeric keypad. On many laptop models, the Fn key is on by default, but the most commonly used secondary assignments are those associated with common system settings. Also in this case it is worth activating the Fn key.
Depending on the manufacturer and model of your keyboard or laptop , the Fn key can be activated and deactivated differently. The following list contains common key combinations. Go testing to find out which method is activated your Fn key.
If your keyboard has a Num Lock key , you can turn the numeric keypad on and off on your keyboard. If enabled, you access secondary key assignments without the Fn key. If your keyboard does not have a Num Lock key, enable or disable the Fn key as follows:
Have you activated the Fn key without realizing it ? You will notice the carelessness immediately when pressing the keys other commands other than the usual ones are executed. To reuse the usual key assignments, disable the Fn key with the help of the combinations named above.