The Function key plays a host of roles on the PC keyboard. Yet some may still want to lock it sometimes or even change its behavior. But why? In this post, we will discuss how to lock the Function (Fn) key in Windows 10/11 computers.
In most modern keyboards, the function key is located between the Control (Ctrl) key and the Windows key at the bottom left of your keyboard. The Function (Fn) key enables users to activate the secondary function of hotkeys (F1-F12) and any other key with a symbol.
To activate the secondary function of a key, press the Function (Fn) key and the key of interest simultaneously. Here, we have identified and tested multiple options through which you can lock and unlock the Function (Fn) key in Windows. Read on to discover more.
Lock the Function (Fn) key on the keyboard
Locking the Function (Fn) key allows the user to use any function key without pressing the Function (Fn) key to activate the key's secondary function. This is how to lock the Function (Fn) key on your keyboard:
Step 1: On your keyboard, locate a key with an Fn padlock icon. (Some keyboards have the Fn padlock symbol on the Esc key).
Step 2: Press and hold the Function (Fn) key.
Step 3: Press the fn padlock key or the Esc key with a padlock symbol while holding the Function (Fn) key.
Now the Function (Fn) key is locked, and you do not have to press it to activate the secondary function of the hotkeys and other keys with symbols.
Unlock the Function (Fn) key on the keyboard
This process will unlock the Function (Fn) key if it has been previously locked.
Step 1: On your keyboard, press and hold the Function (Fn) key.
Step 2: Press the fn padlock key (or press the Esc key with a padlock symbol) while holding the Function (Fn) key.
Now you have to press the Function (Fn) key to activate the secondary function of your keys.
Lock the Function (Fn) key in Windows
This option requires your system to have advanced BIOS options. NOTE: Locking the Function (Fn) key via the BIOS/UEFI Settings changes the dual-use keys into single-use keys.
Therefore, you will not need to press the Function (Fn) key to activate the secondary function of the hotkeys or any other key with a symbol on it. This is how to get it done by entering the system BIOS or UEFI:
Boot into BIOS by rebooting your PC and pressing the required key (F1, F2, F10, or Del).
In case you are using Windows 10 or 8.1:
Step 1: Press the Windows Key and the I key simultaneously (this is to open settings).
Step 2: Click on Change PC Settings (Windows 8.1) or click on Update and Security (windows 10).
Step 3: Click on Update and Recovery (Windows 8.1).
Step 4: On the left panel, click on Recovery.
Step 5: Under the Advanced startup on the right panel, click on Restart Now.
Step 6: Click on Troubleshoot.
Step 7: Click on Advanced Options.
Step 8: Click on UEFI Firmware Settings and then click on Restart. “Now your PC will boot into BIOS”.
If your computer lacks the UEFI Setting option, search its model to figure out which key to enter into BIOS.
Turn off the Function (Fn) lock on Windows 10
On Windows 10, users have the option to turn off the Function (Fn) lock. The reasons for this may be varied among different users. If you’d wish to turn off the Function lock on your Windows PC, follow these steps:
Step 1: Click on the Type Here To Search Task Bar.
Step 2: In the search box, type Advanced Startup.
Step 3: Click on Changed Advanced Startup.
Step 4: On the window that shows directly below, click on the Restart Now button to start an advanced startup.
Step 5: After your computer restarts, select Troubleshoot at the Blue Advanced Boot Options menu.
Step 6: Select UEFI Firmware Settings.
Step 7: Restart to Enter the BIOS Settings.
Step 8: On the system configuration, look for an Action key Mode.
Step 9: Disable the Action Key Mode Settings.
Change the Function (Fn) key functionality
There’s the option to configure the functionality of the function key. That involves assigning it a different function on the keyboard. If that’s something that you might be interested in, follow these steps:
To configure the Function key (Fn) functionality:
Step 1: Enter your computer's BIOS Settings.
Step 2: Select the Advanced tab in BIOS.
Step 3: Choose the Function key behavior.
Step 4: Select the Function key or the Multimedia Key, depending on your preference.
Step 5: Dell users can access this settings procedure from the Windows Mobility Center.
The Function (Fn) key has several secondary functions regarding how we interact with the keyboard. Locking it may provide a way to minimize interruptions during intensive gaming sessions. In this post, you have learned how to lock, unlock, and even turn off this key on windows 10 and 11 PCs.