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How to Lock & Unlock Fn Key on Windows Laptops

laptop keyboard

Most Windows laptops have a Fn key on the keyboard. It means “function”. When used in combination with the function keys on the top row of the keyboard, the corresponding functions of the function keys can be realized. For example, adjust screen brightness and sound volume.

Users have different preference while using Fn key. Some people like to press Fn + function keys at the same time to implement functions(Fn key unlocked), while others want the convenience of pressing only function keys(Fn key locked). Therefore, manufacturers provide the capability to lock and unlock the Fn key.

Next we’ll show you how.

Method 1: Fn+Esc Shortcut

More and more OEM manufacturers, like Dell and Lenovo, had chosen to assign FnLock to Esc key. Under this circumstance, you can lock or unlock Fn key by pressing Fn+Esc at the same time.

Fn key and function keys on a keyboard

However, some keyboards have different layout, you have to check where FnLock, a string of letters or a lock sign, is printed. For example, in some HP models, FnLock is printed on Shift key, and you need to press Fn+Shift at the same time to trigger the action.

fn lock on some HP keyboards

Method 2: Default Fn Key Behavior in BIOS

For some OEM manufacturers, there is no quick switch of locking and unlocking Fn key. The only way is to set the default Fn key Behavior in BIOS.

It’s impossible to showcase with all brands, so I pick Dell and HP out as examples.

For Dell

You can keep clicking on F2 key during restart to enter BIOS settings. Dell has two popular editions of BIOS, each one has its own interface and specific entry name. In some earlier models, you should find the entry in Advanced – Function Key Behavior.

Function Key Behavior setting in earlier Dell BIOS

Otherwise in newer Dell models, the entry is located at POST Behavior – Fn Lock Options.

Fn Lock Options in newer Dell BIOS

For HP

During restart, keep clicking on F10 key, and then choose BIOS Setup Utility to enter BIOS settings. HP also has models runing different editions of BIOS. In some earlier models, you should configure in System Configuration – Action Keys Mode.

  • Enabled: Fn locked, no need to press Fn key.
  • Disabled: Fn unlocked, need to press Fn Key to trigger functions.
Action Keys Mode configuration in HP BIOS

As for those newer models, you can find the entry in System Options. If you want to lock Fn, check the box in front of Launch Hotkeys without Fn Keypress.

Launch Hotkeys without Fn Keypress option in newer HP BIOS

Most brands adopt the same design logic. If your notebook brand is not listed and the keyboard and BIOS are very different, it is recommended to find the user manual through the corresponding official website for accurate operation.

Pictures in this article are from PCOIC and HP Support Center.

A skilled Windows user and explorer. Mainly focus on Tips and Fixes.

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