Your laptop will have a Fn (function) and you can use it to control several different settings for your system. This can save you time but can also irritate you as it is possible for you to inadvertently use a function combination to change something that you don’t want to happen.
Therefore, this article will show you what you need to do to lock and unlock the function key for your laptop. It is certainly possible for you to disable your laptop function key to avoid using it by mistake.
What does the Function Key do?
The first thing that you need to do is to locate the location of your function key. With laptops, you will usually find the key on the bottom row of the keys on your keyboard in between the Ctrl key and the Windows key. You will usually find it abbreviated to Fn.
Each laptop model is likely to have a different combination required to change system settings. Therefore, you will usually use a second key in conjunction with the Fn key to change settings. Here are some of the most common settings that you can change using combinations with the function key:
- Adjusting the brightness of your screen
- Turn your screen on or off
- Change the volume settings
- Enabling standby mode
- Deactivating the laptop touchpad
So now you know what the function key can do for you; it is time to see how you can unlock and lock it.
Unlocking and Locking the Function Key with Key Combinations
The function key on your laptop is likely to be in a state of permanent activation or permanently locked. If your function key is locked, you can use key combinations to unlock it. The problem here is that different laptop manufacturers are likely to have different ways to unlock your function key.
Here are some combinations that you can use to try and unlock your function key:
- Ctrl + Shift + Num
- Fn + Num
- Fn + F11
- Num + F11
- Fn + left Shift
- Fn + Esc
If any of these combinations work on your laptop to unlock the function key, then you should be able to use them again to lock it. Usually, these combinations work on a toggle basis to change from one state to the other.
Not all laptops have the Num key and if yours does not have it then try using the Ins / Insert key instead with the combinations. If you do not succeed with the suggested key combinations, you may find that your laptop manufacturer provides the correct combinations on their website.
Unlocking and Locking the Function Key on your Laptop using BIOS
Your laptop has a BIOS (basic input-output system) program that the CPU uses to start your machine. With some BIOS programs, you will be able to change the settings for your function key to lock it or unlock it.
If your laptop is turned on, then use the shutdown function to turn it off. Turn your computer on and then press the F10 (sometimes F2) key so that you bring up the BIOS program for your laptop.
You will need to navigate with the arrow keys on your keyboard while you are in BIOS. First, find the system configuration page. Look for settings for Action Keys, and when you find this for your function key, you will probably have to use the enter key on your keyboard to display the enable and disable options.
Choose to either enable or disable your function key, then save and exit the BIOS program. The BIOS program in your laptop is very powerful, and you do not want to mess around with the various setting here if you don’t know what you are doing. Furthermore, it can cause your computer to stop working altogether.
We have shown you two ways that you can enable or disable your laptop function key. There is a free application that you can download and install called SharpKeys, where you can change the functionality of keys on your keyboard. It is possible to use this to lock or unlock your function key as well. You can download the latest version of SharpKeys from here. If you are facing any problem locking or unlocking the function key, please leave a comment below.