What Is the “Fn” or “Function” Key on a Keyboard?

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Confused by that “Fn” key on your keyboard? “Fn” is definitely brief for “function,” and allows you to entry a vary of different capabilities for the different keys on your keyboard. Today, we’ll learn the way to make use of it.

Table of Contents

What Is the Fn Key?

The Fn key was initially created attributable to a lack of area on earlier keyboards. Instead of including extra keys, they got a number of capabilities.

As an instance of one among its makes use of, the Fn key on some laptops allows you to regulate the display’s brightness if you press it together with one other key. Think of it as a button much like the shift key. Depending on your gadget, Fn may allow you to:

  • Adjust quantity up and down.
  • Mute your laptop computer’s inner speaker.
  • Increase or lower monitor brightness or distinction.
  • Activate standby mode.
  • Hibernate your laptop computer.
  • Eject a CD/DVD.
  • Lock the keyboard.

The secret’s used in another way relying on the working system, however Mac, Windows, and even Chromebooks all have some model of the Fn key.

RELATED: 47 Keyboard Shortcuts That Work in All Web Browsers

Where Is the Fn Key on My Keyboard?

That relies upon. On Apple and PC laptops, the Fn secret’s often in the lower-left nook of the keyboard subsequent to the Ctrl key.

Chromebooks, on the different hand, might not even have one. Some do, although, and it’s situated close to the area bar.

On Macbook laptops, you’ll nearly all the time discover the Fn key on the backside row of the keyboard. Full-size Apple keyboards can have it subsequent to the “delete” key. On wi-fi Apple Magic Keyboards, the secret’s situated in the bottom-left nook.

If your pc doesn’t have an Fn key, then your keyboard in all probability doesn’t have any of those different capabilities. You may need to improve to a keyboard that permits you to use them.

RELATED: The 10 Best Wireless Keyboards

How Does the Fn Key Work?

How the Fn secret’s used will fluctuate primarily based on which working system you’re utilizing. It’s used equally to different modifier keys like “shift,” typically together with the F1-F12 (perform) keys at the prime of your keyboard.

The capabilities are often designated by the identical symbols, even throughout working methods. A solar image, for instance, is often used to indicate display brightness. A half-moon often signifies placing the pc to sleep. And so on.

Function keys at the top of a Mac keyboard


Note: The Fn key gained’t all the time work the identical manner with peripherals because it does with the fundamental pc. For instance, Fn and the brightness key won’t regulate brightness on an exterior monitor.


On a Windows PC, the particular capabilities of F1-F12 are accessed by holding down the Fn key after which urgent one among the perform keys. That can embody muting sound or adjusting display brightness.

So, to make use of the Fn key on a PC:

  1. Hold down the Fn key.
  2. Simultaneously, press whichever perform key you’ll want to use.

Some keyboards could have an Fn key that illuminates when enabled. If you’ve a keyboard like this, examine to see whether or not the mild is on (whether or not the key has been enabled) earlier than urgent the secondary perform key.


On a Mac pc, the F1-F12 keys will carry out these particular capabilities by default. F11 and F12, for instance, will flip the pc’s quantity up or down with out you having to press the Fn key first. Pressing the Fn key after which one among the F1-F12 keys will lead to a secondary motion particular to whichever software you’re at present utilizing.

Some Fn keys will probably be color-coded to match sure capabilities. On these keyboards, you’ll see “fn” in two completely different colours on the Fn key. These keyboards could have two units of secondary capabilities, additionally color-coded. If your Fn key had “fn” printed in pink and blue, for instance, urgent Fn and a pink key can be a completely different perform than Fn and a blue key.

Most computer systems allow you to customise the perform keys to some extent. On a Macbook, you possibly can choose whether or not the F1-F12 keys use their particular keys by default or not. Some keyboards provide you with the choice to disable the Fn key by utilizing “fn lock.

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