How To Use Function Keys On Dell Laptop? (Stop Using Fn Now)

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If I say that the uppermost row of your keyboard contains the most confusing keys then I won’t be wrong. Okay, Let me explain why, just press F5 on your Dell laptop right now. Done? You just reloaded this page, now look at that little icon on F5, isn’t it showing a completely different function? So how to use these function keys so that they do exactly what is shown on their icon?

Well, It’s pretty simple. You can use the function keys on the Dell laptop by holding Esc (escape) and Fn lock keys together. But In some models of Dell, you need to go to BIOS settings to Fix this.

These function keys from F1 to F12 of your keyboard can perform multiple functions. So to understand everything about function keys on Dell laptops in detail, just stay with me because I’m gonna be telling you about so many shortcuts of Function keys in this article.

All You Need To Know About Function Keys

Function keys are the keys in the topmost row of your keyboard after the Esc key from F1 to F12. All of these function keys usually have two functions, secondary functions, and standard functions.

For instance, in Dell latitude 3440 F11 is supposed to decrease the volume which is its standard function. However, what happens is that if you only press F11 it opens the full-screen mode which is its secondary function. For accessing the primary function which in this case is decreasing volume you have to press Fn along with F11.

Now here comes a question, is there any way to do it directly just by pressing the F11 only? Well yes! You can and this is exactly what we are going to learn in the next section so scroll down a bit.

Enabling Function Keys On Dell Laptop (Disabling Hotkeys)

To enable function keys you have two options, either you can toggle the Fn key or you can disable the lock mode through BIOS settings. After that, the function keys will be able to perform as function keys and work directly for standard functions.

Note: Disabling Function keys will allow you to use Standard functions directly and if you enable function keys it will allow you to use secondary functions directly.

Additional Tip: In case, you have disabled the function keys you can still use the secondary functions by pressing Fn along with the Main F-key.

Enabling and Disabling Function Keys On Dell Laptop Windows 10

Here is a simple process to enable the function keys on a Dell laptop in Windows 10.

  • First, you have to shut down your laptop system.
  • Once it is properly shut down, wait for 5 minutes and restart your laptop.
  • Now while the laptop is restarting, press F12 to get into BIOS settings.
  • Click on BIOS setup from the menu.
  • After that, go to Post behavior.
  • Now here you can see the Fn lock option click on Disable Fn lock.
  • Click Apply and then Restart.

Alternate Method

In some Dell laptops the options can be a little different so here is another method for enabling function keys in that situation.

  • Shut down the laptop.
  • Restart it back again and hold F12.
  • Once you get in select Setup.
  • Now using the right arrow key go to advanced.
  • Click on Function keys Settings and choose from Function keys and Multimedia.
  • After that save settings and Restart.
Note Here choosing Function keys will allow you to use the standard function directly and for the secondary function, you have to press Fn along with the required Function key.

Also Read: What Kind Of Laptop Do I Have?

Use Of Function Keys

As we know that each of these function keys can perform more than one function, so let’s see what are some most useful function keys and what are their functions.

F1 key

In most cases, F1 is for help and it opens the help center window whenever you click it. So next time whenever you need any sort of assistance with a browser or an app just click F1 along with Fn.

F2 key

F2 can be used for changing the name of any folder or document. So just point your cursor to the folder you want to rename and press F2. It’s the easiest and fastest method of renaming any file on your laptop.

F5 key

If you are someone who knows even a little bit about PCs and laptops then you must know that F5 is the fastest way of refreshing the laptop.

The F5 key is also used for reloading a page that I previously mentioned at the very beginning of the article.

F12 key

This key has multiple uses. You can save the file in MS Word by pressing F12. It is also used for opening the BIOs menu plus this can set your laptop system to flight mode.


Function keys are multi-function and can work as multimedia keys and function keys. In this article, I’ve covered everything that you needed to know about function keys and their uses on Dell laptops. Plus, if you are in search of a decent Dell model then I would highly recommend buying this new Dell Inspiron 5410 because of its amazing built quality and two-in-one feature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How do I get my Dell function keys to work?

    To get your function keys to work on Dell’s laptop make sure to toggle the Fn lock key, for that you need to press the Fn lock key along with the Esc key together. You can also do this through BIOs settings.

  2. How do I lock and unlock the Fn key?

    To lock the Fn key go to BIOS setup, click on Post behavior and look for the Fn lock key option press that, and now you can choose whether you want to lock that or unlock that. For locking, click disable, and for unlocking click enable.

  3. What are the F keys shortcuts?

    The F keys shortcuts vary model to model in case of any Dell latitude model, if you press F5, it will refresh or reload the page similarly pressing F4 and Fn together can decrease the brightness and so on.

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Anthony Mark

Anthony Mark

I am Anthony Mark, and I work in IT support as a Computer Hardware Technician. I am interested in problem-solving all issues related to computer hardware and software through stepwise guides. I hope one day my guide helps you with your computer issue. Adios!