How to Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop?

How to enable function keys on Dell laptop is easy and simple. Function keys are the keys from F1 to F12 and they have alternative functions. There is another function key on most of the laptops. This function key “Fn” is the key that activates the alternative functions of functional keys (F1 to F12).

How to Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop?

There are several options on the function keys including pause, play, forward, screen mode, zoom, brightness, etc. These keys are at the top of your laptop’s keyboard. Dell laptops also have this function key that enables two command systems.

There are several ways that you can enable your function key in Dell laptops. This key has different access points including keyboard shortcuts to BIOS or UEFI options. We are going to discuss all of them in this article.

How To Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop?

Method 1: Using Toggle Key

Step 1:

In Dell laptops, toggle this by pressing the Fn Lock key, which works in a similar way to the Caps Lock key. The toggle key in most of the laptops is given already on the keyboard in the form of the “Fn” key. 

Step 2:

Locate the “Fn” key and press it with one thumb. Now locate the key having a “Lock” shape on it (Usually Escape key). 

Step 3:

Press both the keys at the same time. In some cases, your laptop will make a beep sound and it’s the sign that your function key is enabled. 

The Fn lock or unlock key is often located in the same Escape key. Pressing the Fn or function key enables it shortly and now you can use all the alternative function keys from F1 to F12. Some keyboards also have other combinations. You can search on the user manual Press Fn>Press Escape.

Read Also: How to Enable Function Keys on Toshiba Laptop?

Method 2: Using Combination Keys

In some cases, you can use a combination of more than two keys to unlock the Fn keys directly from your keyboard. In such cases, you have to find the Fn lock key on your computer. This key often contains a lock symbol on it. 

Usually, in Dell laptops, we press the “Fn” key with that lock key to unlock the function keys. But in some models, you have to press Fn+Ctrl+Esc to unlock. There is a specific combination for all laptops.

Method 3: Using BIOS Options

The activation of the function key is also included in the BIOS setup. You can access this option by pressing F2 or F12 in Dell laptops. There are several important steps involved in this.

Step 1:

How to Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop using BIOS Options

Press F2 or F12 (According to your Dell model) when you turn on your laptop. By pressing it once or twice, the BIOS will open.

Step 2:

Find the “Devices” and open the keyboard settings. Or in some Dell models open the “Advanced” and then there will be “Function key behavior”. 

How to Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop using combination keys

Step 3:

Highlight it by moving the cursors downwards. Press enter key, now select function key.  

F2/F12>BIOS>Advanced>Function key behavior.

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Method 4: By Using Control Panel

In Windows, there is a control panel that has the function key enabling option. 

Step 1:

Search for the devices in the control panel, open the Keyboard, go to advanced options.

Step 2: 

There you have to press enable function keys. 

Method 5: By Window Mobile Centre

Most of the Dell laptops have the “Windows Mobility Centre”. You can access this mobility center by just right-clicking on the start menu. 

Step 1:

How to Enable Function Keys on Dell Laptop by window mobile centre

Right-click on the start menu, select the mobility Centre or you can press Windows key+X.

Step 2: 

You will find the option “Function Key Row”.Click the file and select “Function Key”.

Read Also: How to clean a sticky keyboard?

Ultimate rundown of everything F1 – F12 keys do:

Function Key Alternative key
F1Help or Mute
F2Rename or Volume Down
F3Volume Up
F8Screen mode
F11Brightness Low
F12Brightness Up


How to enable Fn key in Dell laptop using keyboard keys?

You can use different combinations to unlock the function keys. Press Fn+Esc together to unlock the function keys. There are some combinations including the Ctrl key too. But in most of the Dell models Escape is the lock key. 

How to disable the Fn key in Dell laptops?

You can follow the same procedures as we describe in the blog post to deactivate or disable the function keys in the laptop. 

How to use alternative function keys?

By pressing the Fn key with any of the function keys (F1 to F12), you can use the alternative key. Before that, you have to unlock the Fn key’s function using any described method.

How can I reverse the function keys?

To use the simple function key, press them without pressing the “Fn” key from the laptop. You can reverse the effect by blocking the function keys again. Repeat any of the above-given methods to do so. In short, you can press Fn+Esc in most dell laptops to reverse the function keys. 

Why am I unable to use the Fn key?

Your Fn key may lock that time, which is why you are unable to use these alternative functions. Press Fn+Esc in Dell laptops to unlock the alternative functions of Fn keys.

Is there any difference between Fn and function keys?

Yes, there is a significant difference between both. Fn is a single that is combined with function keys to perform alternative functions. While the function keys of a keyboard are all keys from F1 to F12.

The Bottom Line

There are various methods through which you can unlock and use the Fn key and alternatives to function keys. These methods include enabling through BIOS, with keyboard key combinations, control panels, keyboard settings, and many more.

All these methods are completely laptop brand-specific or operating-system-specific. In this article, we also have provided a list of how you can use the same function keys for different purposes.