How to Use the Fn Key on Your Laptop/Computer

The Fn key performs special functions, such as adjusting the screen's brightness and speaker volume.

Short for Function, Fn is a key found on most laptop keyboards and some desktop computer keyboards.

Fn key overview

As you can see in the image above, this laptop has an Fn key with a green and blue Fn. Keys with symbols of the same color indicate that their secondary function will be activated by pressing that key with the Fn key.

In this example, pressing and holding down the Fn key, along with the up or down arrows, would adjust the laptop screen brightness.

Tip: The Fn key should not be confused with the

Function keys F1 -F12 found on computer keyboards.

Where is the Fn key found on the keyboard?

Laptop computers
On laptop computers, the Fn key is almost always located on the bottom-left side of the keyboard, next to the Ctrl key.

Not all Chromebooks have an Fn key. For those that do have an Fn key, it is often found near the spacebar.

Apple desktop keyboards
On full-sized Apple desktop computer keyboards, the fn key is found to the right of the delete key, as shown in the picture to the right.

Other desktop computers

Most other full-sized desktop computers do not have an Fn key. For those desktop computer keyboards that do have an Fn key, it is often found around the spacebar.

How do I use the Fn key?

With most computer keyboards, the Fn key is used like other modifier keys (e.g., the Shift key).

By pressing and holding the Fn key in conjunction with another key that has an Fn function, that function is performed.

For example, consider the photo above of the F12 key on an Apple keyboard. This key also has an icon of a speaker, making the F12 key also an audio volume control key.

If you press this key, it will adjust the volume of your speakers. But if you hold down the Fn key when you press this key, it will be interpreted as the F12 key.

Holding down Fn changes from the default key action to the alternate.

You can configure which action is the default, and which action is the alternate, in the keyboard section of your System Settings.

Tip: On desktop computer keyboards with an Fn key that lights up when enabled, you need to make sure the key is enabled before pressing the corresponding function key.

Once the key is illuminated it no longer needs to be pressed, and each function is performed until the fn key is disabled.

My Fn key does not have multiple colors

Not all Fn keys are color coded.
For computers with a white or black Fn key, it still performs the same function and can be pressed in combination with other keys that have pictures on them.

For example, pressing the Fn key and a

key with a sun on it should adjust the brightness. Pressing the Fn key and a key with a crescent moon should put the computer to sleep.

What functions can the Fn key perform?

The functions available to the Fn key all depend on the computer manufacturer and the type of keyboard. Below is a list of some of the common functions this key can be used to perform.

  • Turn up and down brightness on the display.
  • Turn up and down the volume.
  • Mute the volume.
  • Control media functions such as play, pause,
  • fast forward, and rewind.
  • Switch between windows.

    What if my keyboard does not have an Fn key?

    If your computer did not include a keyboard with the Fn key, it has no alternate functions on those keys. You may consider upgrading your keyboard to a different model, such as a multimedia keyboard.

    Why does the Fn key not work?

    For the Fn key and the function key to work, it must be supported by the computer and device.

    For example, if you are pressing the Fn key and the brightness key to increase the brightness, it only works on the laptop screen and not an external monitor connected to a laptop.

    The same goes for special functions, such as opening a browser window, printer, and audio controls.

    Tip: On desktop computer keyboards with an Fn key that lights up when enabled, you need to make sure the key is enabled
    (illuminated) before pressing the corresponding function key.

    If you are trying to use an Fn key to perform a function that has worked in the past and it no longer works, there may be a problem with the drivers or the actual hardware in the computer.

    What is an Operating System? » Computer Shortcut Keys and their Functions » Keyboard Function Keys » Computer Basics - Hardware - Software - Parts

    Short Stories for Kids - Moral Stories – English Short Stories for Children - Moral Stories for Kids - Stories for Kids - Funny Story for Kids - Scary Stories for Kids - Really Funny Short Stories - Bedtime Stories
    Proverb Stories
    Powerful Motivational Quotes for Students » Success Quotes » English Short Stories for Kids

    Cabin Crew Jobs & Career Advice » Secretary Job Description » Receptionist Job Description » Top 100 Interview Questions and Answers » How to Prepare for an Interview » How to Write a CV » How to Choose a Career » Computer Shortcut Keys and their Functions

    Scholarships in Australia » Scholarships in Austria » Scholarships in Belgium » Scholarships in Canada » Scholarships in Germany » Scholarships in Ireland » Scholarships in Italy » Scholarships in Japan » Scholarships in Korea » Scholarships in Netherlands » Scholarships in Switzerland » Scholarships in UK » Scholarships in USA

    Scholarships for Study in Africa » Scholarships for African Students » Undergraduate Scholarships » African Women Scholarships & Grants

  • Click here to post comments

    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Computer Basics FAQ.

    Scholarship 2021/22

    Current Scholarships 2021/2022 - Fully Funded

    Full Undergraduate Scholarships 2021/2022

    Fully Funded Masters Scholarships 2020/21

    PhD Scholarships for International Students - Fully Funded!

    Funding Opportunities for Journalists 2021/2022

    Funding for NGOs 2021/2022

    Funding for Artists 2021/2022

    Funding for Entrepreneurs 2021/2022