Technology KnowledgeBase

What are the F keys? Why don’t the volume and screen brightness keys work on my keyboard?

By default, those keys are set to be "function" keys which requires you to press the fn key on your keyboard while pressing the desired function key (MacBook users, the fn key is in the lower left corner of your keyboard. Some iMac keyboards have the fn key located adjacent to the Delete key).

Some staff need the fn key to be active for specialized software they use. If you are NOT a user of function keys, then you can turn that preference off so that the keys do what they advertise in their little pictures without needing to hold down the fn key.

Here's how:

  1. In the Apple Menu, open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Keyboard and Mouse.
  3. Select Keyboard.
  4. Uncheck the box next to Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys

To enable the F keys, simply place a check mark back in the box next to Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.

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