Why do I have to hold down the – Fn – key to get normal letterteken? Ask Leo!

Pc manufacturers use the Fn key to cram even more virtual keys onto smaller laptop keyboards. Sometimes it can get confused.

Spil i type right now, i have to hold down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key just to get normal letters. I don&rsquo,t know how it happened, but I&rsquo,m on a laptop and the only way for mij to get the &ldquo,u,i,o,l,,,k,j,m,7,9,0,/,p&rdquo, keys are to hold down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key. It is purple on the lower left of my internal keyboard.

One of the compromises that laptop manufacturers had to make to support a full-sized keyboard into the space of a laptop is that numeric keypad that most keyboards have. What they&rsquo,ve done is overlaid it &ldquo,on top&rdquo, of the regular alpha numeric keyboard.

The trick, of course, is noticing it, and then turning it on, or ter your case, off.

Here&rsquo,s a slok of my laptop&rsquo,s keyboard (please, disregard the filth &ndash, it&rsquo,s a well used, and well traveled, machine):

and down ter the lower left you&rsquo,ll see the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key that wij&rsquo,re talking about (tho’ mine&rsquo,s blue instead of purple):

If you look closely at the surplus of the keyboard, you&rsquo,ll see that several keys include blue lettering on them spil well. Ter fact, if you look at the keys 7, 8, 9, 0 on the top row, U, I, O, P on the next, J, K, L, : on the next and M, >, and ? on the bottom, you&rsquo,ll see that each has a blue character on it:

That layout of blue characters mimics the layout of the numeric keypad on a full-sized keyboard.

Normally, if you hold down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key, you&rsquo,ll get whatever character or function is printed te blue on those keys. So holding down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key, you now have a numeric keypad ter the middle of your keyboard. Release &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, and things are back to normal.

Which is exactly the opposite of what the question is asking. The person asking needed to press the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, keys to get the normal, white, characters for each key.

The &ldquo,problem&rdquo, is simply that there is a persistent toggle. If you press &ldquo,Num Lk&rdquo, (I&rsquo,ve also seen it labeled &ldquo,Padachtige Lk&rdquo, for numeric Padachtige) it turns on the blue keys, and inverts the meaning of the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key &ndash, it&rsquo,s a way to use that embedded numeric keypad without having to hold down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key the entire time.

To fix it, just find and press the &ldquo,Num Lk&rdquo, or &ldquo,Padachtige Lk&rdquo, key again. (Note, sometimes thesis keys are themselves &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, keys, so you may, or may not, need to also hold down the &ldquo,Fn&rdquo, key to get the right function.) Often there is an indicator light associated with the setting.

Read more:

  • Why doesn&rsquo,t my keyboard work until Windows is running?
  • What&rsquo,s Dvorak, and why did my keyboard layout all of a sudden switch? If what you type isn&rsquo,t what you get, one possibility is that your keyboard is configured for the Dvorak layout. Wij&rsquo,ll look at how to check and fix it.
  • How can I disable my &ldquo,Windows&rdquo, key? Or for that matter, remap my entire keyboard? Outside of a few standard layouts, truly customizing the layout of your keyboard is typically tighter than you might expect.

About Leo

Leo A. Notenboom has bot playing with computers since he wasgoed required to take a programming class te 1976. An Legal year career spil a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After “retiring” ter 2001, Leo embarked Ask Leo! ter 2003 spil a place for answers to common laptop and technical questions. More about Leo.


Excellent Peak!! One thing, I had to press either control numberlock or fn+ numberlock to get it to work…. by the way, My email address here is not my real address ??

Thank you so much..lol I am still holding the Fn key while writinng this….omzetbelasting thanks so much …….

thx so much i wasgoed googling and found this peak, omzetbelasting i need to press fn and num lk for it to work.still a fine peak tho/

Thanks for the help. I don’t know why the num lock wasgoed on after a reboot wasn’t before today. I am leaving on a excursion tomorrow and wasgoed afraid I wasgoed going to be with the use of my laptop. I opened a help desk toegangsbewijs, well see if my IT dept. can help. I will give them a duo of days and then give them the response.

I pressed fn then scroll number lk while still holding fn and it worked. Make sure your number lk is turning off. If it isnt, then attempt one more time. Don’t press them at the same time. Press fn, hold it, then press number lk while still holding fn. That worked for mij.

Deborah Martin. you are a Queen. Thanks

I am thanking you for your help I have had this problem for weeks and tech support(hubby) couldn’t figure it out 30 secs of your instructions and problem immobilized.You are the greatest

I just plugged a numeric key padachtige to be able to type the numbers swifter. Unfortumately, you have to turn on the numlck for that. Is there a way to use the numeric key padachtige and the keyboard at the same time? If possible spil well, can you email mij the reaction. I appreciate it!

Hello, thank you so much :S I wasgoed freaking out, it’s ironic because before that I could never do work the Fn keys, it wasgoed like a heaven’s call telling mij: “well, do you want the FN working huh?” and then I oculd write well… Thanks for the help!!

i had the same problem, except i had to press SHIFT and NUMLOCK to fix it. i wasgoed stressing cuz it wasgoed very hard to type.

this is for converting the blue keys ter to NumLock and take them back to normal. But I am using a Compaq laptop, while I press Fn Key, the blue keys are typed, and when I release the Fn key, I can type the normal keys. This is a very excellent implement for mij. But sometimes for some unknown reason (maybe I press some key wrongly) this instrument is gone, and I can not get it back until I run the Windows restore system implement.

Could you please showcase mij a way to get it back noramlly, perhaps by pressing a combined sets of keys.

HELL YEAH. Awesome.. I’m a tech at a collegium and had the entire dept. stumped, wij have a shitload of thesis laptops and it wasgoed happening left and right… no way.. how effortless wasgoed that? Awesome.. I’m still so excited that I found this response.. I’ve bot searching for months for something, on the internet, called the pc store wij purchased them from… no one knew… thanks a loterijlot. You saved us a lotsbestemming of money. Wij were ready to get at least 8 fresh keyboards. Thanks again.

Thank you, so much. I thought I wasgoed going insane. I recently got a windows laptop, and I’m a mac junkie, so thank you for saving mij the disgrace of taking this into a shop, haha.

How about on an IBM Thinkpad T30. How do I turn off the Fn Keys

HEEEEELLLP. My Compaq Presario Fn problem is similar but it seems THE FN KEY DOESN’T WORK AT ALL. I press it overheen and overheen attempting to release [something]and only get the numbers and no letters. Have attempted pressing the Number Lock but it doesn’t help.

Thanks so much – this wasgoed driving mij crazy & it’s now immobile – thanks to you!

Thanks!! This has happened to mij more than once, usually after a child has got a hold of my laptop! Now I know how to fix it, and how to use the blue keys!!

I have had my laptop for a year but this “fn” has never happened to mij. For two days I wasgoed wondering how to solve this mistery until I came to this webstek. Thank you for your help.

This helped a lotsbestemming. Whenever I logged onto a laptop from a domain I could never use the keyboard spil I had to hold the key to get certain letters albeit other users didn’t have to. Now I know why!

Thought it wasgoed a problem with the profile settings. Thanks a loterijlot!

thank your for this webpagina, never would have figured it out on my own!

Thanks a loterijlot. I had to substitute keyboard for my laptop some days ago and I wasgoed indeed disappointed that some keys only worked when I wasgoed holding down they Fn key. I wasgoed about to come back the fresh keyboard and solution you talent mij wasgoed so elementary, Thanks again.

Could not thank you enough for the peak !.

I wasgoed worried if i did something to the laptop…!!

damn…the lenovo.com , ‘excellent’ sites did not even mention the subject !!

November 16, 2006

Re: Fn and NumLk Keys

Thanks! I had the same problem just now concerning the Fn key and after reading your article I wasgoed able to solve the problem. Ordinary but fix but very difficult for those of who don’t know the ordinary fix.

Thanks i wasgoed attempting for hours but couldnt find a webstek that had this question.

many thanks Pierce

Thanks. I have the same kwestie. It has now bot immobile.. I need to hold Fn key ,while press Num Lk to unlock it.

Call mij stupid, but your webpagina helps mij out greatly. Thanks!

omg thank u bot like months couldn’t figure this damn thing out thanks . by holding the fn key and then f9 or padachtige lock i did it!

Thanks a lot… ur like godheid ter need… IBM itself has no information to turn off fn key…. it wasted my Two hrs…. Lastly i could find it here..

I wasgoed having the same probs…now im sorted…thanx to this site….i thought i wasgoed going to have to go through all the books…so thank youuuuuuu

This trick wasgoed excellent i thought that i had to substitute my laptop keyboard.

Hi Pal, thanks very much. You are a don. Cheers!!

I updated to Windowsxp sp2 and i use the the login so when the window speelpop up for mij to waterput the pw i couldn’t type any leter j, k. even i attempted that numlk. If i press the fn key and or the shift key i can’t type any letterteken. so any idea.

cheers bru, wasgoed commencing to rip my hair out.

The Compaq heldesk man did not know wht he wasgoed talking about when he wasgoed helping. Wasted my 1.5hrs…..and got to work late spil well. The next day i found the solution here and wasgoed stationary ter acute 6mins. Leo ur genius.

You da man!! Thanks, I wasgoed using an outer mouse, and the ms on screen keyboard. I num locked the on screen (injecting a loterijlot of #’s) when finished I eliminated the mouse and couldn’t get my laptop working right ’til I found your webpagina. You da man.

Leo, sorry, but my question did not get answered and am still fighting with how to eliminate the light off icon when pressing Fn and PgUp where the light icon is. Sometimes when I do use those two keys together, it will vanish, but not always. Any suggestions, please.

Thanks te advance.

Thank you for explaining the problem and solution so well. It is exactly what I am looking for.

You are a Genius. The techs at Gateway had mij running ter circles, spending hours on their phone lines and “chat” support then telling mij the only way to fix this (after attempting to uninstall/reinstall the keyboard driver) wasgoed to find a restore point at a time prior to this “problem” happening and then doin a utter system restore. I spent literally days on this PROBLEM and you talent mij (and evidently about half of the user population) the straight forward solution te 30 seconds. I don’t know if you are saint but I’ll certainly vote for you on the very first ballot for your sainthood. jsw

I am having the same problem. I have a gateway laptop. this week end I used an outward keyboard. I can not type with out the numbers on the center of the keyboard on. no letters. I do not have a number lock that I can see. HELP

I use an outward mouse and keyboard.

when I activate numlock, the keyboard works fine and types a number. when I deactivate it types letterteken, right all is OK. /but now: I hold the function key and then type “j” to get 1 instead the notebook sees it a directional or arrow key. How do I fix this. When I have a outer keyboard I press numlock twice and the problem seems corrected. But I do not carry a keyboard along the entire time.

Thanks! I’ve bot attempting to figure this problem out for a week.

Worked like a miracle. Thanks a million, mate!

THANKS. I’m so glad I found this article. I didn’t know what wasgoed going on.

I wasgoed just getting ready to take my Compaq laptop to the shop spil I couldn’t figure out how to unlock the function key (lost manual). Your solution wasgoed right on. Can’t wait to read your newsletter. Thank you.

OMG thanks alot i attempt to figure it out but it wasgoed imposible thank you thank you

Thanks for the information. M being displayed spil a 0 wasgoed driving mij nuts. Based on your explanation, I wasgoed able to turn Fn off.

Thank you. I am so glad I googled my problem and your pagina came up. I had bot sitting here with Windows help for Two hours and did not come close spil to how to fix my problem. MY KIDS ARE NOT PLAYING THERE GAMES Ter MY LAPTOP AGAIN!!

My gripe is that I can’t figure out a way to get the special characters that I used to get when I typed something like altstem + 0186 to get the degrees symbol, etc. Is there any way I can type thesis symbols without having to use the character schrijfmap, please? I’ve attempted all sorts of key combinations but no luck.

Leo A. Notenboom

I wasgoed able to to that by holding down the Fn key and the Altstem key and using the

blue numeric keypad embedded on my keyboard.

Version: GnuPG v1.Four.7 (MingW32)

Thanks so much. I just googled “Fn key” and yours wasgoed the very first klapper. I have spent overheen an hour discovering all sorts of setting on my laptop that I didn’t know about, but none of them immovable the problem. It wasgoed so plain – I’m glad I didn’t take it to a Professional to be immobile – I’d have felt such an idiot. (Thought my laptop wasgoed on its way out – it’s fairly old now).

I had the very same problem for a while, and I couldn’t figure out what to do. This wasgoed very helpful. Thanks!

had this b4 but couldn’t find solution, worked a treat, thx

wow, brilliant, good, holding down ‘fn key’ all the

time wasgoed indeed annoying. so glad to sort it out

and before my rekentuig mad son and hubby too!!

on my dell laptop the keys e d c Trio are not working watten is solution

Leo A. Notenboom

Sounds like a cracked keyboard. Get it repaired.

Version: GnuPG v1.Four.7 (MingW32)

i attempted again and it worked. this time i pressed shift at the same time spil numlk. thank heerser for that!my dad wont be cross now. thankyou so much, you have given mij a good excuse to carry on with my homework! lol! you are the best and i will recommend this webstek to all those with pc problems!

Thank you very much.

After working on this damn thing for overheen 1 day, it came to mij to run a search. Duh!!

The worst part of the entire situation is I work on thesis bimbo technological blunders.

Thank You Again,

I love you…. so much.. thank you.

Thanks allot bro

My cat just walked on my keyboard. I wasgoed able to Google “Fn”, then pick “Fn key” from the related topics and found you. Thanks.

Many thanks worked treat had this problem with a latest samsung laptop i purchase which by the way didn’t even have scroll key for mij to activate so when it says vertoning picture of keyboard did it like that tapped the scroll key and everything went back to normal hooray:-0

I have a more complicated problem, I have a Toshiba m45-s265 with XP. I’ve bot searching the netwerken all nipt for a possible fix.. it seems a few other people have the same issues with their Toshibas. So ok heres my problem, theres some malfuction inwards the houtvezelplaat itself. When its tilted the fn key lights up and then bam you cant type jack****. somethings liberate, I dunno.. my warantees expired, replacement isnt an option at this uur. id did some searching and I’ve waisted a entire night filtering through crap and not getting my response.. What I want to do is just disable it.. i havent found any third party program that permits remapping of the fn key. If you know of any for this situation please tell mij, i grow weary. I tired looking for a process to disable or delete but no luck. The last thing I can thing of is deleting a possible regestry if there is one. Spil one other mention te a different forum it turns into an obbsession. So spil u can see this is fairly a perdiciment…I just got a gut feeling i can treat this internally through the OS spil is i have no use for the fn key because ive grown a searing hatred to get rid of it! Im not gunna give up just yet and if u can help email mij at [Email Address Liquidated] >>>> dont mind the name im an anarchist and its a statement ??

Thanks Bro…. U r Good …. problem solved ……………. just a press on Num Lock

oh my gosh. thank you so much. i thought that my FN key got stuck te switch roles or something.

this is embarrassing for mij too, because i work with computers spil a profesion..

Your article has bot very helpful, had the same problem with my laptop. Am getting normal keys again. Thanks a lotsbestemming!

THANK YOU. This has hapened to mij before and had no idea how I turned it off!! I’ll keep this te my memory handelsbank!

You are my hero of today! Couldn’t find anywhere how to turn it off again.

Very clear explanation very pleased

thanks, had the same kwestie, due to a cat, solved now with your help.

I had no idea that num loc switched on the fn key – couldn’t work out what wasgoed happening.

Thanks everzwijn so much

thank you, so plain when you know how. I wasgoed going crazy with the Fn key.

thank you so much ,I think it wasgoed afualt on my laptop.

Thanks Leo. I don’t have much more hair to pull out.

MAN! Thank you very much…that’s all have to do.

Thank you . Thank You !! Thank You !!Thank You

Superb stuff* Thank you for that brilliant article!

One minor thing worth mentioning.

Maybe waterput the solution straight after this sentence.

“”The trick, of course, is noticing it, and then turning it on, or te your case, off.””

And then give a detailed breakdown of the FN and related keyboard functions.


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