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How to use function keys without pressing Fn

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Alejandra Rangel
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Use function keys without pressing Fn on Windows

Are you using a computer with Windows installed and would like to know how to use the function keys without pressing Fn? Then follow the instructions on what to do that you find right below. This is feasible by resorting to the use of some special programs as well as, in some cases, intervention by the BIOS / UEFI.

Using SFunKey


If you want to use the function keys without having to press Fn every time on your computer keyboard and you don't want to complicate your life too much, I inform you that you can do it by resorting to the use of SFunKey. It is a program that allows you to use the function keys by double pressing them, without having to use Fn too. It also allows you to remap the keys in question in an incredibly easy way. It's free and compatible on all versions of Windows.


You ask me what to do to be able to use it? I'll point it out to you right away. First of all, connected to the download page of the program on the Softpedia website, then click on the button Download which is at the top left. Then click on the link Softpedia Secure Download (US), in order to download the software.

When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and click on Si. Then press on Next four times, then on install and to conclude press on Finish. If an error message appears when the setup procedure is complete, start the program with administrator privileges by going to the folder C: Program Files (x86 / x64) SFunKey, by right-clicking on the SFunKey executable, selecting Run as administratorSi.



At this point there is practically nothing more to do. In fact, you can immediately start using the function button without having to press the Fn key, you just have to remember to press the function key of your interest twice in a row and that's it. Convenient, right?

If you then need to change the behavior of the function keys or that of the multimedia keys, double-click on the program icon (the balloon with the "F") that has been added to the Windows notification area and click on the tab Keys in the software window that appears on the desktop. Then select the function key you wish to act on and choose, from the adjacent drop-down menu, the function to assign to it. Done!

If you also want to intervene on the button F12 (usually reserved for system functions), check the item Enable F12 which is to the right. Once this is done, your computer will restart for the changes to actually take effect.

Still from the program settings, I point out that you can choose to disable the icon or message that appears when you press the function keys, as well as the relative degree of transparency and the delay in the display, and to disable the operation of the program when specific programs I'm running. You can do everything from the card Setting of the SFunKey window.

I also remind you that if you want to use the features offered by SFunKey every time Windows is started, you must make sure that the program is run at login. To do this, check the box next to the item Start with Windows found in the aforementioned tab Settings.


Using KeyTweak

As an alternative to the above software, you can use the function keys without pressing Fn by making use of KeyTweak. This is a free program that works on all versions of Windows which, unlike the one I have already told you about, can be useful for the purpose in question as it allows you to change the behavior of the keys on the keyboard. Consequently, you can use it to deactivate the Fn key and assign the function keys directly to the function of reference or that of your interest. Great, right?


To use it for your purpose, first connect to the software download page on the Softpedia website and click on the button Download which is at the top left. Then presses on the link Softpedia Mirror (US), in order to start downloading KeyTweak on your PC.

When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and click on Si. Cheap with I Agree, its install and Close. Then open the program you just installed by calling it through the Start menu and click on Si.

Now that the KeyTweak window is displayed on the screen, select the key on the keyboard image corresponding to Fn (passing the pointer over the various buttons you will be shown a balloon indicating the exact reference key) and click on the button Disabled Key which is below.

Now select, one at a time, the keys present at the top of the on-screen keyboard relating to the function keys (hovering the pointer over them you will always see a balloon indicating the exact key) and choose, from the drop-down menu Choose New Remapping: at the bottom, the relative function (ex. F1 if you are working on the key F1, F2 if you are working on the key F2 and so on). Then press the button Remap Key to the right.


If, on the other hand, you want to change the behavior of the function keys according to your needs and preferences, select the behavior you prefer from the drop-down menu above. Always presses the button Remap Key which is on the right to confirm the changes made.

Alternatively, press the button Half Teach Mode below, click on Single Key Scan, press one of the function keys on the "physical" keyboard and select, from the drop-down menu Destination Key (select from keylist):, its function. Then press on OK to confirm everything.


All the keys on which you have chosen to intervene will be listed in the section below the wording Pending Changes: located in the lower right part of the program window. To apply the changes made, then click on the button Apply and on that Si in response to startup that you see appear on the screen. Mission accomplished!

If you have second thoughts about a certain key, after selecting it, just press the button Restore Default which is at the bottom to restore normal operation. If, on the other hand, you want to restore the default operation of all the keyboard keys you have changed, press the button Restore All Defaults located at the top and then click on Si in response to the warning you see appearing on the screen.

Clearly, in addition to being used for the function keys, KeyTweak can also be used to remap all the other keys on the keyboard, proceeding in a practically similar way to what we saw together above. If you want to intervene on special keys and multimedia keys, select them in correspondence with the section Specialty Buttons which is on the right.

Acting from the BIOS or UEFI

On some computers, especially laptops, it is possible to disable the use of the Fn key to use the function keys directly by intervening from the BIOS or from ourUEFI (practically the evolution of the classic BIOS). Let's see immediately how to do this.

First of all, access the BIOS or UEFI following the instructions on what to do that I have provided you in my tutorial dedicated to the subject. Once this is done, use the le keys directional arrows present on the PC keyboard to access the section System Configuration / System Configuration or in that Advanced / Advanced.

Then select, again using the le keys arrows, the option Action Keys Mode / Action Keys Mode and crushes Submit on the keyboard. Then select the option Activated / Enabled from the menu that appears and press the button Submit on the keyboard to confirm the choice made.

After making changes, you can exit the current panel and save the BIOS settings by pressing the key Esc computer keyboard. Then highlight the item Yes / Yes in the message about saving settings that appears in the center of the screen and press Submit on the keyboard to exit the BIOS and restart the computer.

If you are using UEFI, to save and apply the changes you have made go to the tab Save & exit / Save & exit, scegli l'opzione Save changes & exit / Save changes & exit and answer affirmatively to the warning that appears on the screen to save the changes and restart the computer.

Please note: Unfortunately I cannot be more precise on what to do as the entries in the BIOS and in the UEFI may be slightly different depending on the make and model of computer. Therefore what you see on the screen may not correspond exactly to the information I have given you.

Use function keys without pressing Fn on Mac

Do you have a Mac (desktop or laptop that is) and would you like to be able to use the function keys without having to press Fn every time? Well, you really shouldn't do anything special as on macOS the function keys work as such by default, without having to hit the Fn key as well.

However, if the above does not occur on your Apple-branded computer, it is evidently because you have mistakenly (or intentionally, in the past) changed the keyboard settings from the system preferences. To remedy, therefore, you must always act from there, without having to use third-party software and without having to make various "tweaks".

So, first click on the icon System preference (the one with the gear) that you find on Dock bar, in Launchpad or in the folder Applications macOS and click on the icon Keyboard in the window you see appearing on your desk.

So make sure the tab is selected Keyboard then uncheck the box next to the item Use the F1, F2, etc. keys. as standard function keys and it's done. Changes made to the system will take effect immediately. It was easy, wasn't it?

Only in the specific case of the latest generation MacBook Pro, those equipped with touch Bar, keep in mind that the function keys are not present on the keyboard and are visible on the aforementioned Touch Bar only by pressing the key Fn. Once displayed, to be able to use them just press the corresponding virtual button.

However, you can choose to display them permanently for some applications. To do this, open it again System preference as seen above, click on Keyboard, select the scheda Abbreviationsclick your Function keys in the menu on the left, click on the button [+] which is at the bottom and specifies the reference application. Here it is!

How to use function keys without pressing Fn

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