Change Function key behavior in Dell laptops

One thing I did not like about my Dell Inspiron 15 7537 Windows 8.1 laptop keyboard was the behavior of the Function and Multimedia keys – that is, the top most row in the keyboard. On my earlier Dell XPS, I was used to pressing the key to activate the Function keys like F1, F2, etc, and to press Fn key + the F1, F2 key to activate the multimedia operations like Speaker on or off, Search, etc.

Swap or change Function key behavior in Windows laptops

I wanted to change this behavior; ie. I wanted to interchange, swap or inverse keyboard Function and Multi-media keys back to the one I was used to, and here are two ways you can do it.



Restart your Windows computer and when it starts booting, press the F2 key to enter the BIOS settings.

Press the Advanced tab and double-click on Function key behavior. Change the setting from Multimedia key to Function key.

Read: Dell XPS 12 9250 review.

Entering the BIOS and changing BIOS settings is normally not advisable – especially if you are not used to it. I therefore recommend you follow this second method.

Via Windows Mobility Center

Change the Function key behavior using the Windows Mobility Center.

To open the Windows Mobility Center, press WinKey+X to open the WinX Menu and select Mobility Center. Alternativey, ope Run box, type mblctr and hit Enter. Goes without saying that you can also access it via Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Windows Mobility Center > Adjust commonly used mobility settings.

Change Function key behavior

Under Function Key Row, from the drop-down menu, select Function key instead of Multimedia key.

In this way, you will be able to interchange, swap or inverse keyboard Function and Multi-media keys on Dell laptops.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.