What do Keyboard F1 to F12 Function Keys do

Every keyboard has a set of Function Keys F1-F12 on the top row, however, the old computer sets used to have these keys gathered on the left side of the keyboard. While every function key caters special function, these can also be combined with Alt Keys and Ctrl Command keys to make the useful keyboard shortcuts. If you are a casual computer user, you might not really be aware of these function keys and their use. In this post, we will talk about what do these keyboard F1 to F12 function Keys do.

Keyboard F1 to F12 Function Keys

Besides these F1-F12 12 function keys, there is special Fn key located next to Ctrl key on your keyboard. The Fn key is used to activate special Function Keys which are marked by special icons in the same color. For example, key F1 on my laptop’s keyboard has a small icon of Touchpad Off in a color code matching to the Fn Key; which means Fn+F1 will turn my Touchpad Off/On. Function keys work differently on different programs.

TIP: Read how to swap or change Function key behavior in Windows laptops.

What do Keyboard F1 to F12 Function Keys do

F1 Key

  • F1 key is universally linked to Help in almost every program, may it be Chrome or Microsoft Word.
  • Win Key+F1 opens the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
  • Shift + F1 reveals formatting in MS Word.
  • Ctrl+F1 opens Task Pane in MS Office.

F2 Key

  • Hotkey to rename any of the highlighted icon, file or folders. Select a file/folder/icon and click F2 to rename it.
  • Ctrl+F2 opens the print preview in MS Word.
  • Fn+F2 mutes the volume of your PC.
  • Alt+Ctrl+F2 opens document library in MS Office.
  • When clicked during Boot Process, F2 key takes you to the BIOS setup of your PC.

F3 Key

  • F3 often activates search function in different applications including the leading browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
  • Fn+F3 to decrease volume in some laptops.
  • Click Shift + F3 to change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case
  • Shift +F3 opens the search in Google Chrome.

F4 Key

  • F4 is often used to close the applications. Alt+F4 closes the currently open program.
  • Alt+F4 opens the shutdown option when no program is open.
  • Ctrl+F4 closes a part of the running program such as a tab or a document.
  • Click Fn+F4 to increase the volume in some laptops.
  • F4 takes you to the address bar in Windows Explorer and Microsoft Edge.
  • F4 opens a fullscreen window in some applications like Space Cadet and 3D Pinball.

F5 Key

  • F5 Key is often used to refresh a web page.
  • Click F5 to open Find & Replace window in MS Word.
  • Starts a slideshow when clicked in PowerPoint.
  • Fn+F5 decreases brightness on your monitor on some laptops.

F6 Key

  • This key takes you to the address bar in some browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and many other popular browsers.
  • Fn+F6 increases the brightness of your monitor on some laptops.

F7 Key

  • F7 opens spelling and grammar checker in MS Word.
  • Shift+F7 opens thesaurus in MS Word.
  • Fn+F7 opens second screen options in some laptops and opens display scheme in some laptops.

F8 Key

  • Commonly used to start your Windows PC in Safe Mode.
  • Takes you to Windows Recovery system at times.

F9 Key

  • If you are using MS Word, F9 key will update your document.
  • Click F9 to send or receive email in Microsoft Outlook

F10 Key

  • F10 Key opens Menu Bar in the open application.
  • Shift+F10 works as right click option.

F11 Key

  • Enters and exits Full-Screen Mode in almost every popular browser including Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
  • CTRL+F11 opens the hidden recovery options in some Windows laptops.
  • Alt+F11 opens the Visual Basic Editor.

F12 Key

  • If you are working on MS Word, click F12 to open Save As window.
  • Win+F12 saves your document in MS Word.
  • CTRL+F12 opens a document in MS Word.
  • Opens Inspect Element in popular web browsers.

Some of these features are available only on some selected laptops. Usually, these options features of Function Keys have default actions or icons printed on them.

Ever wondered why there are bumps on the F and J on a computer keyboard? See this post if Function keys are not working.

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Shiwangi is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.


  1. Vimal Krishna

    good work shivangi, it helped!

  2. Birla Sharma

    pressing of ”r’ displayed as cn1`r
    pressing of ”b’ activate calculator
    pressing of ‘6’ turn the laptop in sleep/hibernate mode

    please fiind me the solution to fix my keyboard

  3. Rj Deepak

    Hallo we can use in only computer, or laptop some functions only laptop being in access but some functions being only computer

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