How to Change Functional Key Behavior in Dell Laptops

Written by Pavan Kumar on May 21, 2009

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As you know, laptops have functional keys which are also equipped for some other operations. I use a Dell Inspiron laptop and when I bought it, the default association for functional keys were the ‘other’/multimedia functions and not the functional key general behavior(like help, save etc). This annoyed me as I used Alt+F4 (close), and F5(refresh) features regularly and each time, it required to be pressed along with Fn Key :( . Here is the solution for Dell laptops, others – sorry I have never seen any other laptop in detail.

Dell function key changing

This is very simple, I never tried for solution, but I found it while working on something else. The solution for this exists in BIOS (don’t know if its on Windows too). While POST(booting time), press F2 (no need of Fn key at POST) to enter into BIOS settings page. Click on System Configuration > Function Key Behavior. Here you can change how your Function Keys work. The figure shows the setting for having the Function Key first and Multimedia keys work when I press Fn key along with Function Keys.

       

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24 Readers responded to this post

srry but i have windows vista and i don’t know how to get to BIOS can you help me

@ Efrain

It is not related with any OS. You need to press (F2 or Del or any other key based on your BIOS, the related key will be displayed as your system starts up).

Thanks Pavan, I’ll check it out for my Dell Studio 1555

thanks pavan , i wad trying to solve this problem from last 2 month.
and finally i got the solution.

thanks alot.

Puneet KR. Gupta
Telecom engineer

hi pavan,
these r very usefull articals and information for us, specially for me (new user)

Thanks for the tip! This function swap has been annoying me since I first booted up my Dell laptop. Now things work the way they’re supposed to.

Worked like a charm. Thanks Pavan – very helpful post

Thanks buddy :)

hi,
thanks for the valuabla and precise info…

Thanks Dear – very very helpful post . I had the same problem but after ur solution life is easy :)

Hi Pavan thank you very much great to find this information. It seams to simple but searching is difficult. I am searching in windows environment. But actual solutions is in BIOS . this is vendor made
Functionality that’ why it is located in BIOS i just forgotten this thing, some times we just forgot simple things Thanks for this help

Thanks, thats what i needed!!

stupid dell lol but i like thier support better than gateway, i wont buy another gateway because of ther support

I got the Dell inspiron N4020 a couple days ago

Excellent, been waiting to do this, good tip with screen shot.!!

Thanks! This does indeed work on the Dell Inspiron 1545 (a.k.a. Inspiron 15). I can’t believe I didn’t spot this before!

I mean, seriously, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. I’ve been through the BIOS options several times in the past. I guess that each of those times, I was too intent on looking for something else to even notice this option.

Now if only I could repaint the keys to have big white “F#”s and little blue icons…

thnx a lot buddy…..it helped a lot

hey budy recently I bought a dell e series,i`ve prob with Function key(Fn) that have to Pushe It as using F-No. keys to use . . .so How can I switch it As regular Keyboards . . .

>>>> Without Going to BIOS also, it is possible.

Press Windows Button >> in serach write : Windows Mobility Center

Open that application.

There is a Option of “Fn Key Behaviour”

Just Change it. :)

(Working Perfect in DELL)

Thanks a lot!! you rock!

Here’s the information on using the “Windows Mobility” option to toggle the Function key behavior.

Windows Mobility Center
1. Press keys to launch the Windows Mobility Center.
2. In the Function Key Row, select Function Key or Multimedia Key.

hi please could you tell me how i get to those settings as those links arent working. thanks

Hey thanks ! this works :D

Thank you, Pavan.. This helped heaps!! Special thanks to ‘Anish Shah’ and ‘Scott B’ as well for other way around without getting into the BIOS.. I think its easier that way.. But I do wish if there was a way to have just the ‘F2 F4 and F5′ keys and media keys directly accessible i.e. simultaneously.. In other words, I wish I could change the Fn key behavior right down to each individual ‘F’ key rather than all of them together.. Don’t think this would be possible though.. right?

Hi Pava,

In my laptop im not able to find the BIOS settings page. Click on System Configuration > Function Key Behavior, can you help me out this.

@Kiran,

BIOS settings page can be accessed by pressing F2 while you restart your machine. Keep pressing F2 right after the machine starts and before OS loading. The key might change for different machines – try Del or F10 as well.

If you are on Windows, here is another solution:
http://www.techpavan.com/2009/05/21/how-to-change-functional-key-behavior-in-dell-laptops/#comment-8187

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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