The F1-F12 buttons on the keyboard do not work: finding the cause and solution

Agree that any deviations from the usual / normal operation of the computer (stationary or laptop) always cause some concern, as it immediately begins to form the feeling that this is only the beginning in the chain of breakdowns. This opinion is shared by many users, and it is quite reasonable. If something went wrong, then it should have been preceded by any events or actions, and if so, then the user is not insured from repeating them. The above applies not only to serious computer damage or malfunction of the operating system, but also to minor (as it is now called household) difficulties that, at times, are more difficult to solve. And about one of the representatives of such "minor" problems and will be discussed in this article.

Solving problems in the operation of the F1-F12 buttons on a laptop.


So, as is clear from the title of the article, the essence of the problem is that the buttons from F1 to F12 refuse to work on a laptop or on a keyboard of a stationary laptop. And despite the fact that most users prefer to ignore the functionality that is offered by this keyboard unit, their actual inoperability causes confusion in almost all. To begin with, it will not be superfluous to remind you what these buttons are able to do, and for more convenience you should present this functional list in the form of a table:

ButtonsFunctionality (main)
  • Call help in any software where such functionality is provided.
  • Go to standby mode.
  • Allows you to rename the selected object (file, folder).
  • Log in to the BIOS in the vast majority of motherboards.
  • Disable the wireless network adapter (switch to airplane mode.
  • Included in the list of hot "keys" in the office suite "Microsoft Office".
  • Call the window with the search bar.
  • Included in the list of hot "keys" in the office suite "Microsoft Office".
  • Quickly close active windows, in combination with "ALT" and "CTRL".
  • Repeat the last action in "Microsoft Office".
  • Perform the function "Update" on the active pages of the browser, document, Windows directories.
  • Adjust screen brightness.
  • Included in the list of hot "keys" in the office suite "Microsoft Office".
  • Move the cursor to the address bar.
  • Adjust screen brightness.
  • Used in the program "Total Commander".
  • Spelling checker in “Microsoft Office”.
  • Adjust screen brightness.
  • Used in the program "Total Commander".
  • Highlighting the browser address bar.
  • Switch display mode.
  • Used in the program "Total Commander".
  • Disabling the touchpad in combination with the "Fn" key on most laptops
  • Opening the "Menu" section in most programs.
  • Mute on some models of laptops.
  • Volume down.
  • Open fullscreen browser.
  • Performs the "Save As" functionality.
  • Volume up.

As you can see, only the above functional abilities already indicate the high importance of these keys, and the list of their possible use is not limited.

Causes and Solutions

It should be noted right away that there are not so many reasons for the situation in question, which does not facilitate their solution.

1 option

Note the keys on your keyboard box. Perhaps, next to the specified block there is a dedicated button, which is responsible for enabling / disabling F1-F12. In modern laptops, this can be found extremely rarely, but on the already outdated models there were previously located buttons that had the name “F Lock” and “F Mode”. Therefore, if your model has similar functionality, then just try to click on it. It's simple.

Option 2

The second option, it is a standard and familiar action in the event of most computer problems, is checking software drivers, in particular, the information input / output device in question. To check the relevance, do the following:

  • Right-click on the “This Computer” (My Computer) icon and select “Manage.”
  • Open the "Device Manager" section and expand the "Keyboard" directory.
  • Open the properties of each device that are in this category, and go to the "Driver" tab.
  • Pay attention to the block "Version and Date" and compare the information with the official data that can be found on the website of the developer of your computer or a single device.

If necessary, download them and install the latest version.

3 option

The third option, which is also the most complex in its performance, involves updating the BIOS drivers. For obvious reasons, such an action should be treated very carefully, as thoughtless manipulations can lead to the actual refusal of work, but already on the whole computer. Therefore, this option should be left as a last alternative, especially if the user lacks certain skills. Perhaps the best option would be to purchase a new keyboard (external). A file with the BIOS update can be found on the official website of the developer.


In conclusion, it is worth noting that some users note that the problem under consideration was associated with sticking of one of the keys, and also resolved after repeatedly pressing F11 and F12. As far as this can be effective, you should check each one yourself.