NumLock button on the keyboard: use and setup

Computer keyboard, no matter? Whether it is standard (as in laptops) or portable, it has a lot of keys that are used by users extremely rarely or not at all, unlike the central alphabetic and digital block and the Enter, SHIFT and ESC buttons. But, despite the lack of well-deserved popularity, most of the additional keys carry great potential and considerable benefit. For example, the “WIN” button (the Microsoft icon, usually located between “ctrl” and “alt”) makes it possible for most of you to launch most of the services, utilities, and programs as easy as possible due to the huge number of “hot combinations”, including:

  • “WIN + ALT + Right Arrow” - switch to the second desktop, “Left arrow” return to the first desktop;
  • “WIN + T” - switch to the quick access panel;
  • “WIN + 1..0” - launch of the program assigned to the quick access panel;
  • “WIN + P” - image output to the second monitor / screen / projector.

And there are more than a dozen similar combinations, in addition, some developers add other combinations for their background applications. But for that matter, the computer can be fully used only at the expense of the keyboard itself, without a computer mouse or touchpad. In this article we will focus on at least a useful key, which is called "NumLock".

Purpose of the NumLock key on the laptop keyboard.

Where is and what can

“Num Lock”, or its full name - “Numbers Lock”, if referring to a literal translation means “blocking or fixing numbers”. In most cases, it is located in the upper left corner in a block with a numeric keypad next to the “slash (/)” and “asterisk (*)” buttons. In fact, the functionality of the considered button consists of only one action - it is the switching of the operation mode of the numeric keypad. For clarity, you should demonstrate the effect of "NumLock" on your neighbors in the form of a table:

Key on the numeric keypadNum Lock onNum Lock is off
oneoneAt the end (End)
22Cursor down (↓)
33Next Page (Page Down)
fourfourLeft Cursor (←)
66cursor to the right (→)
77Home (Home)
eighteightCursor up (↑)
99Previous Page (Page Up)
00 (zero)Insert (Ins)
.. or, (decimal separator)Uninstall (Del)
/ / (division action)
* * (action multiplication)
- - (subtraction action)
+ + (addition action)
Enter Enter

As can be seen from the above table, the activation of “NumLock” directly affects the operation of 11 keys (from 1 to 0 and “dot”), the rest do not directly affect themselves. The purpose and the order of their application does not cause issues, which cannot be said about their functionality when the “Numbers Lock” is off. At the beginning of the article it was already announced that the computer can be fully controlled using only one keyboard, and this is where the digital unit works. In order to activate this mode of operation, press the combination “Left Alt + Left Shift + NumLock” and confirm your choice by clicking “YES” in the dialog box that appears.

Further work with the operating system, or to be more precise, directly with the cursor is based on the use of keys from 1 to 9 (except the number "5"), the remaining buttons are responsible for the main functionality (insertion, deletion and mathematical operations). For example, the cursor is on the "Start" button, and you need to look at the properties of a certain "Downloads" folder. To do this, you need to click on the number "8" until the cursor is over the desired folder, then select it and press "SHIFT + F10" to simulate pressing the right mouse button. On the basis of these and other combinations, all further work with a computer without a mouse will be built.

Automatic activation

The Windows operating system suggests the ability to activate the numeric keypad immediately when the operating system starts, without manually pressing the key in question. True, this will require some minor changes in the registry, so first create a restore point and then do the following:

  • Press the combination "WIN + R" and execute the command "regedit";
  • Open the “HKEY_USERS \ .Default \ Control Panel \ Keyboard” section by simply copying this path and pasting it after “Computer \”;
  • Locate the “InitialKeyboardIndicators” folder and change its value from “0” to “2”;
  • Close the registry editor and restart the computer.

After these manipulations, the “Numbers Lock” activity indicator will automatically light up after the operating system is loaded.


The last thing worth noting - on some models of laptops that have been released quite a long time ago, there is no dedicated digital unit. Therefore, the keys listed in the tables replace the literal variants. For example, "U", "I", "O" are replaced by the numbers "4", "5", "6", the keys "J", "K", "L" - the numbers "1", "2", " 3 ".