Function Keys (F1-F12) on a computer keyboard are special function keys defined by the operating system or active program. Sometimes, they can be combined with F-keys with Alt or Ctrl keys. On keyboards and laptop computers, Function keys may have a dedicated purpose, such as changing the screen’s brightness, volume, or the specific function of a device. On a keyboard that has an Fn key, you can use it to toggle it with an F-key. See our Fn page for more information.

Below are the Keyboard Function Keys (F1-F12).

F1 Function key

  • The F1 key is used as a help key in almost every program. When this is pressed, a help screen opens, or you are directed to a web page.
  • F1 can be used to enter the BIOS setup during booting of the computer.
  • Windows key + F1: – Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center will open.
  • In Excel, press Alt + Shift + F1 to create a new worksheet tab.
  • Open the task pen.
  • A spell check is performed in Corel WordPerfect by pressing Ctrl + F1.

F2 Function key

  • The name of the icon, file, or folder highlighted in all versions of Microsoft Windows through F2 can be changed.
  • In Microsoft Excel, an active cell can be edited.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens the open document window in Microsoft Word.
  • Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.
  • F1 can be used to enter the BIOS setup during booting of the computer.

F3 Function key

  • F3 can open a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows.
  • In some programs, F3 finds the next search value after the initial search is performed.
  • In the MS-DOS or Windows command line, F3 repeats the last command.
  • Shift + F3 converts text to upper to lowercase or capital letter in Microsoft Word at the beginning of every word.
  • Windows key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
  • In Windows Explorer, F3 is used to start the search function.
  • F3 is used to open Mission Control on Apple computers on which the MacOS X operating system works.

F4 Function key

  • From Windows 95 to XP, the find window is opened by the F4 key.
  • The F4 key can be used to open the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
  • This key is used to repeat the last action. (word 2000+)
  • Alt + F4 closes the currently active program window in Microsoft window.
  • Ctrl + F4 closes the open window or tab in the active window in Microsoft window.
  • Let us press the F4 key between absolute and relative cell reference, residing in the Excel formula box.

F5 Function Key

  • In modern Internet browsers, the page or document window is reloaded by the F5 key and the page is also refreshed by it.
  • Ctrl + F5 is used to completely refresh the web page, clear the cache and re-download all the contents of the page.
  • The F5 key is used to refresh the list of contents in a folder.
  • In Microsoft Word the F5 key is used to find, replace, and open the go to window.
  • The slide show in PowerPoint starts by pressing F5 from the first slide. Pressing Shift + F5 starts the slide show from the currently active slide.
  • When the computer is first loading MS-DOS, the default settings are loaded by pressing F5.

F6 Function Key

  • F6 is used to move Cursor to the address bar of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and most other Internet browsers.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens another open Microsoft Word document.

F7 Function Key

  • In Microsoft programs, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc., F7 is used for grammar and spell check of a document.
  • Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the highlighted word.
  • F7 is used for Caret Browsing in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
  • F7 is used to open the Layers panel in Adobe Photoshop.
  • While in the Windows command line, the F7 key is used to view the history of all the commands entered in that window.

F8 Function key

  • The F8 key is used to enter the Windows start-up menu, as well as the F8 key to access Windows Safe Mode.
  • In some computers, the Windows recovery system can also be accessed via the F8 key, but a Windows installation CD may be required.
  • The F8 key displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in MacOS.
  • Pressing the F8 key opens the Replace window in TextPad.

F9 Function key

  • In Microsoft Word, the F9 key is used to refresh the document.
  • The F9 key is used to send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook.
  • In Quark 5.0, the F9 key is used to open the Measurement’s toolbar.
  • The F9 with the Fn key is used to open Mission Control on the Apple computer on which the MacOS X operating system works.

F10 Function Key

  • In most Microsoft Windows programs, by default, F10 activates the menu bar or ribbon of an open application.
  • Shift + F10 is useful for right-clicking the highlighted icon, file, internet link.
  • On Compaq, HP and Sony computers, the F10 key is used to access the hidden recovery partition.
  • F1 can be used to enter the BIOS setup during booting of the computer.
  • With MacOS 10.3 or above, the F10 key is used to show all open windows in the active program.

F11Function Key

  • Modern Internet browsers use the F11 key to enter fullscreen mode and exit fullscreen mode.
  • The hidden recovery partition available on Dell computers can be accessed by Ctrl + F11.
  • Pressing F11 can use the hidden recovery partition available on eMachines, Gateway, and Lenovo computers.
  • With MacOS 10.4 or later, all open windows can be hidden and this key can be used to show the desktop.

F12 Function Key

  • In Microsoft Word, the F12 key is used to open the Save as window.
  • A document can be opened in Word by Ctrl + F12.
  • Shift + F12 saves a document (such as Ctrl + S) in Microsoft Word.
  • A document (such as Ctrl + S) is printed in Microsoft Word by Ctrl + Shift + F12.
  • F12 key is used to open Firebug, Chrome Developer Tools and other browsers debug tool.
  • MacOS 10.4 and later versions running on Apple shows or hides the F12 Dashboard.
  • In Microsoft Expression Web, F12 key is used to preview the page.
  • Access the list of bootable devices on a computer at startup, allowing you to select a different device to boot (eg, hard drive, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, USB drive, and network).


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