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I've been given a laptop at work, a Dell Inspiron 1545, which I find pretty good, except for the F1-F12 keys.

Being a programmer and a poweruser of several programs, I need to use them a lot, and here they are inverted, you need to press the Fn key to get access to them, and you get the volume up/down, brightness. wireless on/off stuff without pressing the Fn. Is there any way (or hack) to make them the other way around?? F1-F12 just by pressing the key, and the extra functions using Fn?

Its driving me crazy! Specially turning off the wireless when I want to rename stuff!


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Similar question for the Studio 1555:… – Factor Mystic Jun 4 '10 at 23:27
I didn't manage to actually do it, but shutting down the wireless in the middle of a download because I wanted to rename a file was my top fear until just now. Thanks for asking this. – Adriano Varoli Piazza May 22 '11 at 15:25
up vote 9 down vote accepted

In many Dells there's a BIOS setting that will default Fn to on. There probably will be in the 1545.

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I found 2 solutions. The easiest:

Control Panel - Hardware and Sound - Adjust commonly used mobility settings - Fn Key Behavior

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Thanks! This worked on my Inspiron too, and it's much simpler than mucking with the bios. – Adriano Varoli Piazza May 22 '11 at 15:24
For some reason I'm not seeing the "Fn Key Behavior" settings on my Lenovo Edge (Windows 7 64 bit). – ripper234 Sep 1 '11 at 8:46

On my Dell XPS 15, it seems to be as simple as me accidentally pressing the Fn Lock button behind the Escape key. If you have this problem, simply hit Fn+Esc and it should revert back to normal, without having to go into the BIOS

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I Could able to reverse the function of Fn key on my Dell by following steps provided your laptop has ESC and Fn key with lock shape on it.

Press Fn Key + ESC (Fn) Key

The functionality automatically gets toggled.

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Yes, my keyboard has an icon there that looks like a keypad with the text FN on it. So this works. – Erik Bergstedt Apr 25 at 7:32

In Win7, you just go to Windows Mobility Center and change the Fn key behavior.

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could u elaborate how to navigate to windows mobility center – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Oct 10 '13 at 8:34
@BlueBerry-vignesh4303 Control Panel - Windows Mobility Center – Onur May 8 '15 at 12:14

I was able to reverse the function of Fn key on my Dell Studio 1555 machine following the steps described below. The steps should be pretty similar on your machine too.

  1. Restart the machine
  2. Keep pressing F2 repeatedly to load boot menu
  3. In 'boot' menu, go to Advanced tab by pressing right/left arrow key on your keyboard
  4. Under the Advanced tab, reach the option named Function key behavior by pressing downarrow key
  5. When the option is highlighted, press Enter key and you will see a popup asking you to pick between Multi media key first and Function key first.
  6. Pick Function key first by using up/down arrow key and press Enter
  7. Press F10 to save and exit.
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