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On my Dell XPS 15 laptop, the top row of keys (the F1, F2, etc) serves two functions. They are both the F-number keys and the multimedia/misc controls and functions. In the BIOS you set them them to default to either be the F-number keys or their multimedia/misc roles. Then to use each key's non-default function you press the Fn key while you press the key. Mine are set to be multimedia non-F-number keys as the default, mainly because they are where the volume is controlled.

So the F2 key is also the wifi adapter on/off toggle. The problem is that I sometimes hit it by accident and turn off my wifi.

How can I remap this key to do nothing, or else just disable its ability to turn off the wifi, without affecting the normal Fn-F2 functionality (which is "rename" or "edit" in most situations)?

Thank you.

Edit: I should have mentioned that I don't want to install any software. I know there are ways to do it with registry changes so that's what I'd rather do. I just don't know what changes to make (that's why I'm here asking) Thanks again.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

You can try to use SharpKeys to remap F2.

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Thanks. After I checked into this I thought it would be THE answer. Unfortunately, when I remapped the F2 key it worked the opposite of how I wanted. The wifi toggle still worked but Fn-F2 stopped working. Too bad, but thanks just the same. – CChriss Jul 29 '11 at 23:36
I did some testing and it appears that although SharpKeys won't remap the wifi toggle, it could remap the mute, vol up, and vol down (the ones I use most on that row) to other keys. So, I decided to change and make the F-number keys the default, so now I have to hold the Fn key when I want to use the functionality of the multimedia/other keys. But, the mute, vol up, and vol down are on F7, F8, and F9, and since I never use those F-keys, I used SharpKeys to map those volume control keys to F7, F8, and F9. It feels a little more "rigged" than I like but oh well.Thanks for the suggestion. – CChriss Jul 30 '11 at 16:12

It's unlikely that changing Registry settings will work. On all of the Dell laptops that I've ever seen, these key-invoked functions are handled at a much lower level than the operating system. Getting Windows to interpret them differently is not going to prevent the notebook's firmware from responding in the standard way that it is programmed.

If your CMOS setup doesn't provide a way to turn it off (or toggle whether Fn is required), then I suspect you're out of luck.

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I'm going to hold out some hope but it looks like you might be right. Thanks. – CChriss Jul 29 '11 at 23:37
I ended up using SharpKeys for a somewhat satisfactory solution. (see below). Thanks just the same. Up vote. – CChriss Jul 30 '11 at 16:13

Unfortunately, this is functionality developed by the OEM (Dell in this case), so the software can often be lacking. It's unlikely that Dell's software provides remapping or per-key disable functionality. In most cases, if you kill and disable the process that provides the hot keys, they will all be disabled, but that's all-or-nothing.

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There are two places you can change this.

Boot up into BIOS and change the defaults there.

Or the easy way, go into Control panel and under Hardware and Sound there is a applet called something like "change mobility multimedia keys" or something like that.

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BIOS was the answer I went with. I was having the same issue with my 14R; Going into BIOS -> Advanced then changing the behavior from Multimedia Keys First to Function Keys First makes it so you must hold Fn then press F2 to turn the wireless off, making it much more difficult to do so accidentally. – Chris Apr 20 '12 at 13:48

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