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I purchased a new laptop with Windows 8. It's F buttons don't work as F buttons, they seem to work by default as the weird icons on them, such as media controls. To "refresh" a browser window with the F5 key, I actually have to hit fn+F5. Probably the most annoying example is, as a web developer, I like to hit F12 to go full screen, but on my laptop hitting F12 now puts my laptop into Airplane mode and disables the Wi-Fi. All that said, ctrl+F4 and alt+F4 works as expected (closing windows/tabs).

How can I make my laptop's F keys work as one would expect and not the weird "shortcut" keys?

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which laptop do you use? OEMs often provide tools to configure the keys. check this. – magicandre1981 May 2 '13 at 4:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Oh good I wasn't the only one wondering this. After some research, it is BIOS setting.

  1. Enter the BIOS configuration page (F10 for HP)
  2. look for an "action keys mode" option (under System configuration for HP notebooks)
  3. Once you find it, disable it.
  4. Exit saving changes

Now the F keys should work they way they are supposed to -- and function will require the use of the Fn + F key.

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