I have a non-UEFI HP laptop running Windows 10.

My F keys have a variety of functions on them, and I have to press and hold Fn to access the actual F1-12 functions.

My F1 key has a little question mark on it. When I press it, it opens a new tab in Microsoft Edge and searches in Bing "how to get help in windows 10".

This is completely useless to me (especially as I use Chrome) and I keep pressing it accidentally. How would I go about disabling it?

From what I've read I need to go into the BIOS and change some settings, but I'm struggling with accessing it. I've tried doing an Advanced Restart, and the option to access my BIOS is missing. I've held F2 at boot, but that only takes me to system diagnostics. Can anyone please help me?

  • Do you want to disable F1 completely, or do you want it to perform some (default) action that got overridden by Windows' help? – techraf Jul 19 '16 at 0:44
  • What laptop is it? If you can provide the make and model we can can guide you to the correct location. – Burgi Feb 1 '17 at 21:41

I have found an easy registry edit at this website. http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/disable-f1-key-help-windows-10/

Edit: Here is what the REG from this page contains:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
;Disables F1 key - Help and Support - in Windows 10
;Ramesh Srinivasan, Winhelponline.com
  • 1
    Not sure if something changed with update, but in my case the keys were located in \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{8cec5860-07a1-11d9-b15e-000d56bfe6ee}\1.0\0\ – ChesterX Nov 18 '19 at 9:54
  • The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive is actually combined data from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. See for instance this article for more details. – Gras Double Dec 31 '20 at 7:26
  • … or directly from Microsoft: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT KeyMerged View of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. – Gras Double Dec 31 '20 at 7:39

From the windows help forum:

To make F1 do nothing, run this cmd script with administrator privilege:

@echo off
taskkill /f /im HelpPane.exe
takeown /f %WinDir%\HelpPane.exe
icacls %WinDir%\HelpPane.exe /deny Everyone:(X) 

Source: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-other_settings/how-do-i-stop-f1-opening-a-browser-window-on-how/7f68f9b8-9d87-43a5-9a79-db87702254b5

Tried it and worked.


There is file named c:\windows\helppane that you have to rename or delete (but windows update recreates the file)... changing that one file disables the help key but the volume etc keys will remain working.

To edit helppaneyou might first have to change permissions, this is possible but annoying : it's probably hidden so search for helppane then properties - security - advanced - change (owner) - type users - ok - esc -esc -delete help pane (or rename)

ps: if you want to change the function keys to f1-12 then start pc and repeatedly tap (don't hold) i think f10? it should say what key in the lower left corner.

  • found it, it's helppane in c:\windows, you might not be able to edit it, you'll first have to change permissions, this is possible but annoying – Clarence Ho May 5 '17 at 21:24
  • ok here's how, it's probably hidden so search for helppane then properties - security - advanced - change (owner) - type users - ok - esc -esc -delete help pane (or rename) – Clarence Ho May 5 '17 at 21:33

Check out this article about setting whether those keys have the multimedia functions or the traditional F1-F12 functions. http://www.howtogeek.com/235351/how-to-choose-whether-your-function-keys-are-f1-f12-keys-or-special-keys/

Many laptops that ship with built-in keyboards often have an option for changing the function of the F1-F12 keys in their BIOS or UEFI setup screen. Look for an option that controls this feature and you can change it. For example, the below screenshot shows this option under Advanced tab -> Function Key Behavior on a modern Dell laptop.

enter image description here

The traditional F1-F12 keys can be controlled by the application that's in the foreground or otherwise by the OS. What you are seeing is the default behavior of Windows 10. If you want to override it you need to use some software like AutoHotKey which gives you endless possibilities of what you want it to do.


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