I recently bought an HP laptop. I'm pleased with it, save for one thing.

All the F1-12 keys are inverted. I mean the following:

All the F-keys have a symbol on it. Normally you would press Fn + your to use it. On this laptop, it's reversed. The symbol is what you get when you press the button normally and you have to press Fn + F-key to get the usual action.

So, if I want to refresh a webpage, instead of just F5, I have to do Fn + F5

I want to change this to regular behavior. Anybody know how I can do this?

Running Win7 Home premium, 64-bit.


7 Answers 7


Apparently this can be adjusted in your notebook's BIOS.

From HP's "Disable The Fn + Function Key Combination on Certain Models":

On most HP and Compaq notebook PCs, it is necessary to press and hold the function key (fn) while pressing one of the f1 through f12 keys to activate the default functions; such as, increasing or decreasing the brightness of the display, the sound volume, sleep, keyboard lock, etc. On the HP Envy notebooks and other notebooks with advanced BIOS options, the function keys can be configured so that it is not necessary to press and hold the fn key.

Complete info (with pictures) is available from HP (see link).

  • 1
    Thanks, this worked on an HP Envy 15 with Ubuntu. Tapping ESC immediately after power button pushed gave access to the bios.
    – Mark
    Feb 4, 2015 at 1:14

I can use Shift+Fn (actually Fn + Shift, button-down-order seems to matter here) on my Elitebook to invert/swap Fn and F-Keys (aka "lock Fn"). The keyboard indicates the current mode with a little light on the Fn key and also shows the switching option printed on the Shift-Key, see screenshots attached. Sometimes it's worth checking the printings on the keyboards before using google thought - learned it the hard way ^^

enter image description here

  • 7
    THIS! No reboots required. My keyboard actually has "fn lock" written on the left shift key - like in the photos here but I've got a wider key with the full text on it. Thank you. Jan 14, 2019 at 22:17
  • 3
    Thank you. I think that this is the real answer for modern laptops Jan 22, 2019 at 2:09
  • 1
    My Lennovo laptop has Fn + Esc. I was suprised why we need to go to bios settings
    – Lame User
    Aug 27, 2019 at 8:19
  • 1
    it worked for my Elitebook fn+shift with the this order, thanks May 17, 2020 at 14:03
  • 1
    WOAH! so simple worked superbly for my HP Probook!
    – InCh
    Jun 5, 2020 at 11:04

Usually, you can boot into BIOS at startup with F10, and look for the system configuration option. Look for "action keys mode," or something similar, and toggle as desired.

More detailed instructions if needed:


  • excelent, Its works in HP, I restart, I pressed Esc several times, then F10 and Enter to configuration. Mar 6 at 17:04

This solution might work

Press FN and then CAPS once, the FN keys will be swapped.

  • 1
    Wow, this worked for me. But! It was Fn+Esc for me. My Esc key has a small lock symbol with Fn on it. Aug 12, 2015 at 9:33

I encountered this same problem but since I am stuck with windows 10, I was still somewhat confused after reading the answers. The steps I had to take were:

  1. Turn off the computer
  2. Press power on your computer and immediately and repeatedly press "esc" to get to the start-up menu
  3. Press F10 to go to the “BIOS Setup”
  4. Once in the “BIOS Setup” press the arrow keys to "System Configurations"
  5. Scroll Down to “Action Keys Mode”
  6. Disable “Action Keys Modes”

That should do it.

In short – Turn off and then turn on your computer > Press Esc to get to Set-up Menu > BIOS Set-up > System Configurations > Action Keys Mode > Disable

Hope this helps!

  • Yes: on a Windows 10 Envy laptop it is necessary to DISABLE the Action Keys Mode, not Enable it. The HP webpage and BIOS instructions are both exactly backwards in this case. Apr 12, 2016 at 14:42

After searching my Probook BIOS to no avail, it was Ctrl+Fn that worked for me.

  • In newer ProBook models, it is FN+Left Shift (actually labelled "Bloq Fn"). This key contains a small LED that will light up when FN keys behave as, well, function keys.
    – pythiest
    Sep 8, 2020 at 21:45

The method that worked for me on a new HP laptop in was pressing the fn key twice.

Update: As a commenter pointed out below, this seems to only work for the next keypress.

  • For me, pressing Fn twice only made the next FX key (i.e. F5) work. I had to keep pressing Fn twice in order to get the FX key to work. Dec 22, 2021 at 15:28

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