The "FN" key on a Dell, or any other computer, keyboard stands for "Function." The function enables the manufacturer to place even more commands, or functions, into the keyboard with a limited amount of space. When the function key is pressed in conjunction with another key, it enables the dual functionality of the other key.
Display Function Key Combinations
The brightness or darkness of the screen can be manipulated by using the function keys. To brighten the screen by pressing the "FN" and "Up Arrow" keys. The "FN" and "Down Arrow" keys will decrease the brightness. The function keys can also move video from the display to an external screen--press the "FN" and "F8" keys to activate this feature.
Power Conservation Function Key Combinations
To preserve the power, Dell incorporates many functions into the keyboard to save power. The "FN" plus "d" will turn the display off. The "FN" plus "h" keys will turn off the hard drive. The "FN" plus "Esc" keys place the computer in standby mode.
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Speaker Function Key Combinations
The volume of the integrated speaker can be adjusted using the function keys. The "FN" and the "Page Up" keys increase the volume. The "FN" plus with "Page Down" keys decrease the volume of the speaker. The "FN" and "end" key will disable the integrated speakers and any peripheral speakers.
System Function Key Combinations
The "CTRL," "ALT" plus "Delete" buttons will reboot the system. The "FN" and "F1" keys will launch system startup. To check the battery status, press both "FN" and "F3." This will launch the battery status screen.