How Do I Toggle My Function Keys?

By Stephen Lilley

Most modern-day computer keyboards have a variety of shortcut "Function" keys that are assigned to random tasks. One button may eject your CD or DVD-ROM drive, while another may automatically open your web browser and check your email. What many don't realize is that you can easily toggle these function keys and change them to fit your needs. If you don't want a key to automatically open your email, you can change it to do whatever you'd like.

Control Panel

The first thing you have to do to reassign your function keys is open the Control Panel, which is a folder containing a number of utilities designed to allow you to micro-manage every aspect of your computer. Click on the "Start" menu to bring up a listing of options. If you're using a version of Windows that is Vista or later, click on the "Control Panel" option. If you're using Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 98 or Windows 95, click on "Settings" and then "Control Panel."


All of the various shortcuts in the Control Panel are arranged in alphabetical order. Search for the "Keyboard" shortcut and double click on it to execute it. This will open a utility designed to control every aspect of your attached computer keyboard. In addition to toggling and reassigning standard function keys, you can reassign different values to all of your other keys. For example, you could change what happens when you strike a letter key or the space bar. For clarity's sake, however, it's better that you not do that.


Click on the tab in the "Keyboard" utility that reads "Buttons." This will bring up a layout of your keyboard and all of the tasks performed when you strike each key. Simply click on a key to change what it does when you push it. You can assign your function keys to execute web pages, programs or even shut your computer down. When you're finished, click on the "Save" button to save your changes. Your function keys will now be completely toggled and reassigned to fit your needs.

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