The Fn key was invented as a solution to the limited space available on older model keyboards, especially the space on laptop computers. The keys that the Fn key interacts with have the function of the key displayed in blue, along with the normal key. This would be a number colored blue integrated with a letter in the case of a number pad integration. The Fn key commonly causes a problem that requires a user to hold down the Fn key to type normal letters. This is due to the Fn key allowing for the integration of a number pad and other features into the keys normally used for typing. Fixing this problem is easily accomplished by following a few simple steps. While there is no clear reason for the exact reason the keys are the color blue, the functions they provide include "turning the volume up and down, adjusting the monitors brightness or contrast, and putting the laptop into hibernate or stand by mode," according to Dummies.
Identify the position of the Fn key on the keyboard. It is usually located in the lower left hand corner of the keyboard, directly right of the Ctrl key.
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Find the Num Lk key. This key is used to inverse the normal functioning of the Fn key, so that the keys can be used as a number pad without holding the Fn key down.
Test to see if the Fn key is the problem by holding down the Fn key any typing on the keys which integrate it as a feature, they should have blue symbols on them. The problem is characterized by normal keys on the keyboard typing the symbol which is indicated by blue instead of the normal key. This can result in typing 4, 5, 6 instead of U,I,or O. Proceed to type using these keys. If holding down the Fn key causes the normal functioning of the key to return, the problem has been identified.If the only way to normally type is to hold down the Fn key than proceed to the next step.
Press the Num Lk key. Depending on the exact model of keyboard or laptop the Fn key may have to held when pressing the Num Lk key to have an effect. It is located directly above the number zero and to the right of f11. It may have been accidently activated in the past, which would reasonably explain the Fn key problem. The Num Lk key when pressed reverses the function of the Fn key, so the keys with blue symbols will automatically type that symbol instead of the normal letter. The function of this is to allow a user to not have to hold down the Fn key when repeatedly using the blue keys, such as in the case of a number pad.
Test the keyboard for returned functionality after pressing the Num Lk key. The Fn key should change the function of some of the regular keys into a number pad, while typing should be normal over the full range of the keyboard when it is not held down.
The Fn key has many unique features that can save time when working on a laptop.
Do not use the Fn key for a long period of time. Simply switch functions using the Num Lk key. Typing while holding down the Fn key could cause injury to the hands.