Function Keys Not Working

Laptop's Function Keys Not Working. How To Fix It?

Most computer keyboards have twelve function keys from F1 to F12, each triggering a special function defined by the operating system or a currently running program. The keys can also be used in combination with the Alt (Alternate) or Ctrl (Control) keys.

Using these "F" keys can make the computing experience easier and quicker, and they can be used as shortcuts to perform various actions. In some cases, the F7 and F9 keys do not have a specific function, however, they might be used as shortcuts in certain programs such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Despite these features, some users report that the F7 or F9 keys do not work and also that no function keys trigger any actions.

You might have experienced problems with these function keys, but the cause can be difficult to ascertain, since types of keyboards on computers and laptops vary. There are, however, some general methods used to solve this problem. You might need to run Windows troubleshooter, disable Filter Keys, update drivers, configure VAIO service (for VAIO owners), etc. Read the guide below and follow the steps, which are described with screenshots.

function keys not wokrking

Table of Contents:

Run Windows Troubleshooters

Try one of the Windows troubleshooters - these might solve this problem without the need to use more complex solutions. Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system, or connected devices. In this guide, we show how to run the built-in Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and the Keyboard troubleshooter. To start troubleshooting, go to Settings and type "troubleshoot", and then select "Troubleshoot" from the list.

run windows troubleshooters step 1

Find the "Hardware and Devices" troubleshooter under "Find and fix other problems", select it and click the "Run the troubleshooter" button. Windows will start looking for problems related to devices and hardware.

run windows troubleshooters step 2

Now select the "Keyboard" troubleshooter and click the "Run the troubleshooter" button again. See if it finds and fixes any problems with your computer keyboard settings.

run windows troubleshooters step 3

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Configure Services

Windows Services (also know as services.msc), are used to modify how Windows services (and other services) run on your system. These services are responsible for running available programs and managing many system settings and resources. You can modify a service's settings for security, troubleshooting, and performance-related reasons. If you are using a Sony VAIO laptop, you will need to check the "VAIO Event Service". Press the Windows (Win) key + R, or simply right-click Start and select "Run" from the contextual menu. In the Run dialog box, type "services.msc" and press Enter or click "OK".

configure services step 1

Find the "VAIO Event Service", right-click it and select "Properties" from the contextual menu.

configure services step 2

Find "Startup type" and make sure that it is set to "Automatic" or "Automatic (Delayed Start)" and click "Apply" to save the changes (if there were any made). See if the function keys on your VAIO laptop are now working without any problems.

configure services step 3

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Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

A device driver is software that informs the operating system and other software how to interact with particular hardware. It is rather like a translator between software and hardware, since they are often created by different manufacturers, companies, or people. The driver facilitates smooth communication between hardware and software. In most cases, computers are unable to send and receive data correctly without drivers. If the appropriate driver is not installed, the device might not function properly, if at all. In order to reinstall Keyboard drivers, open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting the "Device Manager" result from the contextual menu, or type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result.

reinstall keyboard drivers step 1

In Device Manager, you will see a list of devices connected to your computer. Expand the Keyboards section, right-click your keyboard and click the "Uninstall device" option.

reinstall keyboard drivers step 2

Click the "Uninstall" button to confirm the uninstall.

reinstall keyboard drivers step 3

Restart your computer. The missing keyboard drivers should be installed by Windows automatically. If for some reason Windows does not install the missing (uninstalled) drivers, go to Device Manager again and right-click your computer name, select "Scan for hardware changes". It should detect missing drivers and install them.

reinstall keyboard drivers step 4

If reinstalling keyboard drivers does not solve the problem, you might need to update or reinstall all other drivers as well. Since this is a long process, we recommend you to use a third-party driver installer such as Snappy Driver Installer. Snappy Driver Installer (SDI) is a powerful free driver updater tool for Windows that can store its entire collection of drivers offline. Having offline drivers gives Snappy Driver Installer the ability to have access to fast driver updates, even if there is no active Internet connection on your computer. Snappy Driver works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and also works with Windows XP. Drivers are downloaded through Snappy Driver Installer in 'driverpacks', which are simply collections (packs) of drivers for various hardware such as sound devices, video cards, network adapters, etc. It can also show duplicate drivers and invalid drivers. It separates the updates that require you to restart your computer so that they are easier to distinguish. You can download Snappy Driver Installer from here

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Disable Filter Keys

Some users report that disabling the Filter Keys feature solved the problem. Filter Keys is an accessibility feature in Windows operating systems that makes the keyboard ignore repeated or brief keystrokes. To disable the Filter Keys feature, go to Windows Settings and click the "Ease of Access" option.

disable filter keys step 1

Select the Keyboard section on the left pane and ensure that the "Use Filter Keys" feature is turned off.

disable filter keys step 2

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Other Solutions

If there is a Synaptics Pointing Device installed on Windows, you could try to uninstall it. It is possible that the default driver is interfering with the Windows operating system. To uninstall it, simply go to the Programs and Features window (where all installed programs are listed) and uninstall it. If there is HotKey software installed, uninstall it as well.

If you are using an HP Notebook, shut it down and unplug the AC adapter. Remove the battery and hold down the Power button for about 30 seconds. Insert the battery and plug the AC adapter back in. Now turn on your computer and tap the Esc key as soon as it starts to launch the Start-Up menu. Press the F10 button (it should work at this point) to enter the BIOS menu. Press F5 or F9 (depending on the BIOS) to load the defaults and use the arrow keys to select "Yes". Press Enter. Now press F10 to save the setting and use the arrow keys to select "Yes" again. Press Enter. If the function keys are still not working, uninstall the HP System Event Utility and restart your computer. Reinstall the HP System Event Utility and restart your computer again. See if this solves the function keys issue.

If you are using a Dell laptop, simply press the Fn + Esc keys on your keyboard and see if this solves the problem. Some Dell users report that this simple combination solved the problem for them in a second.

We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to make the function keys work again. If you know of other solutions to this problem, not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

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Video Showing How To Fix Function Keys:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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