Turning F-Lock key ON automatically

Category: Hardware

On certain Microsoft keyboards, the function keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.) will not work normally unless you press the F-Lock key. Arrogantly flouting decades of keyboard convention, Microsoft markets Natural and Multimedia and Office keyboards that have the F-keys reassigned to common Microsoft Office actions. Here's how to fix it...

Unfortunately Microsoft made the F-Lock key a hardware switch in the keyboard and its default state is set to OFF, every time the computer is started. As a result, users are frustrated when the function keys do something unexpected because they forgot to hit the F-Lock key to restore the functions keys to their normal state.

There are three solutions to this problem:

  • Remember to press the F-Lock key every time you start your computer.
  • Use this free utility to automatically turn F-Lock on. (Works only in Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003)
  • Hack the Windows registry to alter the key mappings after Windows starts up. (Works only in Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003)

If you're still using Windows ME or Windows 98, you're stuck with the manual method.

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This article was posted by on 25 Jun 2005

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Most recent comments on "Turning F-Lock key ON automatically"

Posted by:

30 Jun 2005

I have Norton Internet Security 2003. A friend said I should buy a newer version. If this is true,is Norton the best anti virus security for my ancient HP 98? Also,if you know of a nice inexpensive store (on or off line), I'd be a mighty,happy granny :-)

Posted by:

29 Aug 2005

Thanks Bob,
this is one of my bugbears with the keyboard. It's really frustrating to press F2 to rename something only for the OS to undo my last action.

Posted by:

31 Aug 2005

Yes, thanks much for this hint. It has really made my life easier. I've been using the Function keys for as long as they have been on keyboards, and I too had had way too many encounters with Undo when I wanted Edit, and Open when I wanted Refresh. Thanks again!!

Posted by:

Jason Tsang
15 May 2006

Hi. Thank you for mentioning my site. I just wanted to let you know that I updated the site so that users who use their Microsoft keyboards in USB mode can now also benefit from my F Lock fix. See http://jtsang.mvps.org/flock.html for more info.

Posted by:

26 Sep 2008

Thanks Bob! I have been trying to use a reinstalled symbol writing package for my handicapped son, and was wondering why a feature in it would not work because the F keys were stuck.


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