- Many users put function keys on their laptops to good use in order to make quick changes like adjusting the volume or display settings. However, there are few laptops' manufactures that are prone to function keys problems.
- Check out the article below to see if yours is on this list, and get the solutions to sort this out if it is. Sometimes, restoring the keyboard to its default values might not be enough to bring function keys back to life. You might need to update your drivers instead, but don't just go guessing about it, follow the steps below for full troubleshooting.
- Speaking about drivers, you might come across other issues, but fortunately, there is help available. Make sure to check our page and fix Driver issues like a pro.
- Ready for more fixes for your Windows 10 PC? Go on your own troubleshooting mission and leave no error unsolved thanks to our extensive hub dedicated to Windows 10 Errors.
Many users use function keys regularly on their laptops, but according to them, functions keys aren’t working for some on Windows 10. This can be an annoying problem, so let’s see if there’s a way to fix it.
This problem is actually tied to laptops from certain manufacturers. So, if your laptop manufacturer is on the list, the chance of experiencing this problem is bigger.
Here’s the list of laptop manufacturers which laptops are prone to function keys problems:
What to do if Function Keys don’t work on your Windows 10 laptop?
Table of contents:
- Run Hardware troubleshooter
- Update your laptop drivers
- Uninstall Synaptics Pointing Device driver
- Uninstall hotkey drivers from your laptop
- Enable VAIO Event Service
- Disable Filter Keys
- Reset this PC
Function keys are available on most laptops and by using them you can make quick changes such as muting the sound, changing the volume or display brightness.
As you can see, using function keys can be quite helpful, but if they aren’t working for you, you might want to try the following solutions.
1. Run Hardware troubleshooter
This is a long shot but it won’t cost you a thing. Windows 10 is infamous for various compatibility issues, and if you’re using an older laptop, chances are that the current platform won’t be able to resonate well with the hardware configuration.
Especially since the updates tend to break more things than to improve them.
The troubleshooter should restart the affected devices (keyboard, in this case) and their respective services. Here’s how to run Windows 10 Hardware Troubleshooter in a few simple steps:
- Press Windows key + I to summon the Settings app.
- Open Update & Security.
- Choose Troubleshoot from the left pane.
- Expand the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and click on the Run the troubleshooter button.
- After that, wait for the procedure to end and check function keys again.
If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.
2. Update your laptop drivers
Many devices might require that you install the latest drivers when you switch to Windows 10. To do that you need to go to your laptop manufacturer’s website and download the latest function key drivers.
We have to mention that they might not be called function drivers on the website, so you might have to download all the drivers.
If there are no Windows 10 drivers available you might want to download latest drivers or maybe Windows 8 or Windows 7 drivers instead.
Download drivers automatically
Downloading drivers manually can be a long and tedious process that might affect your PC in case you download the wrong versions. Therefore you might want to use this Driver Update software that automatically downloads and installs the necessary drivers.
This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide on how to do it.
- Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
- Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
- Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the Update driver link next to the driver’s name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.
Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.
3. Uninstall Synaptics Pointing Device driver
Sometimes your default driver might come into conflict with Windows 10, so it’s advised that you uninstall Synaptics Pointing Device driver.
To do so, just go to Control Panel and go to the Uninstall program section and uninstall Synaptics Pointing Device driver from there.
4. Uninstall hotkey drivers from your laptop
- Open Device Manager and find Toshiba hotkey driver. If you don’t have Toshiba laptop, just find hotkey driver for your device.
- Right-click it and choose Uninstall.
- Next, find HID-Compliant Keyboard and HID Compliant Mouse driver and uninstall them as well.
- Restart your computer and check if your issue has been resolved.
5. Enable VAIO Event Service
This solution applies to VAIO laptops, but it might also work with other brands as well.
- Press Windows key + R and type services.msc.
- In the list of services, you’ll need to find VAIO Event Service. If you don’t own a VAIO device, the name of the service might be different.
- Double click the service and check the Startup type section. Make sure it’s set to automatic.
- Also, check the Service Status option and make sure that the service is started. If not, start it.
- Click OK and Apply to save the changes.
6. Disable Filter Keys
Filter Keys is a Windows feature designed to block repeated keystrokes. Although it’s actually quite unlikely this feature will block the function keys on your keyboard, it’s possible.
So, if none of the previous solutions got the job done, you can try with disabling this feature, as well. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Control Panel and open Ease of Access Center.
- Scroll down and select Make the keyboard easier to use option.
- Scroll down and locate Filter Keys option. Make sure that Turn on Filter Keys option is not checked.
- After turning off this option, click Apply and OK to save changes.
Sometimes, not only the functions keys won’t work, but the entire keyboard. If you encounter this situation, we’ve prepared an in-depth guide that will help you solve keyboard problems.
7. Reset this PC
If none of the previous solutions helped you resolve the issue at hand, we’re afraid that there’s only one thing you should do and that’s resetting your PC to factory settings.
Namely, as most of the keyboard/touchpads come with the OEM-provided third-party control apps, and Windows Updates tend to tear those apart.
This recovery option is much better than the clean re-installation since you’ll be able to retain your data. Here’s how to reset your PC to factory values in a few simple steps:
- In the Windows Search bar, type Reset and open Reset this PC from the list of results.
- Click on the Get started button.
- Choose whether you want to keep or discard your files and start the restoring procedure.
- Once your system is refreshed, you should have an easy time to locate Microsoft Store.
If you’re having trouble resetting your Windows 10 PC, check out this nifty guide that will help you solve reset issues. Also, if the factory reset gets stuck, you may want to take a look at this article.
FAQ: Learn more about keyboards
- How do I reset my keyboard keys?
If the keys on your keyboard do not seem to function properly, you can press the CTRL + SHIFT keys in order to reset your keyboard to default values. If the keyboard itself is not functional, check for hardware issues first and make sure that it is correctly plugged in.
- How do I enable my laptop keyboard?
In order to set up your keyboard, open the Settings from the Start menu and go to Ease of Access. From this screen, select Keyboard and customize the functionalities, and display of your keyboard. If the Settings app won’t launch, follow the steps in this guide.
- How do I turn on keyboard lock?
In order to lock your keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+L keys simultaneously. The Keyboard Locker icon will then change to indicate that the keyboard is locked.
After performing these solutions, or at least one of them, your problem with function keys on your Windows 10 laptop should be solved. If you have any comments or questions, just reach for the comment section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.