How to Use F Keys on a Chromebook

Chromebook keyboards are nothing like standard keyboards. But don’t let that discourage you from trying a Chromebook out. You’ll soon discover that the keyboard is more functional than it seems.

However, if you still can’t find some keys on a Chromebook, this is the article for you. We’ll show you how to use the F keys and much more.

Where Are My F Keys?

After years of using a traditional keyboard, you may be somewhat shocked the first time you see the Chromebook keyboard. A whole lot of keys are missing, and some new keys are included, such as the Search bar. And don’t bother searching for the F keys, because you won’t find them.

In removing some of the keys, Chromebook designers believe that the new keyboard is more functional and convenient. You probably don’t think so right now, but with the time, you’ll see some of the benefits.

The most challenging part was to remove the F keys without losing essential functionality. They came with an innovative solution that allows you to use these functions and much more. In this article, we’ll explore all the options available.

chromebook use f keys

How to Use F Keys?

We’ll now show you the quickest way to use the F keys on your Chromebook. As you’ll see, the solution is fast and straightforward.

  1. Press and hold the Search button.
  2. Press the number of the function key you need.

That’s it! If you need F5, just press the Search button and number five at the same time. It’ll soon become natural, as if you’ve always done it that way.

chromebook how to use f key

More Permanent Solutions

The first solution is excellent for people who only need the F keys occasionally. But some professions, such as developers, require the F keys often. That doesn’t mean that developers have to give up on Chromebook and use some other device instead. You can customize your keyboard according to your needs.

With its latest update, Chromebook software allows you to enable F keys on your keyboard permanently. By doing so, you’ll be able to use top-row keys as function keys. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Open Chrome Settings.
  2. Open the Device menu.
  3. Click on Keyboard.
  4. Enable “Treat top-row keys as function keys”.

There you have it! You can now use function keys as you used to before.

However, there is one downside. When you enable this option, you won’t be able to use Chromebook shortcuts with top-row keys. So it’s up to you to decide which shortcuts you need more.

Chromebook shortcuts can be useful for volume control or taking screenshots. On the other hand, the F keys are essential in some professions, particularly if you’re a programmer or a developer. Unfortunately, you can’t have both at the same time. Therefore, you’ll have to make a choice.

Note: This can be done only on the latest Chromebook OS. If you haven’t updated your system for a while, go ahead and do it now, and this option should be available to you.

Best Chromebook Shortcuts

If you’re new to Chromebook, you may be missing out on its full potential. Chromebook has many cool shortcuts that allow you to do many things in a couple of seconds. The most common way to activate a shortcut is to press Ctrl or Alt, and then another key. Here are some of the best:

  1. Caps Lock – You may have noticed that your Chromebook doesn’t have a Caps Lock key, so common on other devices. If you want to turn Caps Lock on or off, all you have to do is press Alt and Search at the same time.
  2. Maximize/Minimize Windows – Another cool feature allows you to view more windows at the same time and switch in a blink of an eye. If you want to minimize a window, press Alt and “–” (minus key) at the same time. Alternatively, if you want to maximize a window, press Alt and “=” key.
  3. Switch between the tabs in Chrome – If you have a lot of open tabs, you can easily switch from one to another by pressing Ctrl and a number from 1 to 9. Number 1 will take you to the first tab, number 2 to the second, etc.
  4. Lock your screen – If you need to leave but don’t want to close everything, you can lock your screen. All you have to do is press Search and “L” at the same time. Your monitor will be locked, so no one else can access it. You have to enter your password to unlock it, and you’ll find everything just as you left it.
  5. Help – This is a handy shortcut when you need any kind of assistance. Just press Ctrl and “?” and a Help window will appear. You can browse through the questions or watch a tutorial.

There are more than fifty shortcuts on Chromebook. Of course, everything depends on what do you need and whether you’re using your Chromebook for work or just surfing for fun.

Explore Your Keyboard!

Switching from one system to another can be somewhat stressful. Especially if you miss the functions you’ve been using before. However, the Chromebook keyboard is pretty intuitive and practical. We’ve shown you just some of the features we find interesting. You can now explore and discover many cool features you never knew existed.

Do you like the Chromebook keyboard? How long did it take you to get used to it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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