Using Function keys can give you quick Control over the computer’s functioning, making your work efficient. If you’ve ever used keyboard shortcuts, you should know how easy they are. The same goes for the function keys on Mac.
With function or keyboard shortcut keys, you save the time you spend moving between the mouse and the trackpad. More often than not, the function keys stop working, which halts your work.
If you, too, experience Mac function keys not working or getting stuck, you can do a few things to make them functional and keep up with the pace. Let’s first learn about the function keys in detail.
What Are Function Keys on Mac?
On Macs with modern keyboards, except those with the Touch Bar, you can see the function keys printed on the top menu. These keys are labeled as F1, F2, F3, through F12, which works with or without the Fn modifier key, located at the bottom of the Keyboard.
When you press Fn with a function key, it triggers the function it is meant for. Every F key performs a system-integrative function.
F1 – diminishes display brightness
F2 – increases system brightness
F3 – opens Mission Control
F4 – opens Launchpad
F5 – activates Dictation or minimizes keyboard brightness
F6 – activates Do Not Disturb or increases keyboard brightness
F7 – skips back audio
F8 – plays and pauses audio
F9 – skips audio forward
F10 – mutes or unmutes audio
F11 – turns the volume down
F12 – turns volume up
Depending on your Mac settings, the Mac keyboard function keys will either work independently or require pressing down the Fn key to trigger the desired operation.
Let’s move on to the solutions that can help fix the function keys on Mac when they are not working properly.
Restart Your Mac
When the Keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals appear problematic, disconnect all the devices, and restart your Mac. In most cases, restarting the computer can be a potential solution that helps fix numerous technical glitches.
Restarting the device can stop any third-party apps running in the background and interrupt the smooth functioning of the keyboard function keys. Additionally, if you are using a BlueTooth keyboard, disable and enable it to make it work.
Check Fn Modifier Key Binding
You need to check the settings when you wish to use the F keys with the Fn key, and the latter doesn’t seem to be working for volume or brightness. To fix this, click on the Apple menu, tap System Preferences, and select Keyboard.
In the window that appears, click on the Keyboard tab, and select the Modifier keys button in the right corner. Next, click the box next to the Function (Fn) key in the pop-up dialog box. Now, choose an Fn key from the list, and click OK.
Reset SMC and NVRAM
SMC (System Management Controller) handles the low-level settings, including the Keyboard and the mouse. On facing Mac function keys not working issue, you can try to reset the SMC settings to fix it and make the keys work.
NVRAM, on the other hand, stores configuration information such as volume, brightness, and more. Resetting the NVRAM settings can help fix the function key problems, as the features might not work.
Keeping the macOS up to date is important to ensure the proper functioning of all the functions and features. So, before you contact the expert technicians to discuss the issue, ensure that the operating system is running the latest version.
The latest updates come with security patches that fix any bugs causing the issue. To check if any new updates are available on your MacBook, go to the Apple menu, click System Preferences, and tap Software Updates. Install the updates right away.
Reset Keyboard to Factory Settings
If you’re using Apple wireless keyboard and the function keys are not working as expected, reset the device to factory settings. Ensure the Keyboard is connected properly and the BlueTooth connection is working fine.
To Factory reset the Apple keyboard, hold down the Control + Shift keys together and then select BlueTooth Control in the Control Center. Then tap Factory, reset all connected Apple devices, and tap OK. Next, open System Preferences and select BlueTooth.
Next, reconnect the Keyboard to check if it is working or not. Before starting the factory reset of the Keyboard, disconnect all the connected devices, such as AirPods, Magic Mouse, or printers.
The function keys are meant to make your work easier. If you habitually use the F or Fn keys, any inappropriate functioning can slow down your work. By trying the methods mentioned above, you can retain the proper working of the function keys on your Mac keyboard.