Insert key

Insert keySometimes displayed as Ins, the Insert key is a located on most computer keyboards by the backspace key. It is used to toggle between insert mode and overtype mode, which change what happens when you type text in a program.

For example, if the I-cursor is placed in front of any text, as you type, text is inserted and nothing is overwritten. However, if you press the Insert key and the I-cursor changes to a block cursor, as you type the text is overwritten. Not all programs allow you to change the insert method with the insert key. If the cursor does not change when you press Insert, text input mode toggling it is not supported.

Where is the Insert key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the insert keys highlighted in blue on the main keyboard as well as the numeric keypad.

Insert key

Where is the Insert key on Apple keyboards?

If you have an Apple computer, Apple laptop, or Apple keyboard the Insert key is replaced by the Fn key. To simulate an Insert key on an Apple keyboard press the keyboard shortcut Fn + Enter.

Where is the Insert key on a Google Chromebook?

On Google Chromebooks you can simulate an Insert key or enter overwrite mode by pressing the Search key and the period key at the same time.

Further explanation

InsertIn the example image, you can see the different cursors. In the top portion, if we were to type "test " in front of "Computer Hope example" it would become "test Computer Hope example." However, if we pressed the Insert key to change the insert method, the result would be different. Typing "test" in this instance (bottom portion of the image) would make the text "test ter Hope example" because the first part of the text would be overwritten.

Related pages

Also see: Control keys, Insert, Insert mode, Keyboard terms