Caps Lock

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Computer keyboard caps lock LED

Sometimes abbreviated as CAPS and CAPSLK, Caps Lock is a toggle key on a computer keyboard, that when pressed, causes all letters typed to be in uppercase. For example, when Caps Lock is enabled, the typed letters appear "LIKE THIS." When disabled, they appear "like this." The picture shows keyboard LEDs that indicate whether or not the various toggle keys are enabled. In this example, the blue LED indicates that Caps Lock is enabled.

Tip

Some keyboards (like those produced by Apple) the Caps Lock LED indicator built into the key itself.

Tip

When engaging others on the Internet, all uppercase characters are considered improper etiquette as most readers interpret them as YELLING.

Where is the Caps Lock key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Caps Lock key highlighted in blue.

Caps Lock

Note

Google Chromebooks do not have a Caps Lock key like what is shown in this picture. See where is the Caps Lock on a Google Chromebook section for further information.

How to enable and disable Caps Lock

To activate Caps Lock, press the key once. The indicator LED for Caps Lock should come on to show that it is enabled. To disable, turn off, or unlock the Caps Lock key, press the key again. The indicator LED for Caps Lock should turn off to show that it is disabled.

Where is the Caps Lock on smartphones and tablets?

Apple iPhone keyboard

The Caps Lock function on the default keyboards included with smartphones and tablets works differently than the keyboard key. If you want to type in all caps on a phone or tablet, double-tap the key that looks like an up arrow. If done properly, the arrow has an underline and remains active until tapped again.

The picture shows the up arrow next to the letter "Z."

Where is the Caps Lock on a Google Chromebook?

On Google Chromebooks, the Caps Lock key is replaced with the Search Key. To turn Caps Lock on and off, press the Alt key and Search Key at the same time. See our Search Key page for further information and an example of this key.

What is the purpose of the Caps Lock key?

The Caps Lock key is a toggle key that allows you to switch the letters on your keyboard from lowercase to uppercase. For example, if you press the Caps Lock key to enable Caps Lock, every letter you type on the keyboard will be automatically capitalized until you press it again to disable it.

In the Windows Narrator program, the Caps Lock key is known as the "Narrator key" and is used in conjunction with other keys to perform Narrator shortcuts.

Should I use "CapsLock" or "Caps Lock" in my writing?

Both "CapsLock" and "Caps Lock" are correct. The Microsoft Manual of Style and Computer Hope uses "Caps Lock" with a space and capital "C" and capital "L." However, many PC keyboards use "CapsLock" with no space.

Cap, Case sensitive, Computer abbreviations, Keyboard terms