How to use the F8 key
Open the program that uses the key and press F8. If the F8 key also has an icon on the key, it indicates the key has a secondary function. To use the secondary function, press and hold down the Fn key, and while continuing to hold the key, press F8.
If when pressing the F8 key, the secondary function is performed (e.g., mutes audio), the function keys are the secondary function. For example, on an Apple computer, to press F8, hold down fn, and press F8.
If the FnLk (function lock) is enabled, the keyboard acts as if the Fn key is being pressed until it is unlocked.
Information about the secondary function is found in the below secondary function of the F8 section.
If the F8 key is not working on the keyboard, see: Some keys on my computer keyboard aren't working.
Where is the F8 key used?
The following list is all the locations where the F8 key can be used with information about its use.
Function key used to enter the Windows startup menu, commonly used to access Windows Safe Mode. Some earlier computers may use this key at boot to access the Windows recovery system with the Windows installation CD (compact disc).
Displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in macOS.
Pressing F8 while a Dell computer boots accesses the Dell computers' DSR (Dell System Restore).
The secondary function of the F8
Each function key has two functions for a laptop and desktop computer keyboard with the Fn key. Unfortunately, there's no standard to what each key uses as its secondary function, so every keyboard is different. Below are keyboards and their secondary function for the F8 key.
- Apple keyboard F8 key
- Cooler Master keyboard F8 key
- Dell keyboard F8 key
- HP (Hewlett-Packard) keyboard F8 key
- Lenovo ThinkPad F8 key
- Logitech keyboard F8 key
- Microsoft Surface F8 key
Apple keyboard F8 key
Cooler Master keyboard F8 key
On Cooler Master desktop keyboards, the F8 secondary function is one of the following options depending on the model.
- With a single-color keyboard backlight keyboard, FN+F8 skips to the next audio track or song in supported programs (e.g., Windows Media Player).
Dell keyboard F8 key
HP (Hewlett-Packard) keyboard F8 key
On Hewlett-Packard laptop keyboards with a screen or box symbol on the F8, the secondary F8 function turns up the audio.
Lenovo ThinkPad F8 key
Logitech keyboard F8 key
Advanced Game mode settings are also available in the Logitech Gaming Software.
Microsoft Surface F8 key
Where is the F8 key on my smartphone or tablet?
Related keyboard shortcuts and keys
Below are links to related keyboard shortcuts and individual key pages.