Function keys

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

The function keys or f keys are lined along the top of the keyboard and labeled F1 through F12. These keys act as shortcuts, performing certain functions, like saving files or printing data. For example, the F1 key is often used as the default help key in many programs. The function of these keys can differ by operating system and by software program.

Where are the function keys on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the function keys (F1 through F12) highlighted in blue.

Keyboard function keys

In the past, earlier Apple Macintosh computers did not have function keys, but today new keyboards include F1 through F12 or F1 through F19 keys at the top of the keyboard. MacBooks with a Touch Bar also do not have function keys.

Note: Some early IBM computer keyboards had two rows of function keys, with the second row containing F13 - F24. For additional information, visit our page on the F1 through F12 keys and their individual functions.

Tip: The function keys should not be confused with the Fn (function) key found on laptop computer keyboards, Apple keyboards, and other keyboards with special functions.

Function, Keyboard, Keyboard terms