Why Do I Have to Press FN to Change Volume? A User’s Guide

Have you ever wondered why you need to press the ‘fn’ key to change the volume on your laptop or keyboard? It’s a common question, and the answer is simpler than you might think. The ‘fn’ key, short for function, is designed to give you access to secondary functions on your keyboard, including adjusting the volume. This quick overview will help you understand how to use the ‘fn’ key to change the volume and why it’s necessary.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Volume with the ‘fn’ Key

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve. By following these steps, you’ll be able to adjust the volume on your device without navigating through settings or using your mouse.

Step 1: Locate the ‘fn’ Key

The ‘fn’ key is usually located at the bottom left of your keyboard.

Most keyboards will have the ‘fn’ key situated between the ‘ctrl’ and ‘windows’ key. It’s typically labeled as ‘fn’ and may be a different color from the other keys.

Step 2: Find the Volume Keys

Look for the volume keys on your keyboard, often marked with a speaker icon.

These keys are usually found along the top row, known as function keys, ranging from F1 to F12. The volume keys are often on F7, F8, and F9 but can vary depending on the keyboard model.

Step 3: Press the ‘fn’ Key and the Volume Key Simultaneously

Hold down the ‘fn’ key and press the appropriate volume key to increase or decrease the volume.

For instance, to increase the volume, you might press ‘fn’ + ‘F8’. You should see the volume level on your screen change accordingly.

After completing these steps, your volume should be adjusted to your liking. You can repeat these steps whenever you need to modify the volume without going into your system settings.

Tips: Optimizing Your Volume Control Experience

  • Familiarize yourself with the keyboard layout to quickly locate the ‘fn’ and volume keys.
  • Check if your keyboard has a lock function for the ‘fn’ key to avoid pressing it each time.
  • Use the ‘fn’ key in combination with other function keys for additional shortcuts, like screen brightness.
  • If you have a multimedia keyboard, it might have dedicated volume buttons that don’t require the ‘fn’ key.
  • Customize your ‘fn’ key settings in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the ‘fn’ key necessary?

The ‘fn’ key allows for more functionality without increasing the number of keys on the keyboard.

Can I change the volume without the ‘fn’ key?

On some keyboards, particularly desktop ones, you might have dedicated volume keys that don’t require the ‘fn’ key.

Is the ‘fn’ key layout the same on all keyboards?

No, the ‘fn’ key’s position and the volume control keys can vary depending on the manufacturer and model.

What if my ‘fn’ key doesn’t work?

Check your keyboard drivers and settings; you may need to update or troubleshoot them.

Can I remap the ‘fn’ key functions?

Yes, some software allows you to remap keys, including the ‘fn’ key, to suit your preferences.


  1. Locate the ‘fn’ key.
  2. Find the volume keys.
  3. Press ‘fn’ and the volume key together.


Understanding the role of the ‘fn’ key and how it works with the volume control keys on your keyboard can make your computing experience more efficient and intuitive. It’s one of those nifty little shortcuts that, once mastered, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. Remember, the ‘fn’ key is your gateway to a variety of additional functions, so take some time to explore what else it can do for you. And now that you know why you have to press ‘fn’ to change the volume, you can impress your friends with your tech-savvy knowledge. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and always look for ways to streamline your computer interactions for a smoother, more productive experience.