Ever Wondered What Is The point of Function Keys (F1 to F12) on Your Keyboard? Here’s How To Use Them.

We know our keyboards have 12 function keys(F1 to F12) but have you ever wondered what are their uses? Though F1 through F12 have some default primary and secondary (in combination to the Fn key) features, they can be used well in combination with keys like Ctrl, Shift and Alt.

Below is the list of uses of every function key from F1 to F12:


  • Almost every program comes with a help or support menu and pressing F1 while on the program brings up the help menu instantly.
  • So if you are in Microsoft Word and press F1 you will be taken to the extensive help section.
  • F1 with the Windows key, however, shows up Windows Help and Support.


  • On your Windows Desktop, pressing F2 allows you to quickly rename a file or folder. So if you want to give a more specific name to your ‘Photos’ folder for example, click on it once using your mouse (not twice as that will open the folder), then press F2. The name of the folder will be highlighted so you can type over it.
  • In Microsoft Word, press Alt + Ctrl + F2 to open a new document quickly and easily.
  • Ctrl + F2 displays the ‘Print Preview Screen’ in Microsoft Word to give you the fast access to printer options.


  • F3 opens a ‘search’ feature in nearly all programs including Windows, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. This search feature helps you find a key word in a text easily so you can move straight to the section of a document or web page that you need to see.
  • Combination of Shift + F3 will change the font type from Upper Case (Capital Letter) to Lower Case (Small letter) in Microsoft Word.


  • On Windows Explorer it takes the focus or cursor to address bar. It does the same on Internet Explorer.
  • Known to all, Alt + F4 closes the current program. When no program is running it launches the Shutdown dialog box.
  • If you are in Microsoft Word, press F4 to repeat your last action.


  • If you are browsing the internet, press F5 to refresh or reload the page you are looking at.
  • If you are using Microsoft Word, this opens the useful ‘Find and Replace’ function. This allows you to automatically replace one word with another throughout a text without having to go through each one-by-one.


  • F6 will move your cursor to the address bar in nearly all Internet Browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. This allows to type in a new web address and move to another web page efficiently and quickly.
  • In Microsoft Word, press CTRL + SHIFT + F6 together to open a new document while keeping the document you are currently working on in a separate window.


  • This key is not used by most internet browsers, but in Microsoft Word and other programs it will bring up your Spell Checker and Grammar Checker.
  • Press SHIFT + F7 in Microsoft Word to run a thesaurus on a word you have highlighted so you can check for a word which has a similar meaning.


  • This key’s main use is to access Safe Mode when your computer is starting up.


  • Pressing F9 has no function in internet browsers but it will refresh your document in Microsoft Word.
  • Send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook.


  • Press F10 to activate the menu bar in your internet browser or program like Microsoft Word.
  • Press SHIFT + F10 as an alternative to right clicking your mouse on a file or internet link.


  • Press F11 to enter and exit full screen mode on your Internet Browser. Really useful if you are watching a video.
  • On MS Excel Shift + F11 adds a new sheet and Ctrl + F11 adds a new macro to the workbook.


  • Press F12 to open the ‘Save As’ option when using Microsoft Word.
  • Press CTRL and F12 together to open a new document when using Microsoft Word.
  • Press SHIFT and F12 together to automatically save a document in Microsoft Word.
  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + F12 together to immediately print a document in Microsoft Word.