Enabling Traditional Function Keys on Mobile Macintosh Systems

By default, on MacBook and MacBook Pro computers, the F1-F12 keys are assigned to hardware controls, such as brightness, audio volume, numlock, and so on. This means that you have to press the Function (Fn) key along with the F-key when you want to invoke F-key commands in your software applications.

You can change your keyboard preferences so that the F-keys work in the traditional manner, without pressing the Fn key. When this setting is activated, you can press the Fn key along with the F-key to activate the hardware commands.

To enable traditional function keys
  • In the Keyboard tab of the Keyboard & Mouse preferences in System Preferences, select the “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” checkbox. Uncheck the box to return to the default setting.