How to Enable Function Keys on a Chromebook in 2024

As technology continues to evolve, Chromebooks have become a popular choice for many users due to their simplicity and affordability. However, one common issue that Chromebook users face is the absence of traditional function keys on the keyboard. Function keys are essential for various tasks, such as adjusting brightness, volume control, and accessing shortcuts. If you’re wondering how to enable function keys on a Chromebook in 2024, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore two methods that can help you make the most out of your Chromebook’s keyboard and regain the functionality of function keys.

Treat Top-row Keys as Function Keys

By default, Chromebooks treat the top-row keys as multimedia keys, offering functions like adjusting volume, brightness, and media playback controls. While these features are convenient, they come at the expense of traditional function keys. However, you can easily change the behavior of the top-row keys and make them function as regular function keys.

To enable function keys on your Chromebook, follow these steps:

  1. Start by accessing the Chrome OS settings. You can do this by clicking on the time and date display located in the bottom-right corner of your screen. From the pop-up menu, select the gear icon to open the settings.
  2. In the settings menu, locate the “Keyboard” section. Depending on your Chromebook’s manufacturer, this section might be named differently, but it usually contains the word “keyboard.”
  3. Within the keyboard settings, look for an option related to the top-row keys. It could be called “Treat top-row keys as function keys” or something similar. Once you find it, enable this option.
  4. After enabling this setting, the top-row keys on your Chromebook’s keyboard will function as traditional function keys. You can now use them to perform actions like adjusting brightness, controlling volume, and performing shortcuts in various applications.

By following these simple steps, you can easily enable function keys on your Chromebook and enjoy the convenience they offer in performing various tasks.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts for Function Keys

Another way to enable function keys on your Chromebook is by using keyboard shortcuts. Chrome OS provides a range of keyboard shortcuts that allow you to access various functions without needing dedicated function keys. These shortcuts can be incredibly useful, especially when you need to perform actions quickly or navigate through different applications effortlessly.

Here are some common keyboard shortcuts that can help you replace the function keys on your Chromebook:

  1. Ctrl + Alt + Brightness Up/Down: Use this shortcut to adjust the brightness of your Chromebook’s display.
  2. Ctrl + Alt + Volume Up/Down/Mute: This combination allows you to control the volume on your Chromebook. Pressing “Volume Up” increases the volume, “Volume Down” decreases it, and “Mute” silences the audio.
  3. Ctrl + Shift + Reload: Pressing these keys simultaneously will rotate the screen orientation of your Chromebook, which can be helpful when you need to switch between landscape and portrait modes.
  4. Ctrl + Shift + L: This shortcut locks your Chromebook’s screen, preventing unauthorized access when you step away from your device momentarily.

By familiarizing yourself with these keyboard shortcuts, you can efficiently perform various functions without the need for dedicated function keys. These shortcuts provide a convenient alternative and can significantly improve your productivity when using a Chromebook.


Q: Can I customize the function keys on my Chromebook?

A: Unfortunately, Chrome OS does not provide native customization options for function keys. However, you can use third-party applications or extensions to remap your keyboard and assign different functions to specific keys.

Q: Will enabling function keys affect the multimedia functions of the top-row keys?

A: Enabling function keys on your Chromebook does not completely disable the multimedia functions of the top-row keys. Instead, it allows you to use them as traditional function keys by holding down the “Search” key located on the bottom-left corner of your keyboard.

Q: Are there any other methods to enable function keys on a Chromebook?

A: Apart from the methods mentioned in this article, there are no other built-in options provided by Chrome OS. However, as mentioned earlier, you can explore third-party applications or extensions that offer additional customization options for your Chromebook’s keyboard.