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How to Fix Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11

Laptop Hotkeys are well designed and configured for Windows OS so that users can easily access multiple tasks or functions in a shortcut way to increase ease of use as well as productivity whatsoever. Hotkeys (Fn) can help you to adjust brightness, control volume, manage keyboard lighting effects, set macro profiles for gaming, and more. But some of the users are reporting that their Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11.

If you’re also facing the same issue and somehow the Fn key (Hotkeys) combination doesn’t work for you especially on Windows 11 operating system then you should follow this troubleshooting guide to resolve it easily. Well, this is one of the common issues that users are facing for years even on the previous generations of Windows like Win7/8/10. In that scenario, it’s quite obvious that you may end up reducing your productivity.

How to Fix Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11

There may be several reasons behind the laptop hotkeys aren’t working on your Windows platform. But in most cases, the keyboard driver conflict with the system or outdated Windows build or background functionality of the hotkey service isn’t running or the specific software has some issues, etc.

How to Fix Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11

Whereas plenty of Asus and Lenovo laptop users are facing this issue a lot due to the Armoury Crate Service app that requires an update on Windows 11 if you’ve recently updated to Win11 Beta or Stable. If the Asus or Lenovo laptop comes with Windows 11 preinstalled or Windows 11-Ready status then you shouldn’t care about the application and jump into the other workarounds below.

1. Restart Your Laptop

It’s highly recommended to restart your laptop to refresh any kind of system glitch that may also cause several issues with the hotkey function in some scenarios. Although most of the users already know this step, they don’t perform it. So, it’ll come in handy for all.

2. Update Keyboard Driver

Updating the keyboard driver on your Windows 11 laptop will definitely come in handy for you and fix plenty of possible issues whatsoever. To do this:

  • Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Now, click on Device Manager from the list > Double-click on the Keyboards arrow icon to expand it.
  • Right-click on the standard PS/2 keyboard that you’re using.

How to Fix Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11

  • Next, select Update driver > Choose to Search automatically for drivers.
  • If there is an update available, the system will automatically download & install it.
  • Once done, restart the computer to apply changes.

3. Check for Windows Updates

Sometimes you didn’t update the Windows OS build for a while and the chances are high that an outdated Windows build is actually triggering some issues with the system performance or services or even touchpad/keyboards on laptops. Therefore, make sure to simply check for Windows updates and install the latest build always.

  • Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on System from the bottom of the left pane.

How to Fix Windows 11 Slow Startup

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  • Now, click on Check for updates > If there is an update available, it’ll automatically start downloading and install the update.
  • It may take some time to complete the installation process.
  • Finally, restart your computer to change effects immediately.

4. Physically Clean Keyboard Keys (Fn Key Only)

Maybe your keyboard becomes dirty or oily or any kind of moisture is piling up for a while. It may seem a little bit but sometimes that can cause several issues whatsoever. So, we’ll recommend you to turn off your laptop and try gently cleaning up your keyboard with cotton earbuds or slightly take alcohol on any cleaning fabric and then wipe out all the dirt/dust/moisture.

If you’re geek enough then try to pull out the Fn keycap and gently clean the internal part of it or even on the hinge part.

5. Reset Keyboard Settings

Well, resetting your keyboard settings back to the factory default state can also help you to easily fix the keyboard-related issue. To do so:

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  • Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Time & language from the left pane > Click on Language & region.
  • Now, select your default language from the list, and keep it on top by dragging it out.
  • If you’ve made any changes then the keyboard settings will reset.
  • Just reboot your laptop and check whether the hotkey is working or not.

6. Reinstall Generic Keyboard Driver

Sometimes reinstalling the generic keyboard driver on your Windows computer can also fix multiple issues or glitches. To do that:

  • Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Now, click on Device Manager from the list > Double-click on the Keyboards arrow icon to expand it.
  • Right-click on the standard PS/2 keyboard that you’re using.
  • Next, select Uninstall device > If prompted, select Uninstall again to confirm the action.
  • Make sure to restart your laptop to apply changes.

Now, once the generic keyboard driver has been uninstalled, follow the steps below.

  • Open Device Manager once again > Click on the Action tab from the top menu.
  • Now, select Scan for hardware changes > Follow the on-screen instructions and the system will automatically check for missing keyboard drivers.
  • Finally, the system will automatically reinstall the missing keyboard driver.
  • Just reboot the laptop to apply changes.

However, if the system doesn’t reinstall the missing driver automatically then don’t worry because you can also manually download and install the latest version of the keyboard driver for your respective laptop model directly from the manufacturer’s website. Just click on the specific link for your manufacturer and do the same.

7. Disable Filter Keys

If you’re still having issues with the function key on your Windows 11 laptop then make sure to disable the filter keys option to check again.

  • Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Accessibility from the left pane > Turn Off the toggle for ‘Keyboard shortcut for Filter keys’.

8. Restart HID (Human Interface Devices) Service

Human Interface Devices (HID) is a device class definition to replace PS/2-style connectors with a generic USB driver to support HID devices such as keyboards, mice, game controllers, etc on Windows system. By restarting the HID service, you may be able to fix some glitches with the connected peripherals.

  • Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type services.msc and hit Enter to open Services.
  • Now, search for Human Interface Device Service from the list.
  • Right-click on the service > Click on Restart.
  • It may take a couple of seconds to restart the service.
  • Once done, you can try using hotkeys (Fn) again.

9. Disable Function (Fn) Key Lock

Well, disabling the function key lock on your laptop keyboard can easily fix issues with the Fn key functionality or shortcuts.

  • Look for the Fn key and Fn Lock key on the keyboard. [In our case, the F9 key has a lock icon on the Lenovo laptop]
  • So, just press the Fn + Fn Lock key combo to disable the Function (Fn) key lock.

Note: On some laptops, you may find Fn + Esc key combo to do the same task. Whereas some manufacturers allow users to disable the function key lock directly from the BIOS menu. In that scenario, turn off & on your laptop and press the F2/Del key repeatedly on the boot screen to open BIOS.

10. Turn On/Off On-Screen Keyboard

Well, you should also try enabling the on-screen keyboard and check for the Fn (function) key whether it’s working or not. If in case, the on-screen Fn key is working fine then the chances are high that your physical keyboard has some internal issues or the specific Fn key is damaged. To do so:

  • Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Accessibility from the left pane > Turn on the toggle for ‘On-screen keyboard’.

Note: You can also directly press the Win+Ctrl+O key shortcut to turn on/off the on-screen keyboard.

Still, the problem exists? Follow another method.

11. Run Keyboard Troubleshooter

If you’re still facing the Laptop Hotkeys Not Working issue on Windows 11 then make sure to run Keyboard Troubleshooter to check further. To do so:

  • Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on System from the bottom of the left pane.
  • Now, click on Troubleshoot from the right pane.

How to Fix Laptop Hotkeys Not Working on Windows 11

  • Click on Other troubleshooters > Click on the Run button next to Keyboard.
  • Let the system automatically initiate the diagnostics process and check for possible issues.
  • If there is an issue detected, the system will try automatically fixing it. If the issue doesn’t fix then make sure to search for the proper troubleshooting method online and fix it.

12. Run SFC Scan

You should run the system file checker scan on your Windows computer to check for any kind of possible or corrupted system files and restoring them.

  • Click on the Start Menu and type cmd.
  • Now, right-click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  • Select Run as administrator > If prompted, click on Yes to give admin privileges.
  • Once the command prompt window opens, type the following command and hit Enter to execute it:
SFC /scannow

  • Now, wait for the process to complete.
  • Make sure to restart your computer to change effects immediately.

13. Run DISM Scan

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command-line tool that can be used to mount and service Windows images before deployment. To do so:

  • Click on the Start Menu and type cmd.
  • Now, right-click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  • Select Run as administrator > If prompted, click on Yes to give admin privileges.
  • Once the command prompt window opens, type the following command and hit Enter to execute it:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Then type the following command and press Enter:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

  • Now, wait for the process to complete and exit the command prompt.
  • Finally, restart your computer to apply changes.

14. Uninstall Recent Third-Party Apps

It’s highly recommended to uninstall any third-party apps that you’ve recently installed on your laptop and started facing the function key issue all of a sudden. To do so:

  • Press the Windows key to open the Start menu > Type Control Panel and click on it from the search result.
  • Now, click on Uninstall a program > Here you’ll have to find out the recently installed programs one by one according to the date (Install On) filter.
  • Then right-click on the specific program and select Uninstall.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the removal process. [If prompted by User Account Control, then click on Yes to proceed]

Make sure to do the same steps for each application that you’ve recently installed and want to uninstall right now. Once all is done, reboot your laptop to apply changes.

15. Roll Back Keyboard Driver

It can also be possible that you’ve recently updated the keyboard driver to the latest version and somehow the latest version has some bugs or stability issues. Now, if you’re also feeling the same and the previous version doesn’t have any sort of major issues then you should follow the steps below to go back to the previous keyboard driver version on your laptop.

  • Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Now, click on Device Manager from the list > Double-click on the Keyboards arrow icon to expand it.
  • Right-click on the standard PS/2 keyboard that you’re using.
  • Next, select Properties > Click on the Driver tab.
  • Here you’ll find the Roll Back Driver option > Just click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the task.
  • Make sure to restart the laptop to change effects immediately.

Note: If in case, the Roll Back Driver option is greyed out that means there is no previous version available on the system as of now. In that scenario, just head over to the respective laptop manufacturer’s website and download the older version of the keyboard driver specific for your laptop model number then manually install it.

16. Connect to another USB Port (External Keyboard Only)

If you’re using an external keyboard then you should try using a different USB port on the laptop to cross-check whether the problem is actually happening at the keyboard end or at the USB port. Or just try using another keyboard on your laptop to check for the function hotkey issue.

17. Turn On Windows Hotkeys via Group Policy Editor (Windows 11 Pro & Enterprise Only)

Sometimes it may also be possible that you’re using the Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise edition on your laptop that has been provided by the company or educational institute. Therefore, some of the access and features may be disabled by the system administrator that you have to enable using the Group Policy Editor.

Note: Group Policy Editor option isn’t available on Windows 11 Home edition.

  • Press the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to open Group Policy Editor.
  • Now, head over to the following path from the GP Editor:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

  • Double click on ‘Turn off Windows Key hotkeys’.
  • Click on Enabled to select it > Click on Apply then OK to save changes.
  • Once done, make sure to restart the laptop to apply changes.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, you can comment below.

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