How to Enable Function Keys on Chromebook in 2021

Google adds some really interesting features through software updates to make the Chromebook a developer-centric machine. Recently, they brought the ability to run Linux on Chrome OS with full Terminal support. And now, with the latest stable update, you can activate the missing function keys on your Chromebook by simply activating a toggle. Google introduced this feature to help developers execute many programming commands via function key shortcuts in Chrome OS. Now, having said all that, let’s move on to the steps.

Enabling Function Keys on Chromebook (Updated July 2021)

Here we talked about two ways to enable and use the Function keys on a Chromebook. You can completely change the behavior and treat the top row keys as Function keys or use the Search key to instantly translate the top row keys as Function keys. I have detailed both steps so just go through them and everything will be ready.

Treat Upline Keys as Function Keys

1. Open the Quick Settings panel in the lower right corner and click the gear icon to open the Settings page.

2. Next, go to the “Device” menu in the left pane.

Treat top row keys as Function Keys

3. Now open “Keyboard” and then Enable “See top row keys as function keys”.

Enable Function Keys on Chromebook

2. This top row keys F1, F2 etc. start with the left arrow key. Basically, you can now conveniently use Windows and programming shortcuts on your Chromebook, along with the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt modifier keys. I like this feature because now I can close the active app with Alt + fullscreen key (which functions as F4). You can also press the overview key to refresh the window.

Enable Function Keys on Chromebook

Use Keyboard Shortcuts for Function Keys

In the method above, you gain access to the dedicated Function keys on your Chromebook, plus you lose most of the useful Chrome OS shortcuts like taking a screenshot, adjusting the volume and brightness.

If you have the function keys enabled on your Chromebook, you can take screenshots, adjust brightness, etc. You can continue to use local shortcuts such as Just follow the steps below.

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Press the “Search” button and then use the top row keys. Native Chrome OS shortcuts will work flawlessly.

Use Chrome OS Top Row Shortcuts with Function Keys Enabled

For example, I can adjust the brightness by pressing the button. Search + Brightness key on the top line, the Function keys are activated the entire time. Similarly, you can use the “Search” key in combination with the top row keys to manage the volume, lock your Chromebook, and more.

Alternatively, if Selected to disable function keys, you can still perform the Function keys operation instantly. Just press Search + top row keys and you will be able to use them like Function keys. That way, you don’t have to dive into the Settings page and change the behavior every time you want to use a Function key.

Work Like a Pro on Your Chromebook with Function Keys

This was our short guide on how to enable and use the function keys on a Chromebook. While it may seem like a minor feature, it is an important requirement for developers. For general users who miss Windows shortcuts, you can now freely use Ctrl, Shift and Alt keys with function keys. Anyway, that’s it for us. If you want to know more about such hidden tricks of Chrome OS, check out our linked article. And if you have any questions, comment below and let us know.

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