I have a new Lenovo E540 which has the special keys like volume change and such on the F-Keys here. So to actually use the F-Keys the FN has to be pressed to, so when using Alt+F4 I have to press Alt+Fn+F4 which is very inconvenient. In the BIOS it is possible to swap the FN and Ctrl Keys so the F-Keys are primary again but then the functionality of the Fn and Ctrl Key are really swapped! Is there probably a solution where the functionality of the FN and Ctrl key remain and the F-Keys are primary?

3 Answers 3


If you press FN + Esc it switches between the 2 modes. Visible with the led on the FN key.

It is easier to use F1, F2 etc; when you want to use the special functions you can just use the FN key plus the F keys.

  • 1
    Amazing, had no idea how that worked, does it fine on my E550! It does not seem to work on my ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard sadly.
    – M1ke
    Sep 4, 2015 at 9:15
  • Doesn't work on my E50. There's not even an LED. May 11, 2016 at 18:01
  • Works perfect on E580, thank you.
    – lowtechsun
    Mar 9, 2019 at 13:46
  • unless you swapped CTRL with FN keys in BIOS, then it will be: CTRL + ESC Apr 16, 2019 at 11:20
  • It works on Dell 5530 as well.
    – aydinugur
    Oct 2, 2019 at 8:49

The answer saying to use Fn+Esc didn't work for me. I'm using a Lenovo G50.

What did work was to shut down, press the tiny button next to the power socket using the end of a pen, go to the BIOS settings, and change the hotkey setting.

Now I have to hold Fn to access the media functions, and if I don't I get regular function key behaviour.


in case you swapped CTRL with FN keys in BIOS, it is:


LED on FN key will still indicate the status

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.