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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?

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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.

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    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 '15 at 9:15
  • Doesn't work on my E50. There's not even an LED. – John Dvorak May 11 '16 at 18:01
  • Works perfect on E580, thank you. – lowtechsun Mar 9 '19 at 13:46
  • unless you swapped CTRL with FN keys in BIOS, then it will be: CTRL + ESC – secretAgent Apr 16 '19 at 11:20
  • It works on Dell 5530 as well. – aydinugur Oct 2 '19 at 8:49
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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.

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

CTRL + ESC

LED on FN key will still indicate the status

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