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Function Key Stuck on Elitebook | How Do I Fix

The other day when I was using my HP Elitebook for work, I noticed the Fn key was sticking. Every time I tried to tap it to refresh a webpage, it would get stuck down. I tried pressing it a few times to get it to pop back up but it wouldn’t budge. At first, I thought maybe something was spilled on it, but the key wasn’t actually physically jammed. After researching the issue, I learned that it’s a pretty common problem with Elitebooks and the built-in keyboard. Some debris likely got lodged under there. Luckily the fix was easy – I just shut down my laptop, used a can of compressed air to blow out the keys, pressed them a few times, powered back on, and voila! The Fn key worked perfectly again.

However, there are other solutions too! So, to learn about them, be my guest and read the article till the end!

Function Key Stuck on Elitebook
Function Key Stuck on Elitebook

Is the Fn Key Malfunctioning or Physically Damaged or Something Else?

When the Fn key on your Elitebook is stuck, not working, or unresponsive, there could be a few possible reasons behind it:

Malfunction: This occurs when the key gets stuck in a pressed state due to software glitches or internal hardware issues.

Physical damage: If your Elitebook has suffered a fall or liquid spillage, the keycap or underlying mechanism might be damaged, causing it to get stuck.

Fn lock: Some HP Elitebook models have a dedicated Fn lock key or a combination key press (like Fn + Shift) that toggles the primary and secondary functions of the F1-F12 keys. Make sure you haven’t accidentally enabled Fn lock.

So first, visually inspect the Fn key on your Elitebook to check if it looks broken or dirty. Try pressing it a few times firmly to see if it starts working. This will help you determine if it’s a physical damage issue or something else.

How to Get the Function Key Out from the Stuck Condition on HP Elitebook

If your HP Elitebook’s function key is stuck, unresponsive or constantly activated, don’t panic. Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try at home to get it working properly again:

Restart Your Laptop

This occurs when the key gets stuck in a pressed state due to software glitches or internal hardware issues. Think of it like a stuck switch in a circuit. Sometimes, software updates or buggy applications can interfere with the key’s functionality, causing it to malfunction. Additionally, internal hardware issues like a damaged keyboard membrane or faulty key switch can also cause the key to get stuck.

Turn Off the Fn Lock

Finding yourself with a stuck Fn key on your HP Elitebook can be frustrating. Thankfully, some HP Elitebook models offer a quick and easy solution – the Fn Lock feature.

Here’s how to bypass the stuck Fn key using Fn Lock:

Step 1. Locate the Fn Lock indicator:

Check your HP Elitebook keyboard for the Fn Lock indicator. This is typically a small light or text displayed near the Shift keys. On some models, it might be printed directly on the Shift key itself.

Step 2. Press Fn + Shift together:

If you see the Fn Lock indicator, simply press and hold the Fn key and the Shift key together for a few seconds. This will toggle the Fn Lock feature on and off.

Step 3. Observe the Fn Lock indicator:

When you disable Fn Lock, the light on the Fn key should turn off. This indicates that the Fn key is no longer locked and will function normally.

Step 4 – Test the function keys:

Try pressing the F keys (F1-F12) without holding the Fn key. They should now perform their intended functions like brightness adjustment, volume control, or media playback control.

Clean the Fn Key

A seemingly harmless culprit for a stuck function key can be something as simple as dirt and debris. Over time, dust, crumbs, and other particles can accumulate under the keycap, causing it to stick or become unresponsive.

What you’ll need

Damp microfiber cloth: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the keycap.

Compressed air: This can be helpful for dislodging stubborn dirt particles.

Optional: Cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol (if the keycap is removable)

Steps for Cleaning – 

  • Turn off your laptop and unplug it from the power source. This is important to avoid any potential electrical shock.
  • Locate the stuck key.
  • Gently lift the keycap. Some keycaps can be easily pried off with your fingers, while others might require a specialized tool. Be careful not to break the keycap or damage the underlying mechanism.
  • Wipe the underside of the keycap and the surrounding area with a damp microfiber cloth. Pay close attention to the crevices where dirt can accumulate.
  • If the keycap is removable, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the inside of the keycap and the switch mechanism. Be sure to let everything dry completely before reattaching the keycap.
  • Optionally, use compressed air to blow out any remaining dirt particles. Hold the nozzle of the compressed air can at a safe distance and avoid blowing directly into the keyboard openings.
  • Reattach the keycap and gently press it down until it clicks into place.
  • Turn your laptop back on and test the function key.

What If the Fn Key Switch is Totally Damaged?

If you’ve tried all the above solutions, and firmly pressed the Fn key multiple times but see no improvements in function, then the underlying key switch itself likely has a mechanical failure.

A broken key switch contacts won’t send input signals properly leading to stuck keys. Here’s what you can do if the Fn key switch looks busted:

If the Key is Damaged then Replace it

The work might seem tricky but with proper instructions, you can do it quite easily. Here are the steps you will need to follow –

  • Power off your laptop and unplug it. You’ll need to access the underside of the key.
  • Carefully pry off the key cap that needs to be replaced. Insert a small flathead screwdriver under the edge and gently leverage it up. Be careful not to damage the keyboard.
  • Remove any debris or old adhesive from the keyboard area under the key. Clean it off. Be conscious about the rubber spring underneath the key. If it is damaged or comes off then you may have a really hard time!
  • Check that the new replacement key matches and sits properly in place on the keyboard.
  • Gently press the key cap down into position, making sure it aligns properly.

Disable Fn Key from BIOS

If a key replacement seems complicated, you can simply disable the Fn key entirely from the BIOS setup utility:

  • Restart your laptop.
  • Immediately press the F10 key repeatedly until you enter the BIOS setup menu.
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate to the Advanced menu.
  • Select the Device Configuration menu.
  • Use the arrow keys to find the Fn Key setting.
  • Press the right or left arrow key to toggle the setting to Disable.
  • Press the F10 key to save the changes and exit BIOS.
  • Your computer will automatically restart.

Contact HP Customer Care

If the switch is severely damaged or the Fn key remains inaccessible even after trying the above solutions, contacting HP customer care is the best course of action. Their technical experts can diagnose the problem more accurately and recommend the most suitable solution, whether it’s a repair, replacement, or warranty claim. They can also guide you through the process of replacing the key or disabling the Fn key from BIOS if you’re not comfortable performing it yourself.


Dealing with a sticky, repeating, or completely unresponsive Fn key on your trusty HP Elitebook can be time-consuming. But as seen above, this common problem can be easily fixed with some basic cleaning, software resets, or hardware replacement.

First, isolate whether it’s a software glitch or physical damage. Turn the Fn lock on/off, thoroughly clean the key, and restart the laptop to see if the key starts working. For broken key switches, replace the Fn key component with professional help. Worst case, disable it in BIOS utility if the damage is beyond repairs.

Equipped with these troubleshooting tips, you can quickly get rid of Fn key issues. Remember to handle keys gently to prevent future malfunctions.

Now go ahead and try these solutions to regain full control of the Fn key functions again! Do share any other handy tricks that worked for your Elitebook’s sticky Function key problem.

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