Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows takes over my Function keys - Games cant use them

  1. #1


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    Windows takes over my Function keys - Games cant use them


    I need a solution. Barring that I need a baseball bat.

    I want to disable my function key abilities completely so games or other apps can use them normally. Windows seem to take over these functions with the stuff like brightness, sound, turn airplane mode on/off.. what i need is a registry hack or something to to fix this. There is a app in control panel that allows you to access some, not all of these functions.. Windows Mobility Center - but still you cannot turn them off at all. I do not need or want any of these features on my function keys.

    How to do this?

    These are shortcut keys manufactures started putting on keyboards a few years back.. They used to be called Multimedia keyboards - these functions were never standard for a keyboard. I feel like MS has some nerve taking over my function keys like this in a way where i cannot easily turn these off.

    Aside from that, i think this forum should have a Registry hacks section. I used to use another forum - forgot it's name for use with XP. If anyone knows of the name of a windows 8 forum with lists of registry hacks please let me know.
    Last edited by Dark Rider; 19 Jan 2013 at 12:38.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Windows does not take over function keys. Every app can redefine function keys as they see fit, and Windows does not override them (with a few exceptions, of course, like ctrl-alt-del).

    In general, the app gets first crack at any keypress. So, if this is happening, that means there's another reason for it. Do you have any third party hokey apps? Or anything that might watch keyboard input?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit


    O.k. Thanks I'll look for something.

    Edit:

    I found a copy of HP's Quick Launch buttons and uninstalled it - but it doesn't make any difference after a reboot. This app is supposed to control this: "This package contains the software that enables the Quick Launch Buttons, which are special function keys on HP Notebooks, to be programmed for supported notebook models that are running a supported operating system."W

    Whenever i'm in a game and hit a function key, I get the popups that Windows 8 has.. they use the Windows 8 user interface.. the big blue bar that pops up on the right side of the screen for F4 for instance to send your screen to another monitor, or F12 to turn airplane mode on or off or F3 to control brightness. These look like Windows 8 built in functions and since I removed HP's Quick Launch Buttons app, i dont know anything else that can account for this but a Windows feature. I am using a retail version of Windows 8 64 bit.. I strongly suspect this is linked to Windows Mobility Center or some other new Windows feature.
    Last edited by Dark Rider; 20 Jan 2013 at 11:58.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. #4


    What happens if you're not in a game?

    For instance what happens if you're in Notepad and press F3? Does a "Find" dialog come up or does it change brightness?

    I know some laptops can be set so that the F3 keys etc behave as if the Fn key is pressed all the time - could this be the problem? Someone else had one where a BIOS setting could be changed to do this, I think.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Sometimes there is an additional "function" key changes the F'keys from traditional F-keys to commands for Windows. Such as Open, Print, etc.. Make sure that is not the case.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    West Auckland
    Posts : 107
    Windows 8 Pro Pack x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Rider View Post
    I need a solution. Barring that I need a baseball bat.

    I want to disable my function key abilities completely so games or other apps can use them normally. Windows seem to take over these functions with the stuff like brightness, sound, turn airplane mode on/off.. what i need is a registry hack or something to to fix this. There is a app in control panel that allows you to access some, not all of these functions.. Windows Mobility Center - but still you cannot turn them off at all. I do not need or want any of these features on my function keys.

    How to do this?

    These are shortcut keys manufactures started putting on keyboards a few years back.. They used to be called Multimedia keyboards - these functions were never standard for a keyboard. I feel like MS has some nerve taking over my function keys like this in a way where i cannot easily turn these off.

    Aside from that, i think this forum should have a Registry hacks section. I used to use another forum - forgot it's name for use with XP. If anyone knows of the name of a windows 8 forum with lists of registry hacks please let me know.
    It's not a windows thing mate, it's your laptop manufacturer.

    My laptop's F keys don't work unless I hold down the FN key, otherwise all they do is control volume, tracks, brightness, etc.

    There's a setting in BIOS which sets whether you want them to be function keys or special keys be default. Your computer may have come with a utility that can change this BIOS setting from within the OS too.

    With my machine; By default the F keys are disabled in favour is media controls, etc. Sounds like this is the case with you too.

    Example:
    Screenshot from the Toshiba utility that came installed on my laptop.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit


    After reading the above and more searching I found this: Disable The Fn + Function Key Combination on Certain Models | HP® Support

    It says it does this: " On most HP and Compaq notebook computers, it is necessary to press and hold the function key (fn) while pressing one of the f1 through f12 keys to activate the default functions; such as, increasing or decreasing the brightness of the display, the sound volume, sleep, keyboard lock, etc. On the HP Envy notebooks and other notebooks with advanced BIOS options, the function keys can be configured so that it is not necessary to press and hold the fn key."

    This worked to solve my problem BUT I almost didn't try it because it is Highly misleading and very badly written. You see, it was never necessary for me to hold and press the Fn key to use the function keys by default ( so why would I need to use the the above option as written - I wouldn't) . This only makes you believe it toggles the ability to use function keys by having to use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 function keys. That would not have helped me.

    In reality, what this actually does is change the function of these keys depending on whether you use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 keys or not. It acts as an On/Off switch only allowing the function keys to work if you first press the Fn key. I had to do the opposite. I had to tell it to use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 keys.

    Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    West Auckland
    Posts : 107
    Windows 8 Pro Pack x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Rider View Post
    After reading the above and more searching I found this: Disable The Fn + Function Key Combination on Certain Models | HP® Support

    It says it does this: " On most HP and Compaq notebook computers, it is necessary to press and hold the function key (fn) while pressing one of the f1 through f12 keys to activate the default functions; such as, increasing or decreasing the brightness of the display, the sound volume, sleep, keyboard lock, etc. On the HP Envy notebooks and other notebooks with advanced BIOS options, the function keys can be configured so that it is not necessary to press and hold the fn key."

    This worked to solve my problem BUT I almost didn't try it because it is Highly misleading and very badly written. You see, it was never necessary for me to hold and press the Fn key to use the function keys by default ( so why would I need to use the the above option as written - I wouldn't) . This only makes you believe it toggles the ability to use function keys by having to use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 function keys. That would not have helped me.

    In reality, what this actually does is change the function of these keys depending on whether you use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 keys or not. It acts as an On/Off switch only allowing the function keys to work if you first press the Fn key. I had to do the opposite. I had to tell it to use the Fn key in conjunction with the 1 through 12 keys.

    Thanks.
    Glad you got it sorted mate :-)

    Never be afraid to try something you don't think will work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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