How To Use F3 On Laptop? Top Functions of F3 Keys

Laptops have many keys on the keyboard that perform different functions and are in different but particular locations performing their assigned functions. But what are the function keys, and where are they on the keyboard? Most laptops have function keys on the top of the keyboard, starting from F1 to F12, performing various functions. Among these is F3; let’s see how to use F3 on a laptop. 

The function of the F3 key is to open a search window of the application you are using at that moment. That’s why sometimes it comes with alternative titles like ‘Find’ or ‘Find Next.’ If the key has another icon besides F3, it plays a dual function when pressed with the Fn key. 

Here, we will learn about the F3 key, its functions, and how to use it in detail so that your time is saved and you get this key and its functions easily while working.

What Is F3 On The Laptop?

The F3 key is a function key located on the top of most laptops, and this key is often used to search or find features of any operating system or program in a laptop, especially in HP. Its main function is to search files and content from a laptop, automatically saving you time when you are in a hurry. 

For example, if you have opened an article on heart disease and want to find and read about one particular heart disease and have less time, then you can press the F3 key, and a search box opens at the top. Type your particular word, and it highlights that sentence or word for you. It is also referred to as a shortcut key on a laptop.

Moreover, F3 is a function toggle, a shortcut key that easily switches between two functions. Different companies’ manufacturers assign various tasks to F3 keys on laptops, like locating items on the page, files in the folder, turning off/on the WiFi/BT, brightness, and many other functions while using different applications but in combination with other keys like Shift, Windows, Fn, letter keys, or function keys. 

Where The F3 Key Is Used

This key provides a versatile search function for you. Search for folders, files, web content, programs, and software that are located on your laptop, and you forget their location. Its function varies depending on the context, needs, and application you are using. 

  • Microsoft Excel: The F3 key in Microsoft Excel performs the function of displaying the “Paste Name” dialogue box. This feature is only accessible if names have been defined in the workbook and can be found under the Formulas tab in the Defined Names group within the Define Name option. The Paste Name dialogue box allows users to select and insert defined names into a formula or a reference, making it easier to work with named ranges or named cells in a worksheet. F3 will activate the auto-complete feature and also display the insert function dialog box when pressing simultaneously with the Shift key. 
  • Microsoft Word: Because Find and Find next is the default function of the F3 key, that’s why it opens the find operation in Microsoft word. 
  • Press Ctrl + F3 to lowercase your highlighted text.
  • Press Shift + F3 to change the upper case letters to lowercase or make the beginning letter of every word capitalized. 
  • Windows Explorer: It just opens the search function. 
  • MS-DOS: It will repeat the last command.
  • Microsoft Outlook: If the window key and F3 are pressed simultaneously, it will open an advanced find a window in Microsoft Outlook. 
  • Windows Command Line: It will repeat the last action or command.
  • Windows: On Windows 7 and its earlier versions, a window opens for a search function if you press F3 on a desktop. Sadly, on windows 10, the F3 pressing on a desktop doesn’t do anything.

How To Use F3 On Laptop

The F3 key is located on the top of the laptop’s keyboard. It is the fourth top key on the right of the F2 and the left of the F4 key. If you don’t have a search box, use the F3 key to open the search, and it is not a difficult task, but it works for specific programs. 

If you need to search for a specific item, just open the application and press F3. A popup opens in the top middle of the page and allows you to type your program, software, folder, file, or even word or phrase from a web search. The search will initiate by itself and is open or highlighted on your laptop screen, making the search process easy and fast.

To perform the secondary function of the F3, you need to use the Fn key. It is at the bottom of the keyboard on the left of the windows key. 

  • First, press the Fn key and keep holding it.
  • Don’t leave the Fn key, and press the F3 key. 
  • Thus the secondary function is performed in this way.
  • If you want to perform other functions, which are performed in combination with other keys like alphabet, numbers, shift, and windows key, the process is the same. 
  • First, press the other key and hold it. Then press F3 without leaving the other key. 
  • For example, press shift and hold it.
  • Then simultaneously press the F3 key.
  • Insert function dialog box will appear on the screen in Microsoft Excel. 

A Secondary Function Of The F3 Key

Each function key has a secondary function when pressed with the Fn key, but they vary depending upon the keyboard brand. Some secondary functions of the F3 key are as follows:

Dell laptop keyboard

This function key is on top of most dell laptops and has many functions. It includes a file search and mutes and unmutes the volume.

Hp keyboard 

You can have access to search from various applications, and the secondary function is to increase the brightness of the screen on a Hp laptop, which is indicated by the sun or brightness icon.

Lenvo laptop keyboard

F3 increases the screen’s brightness as a secondary function in Lenovo laptops. It is also used to increase the volume in Lenovo ThinkPad and IBM, in addition to the primary search function. The F3 key has a volume or speaker icon. 

Apple Keyboard 

It performs several useful functions on Apple laptops. Press the Fn key and then press F3 and launch mission control on an Apple laptop and Apple products running macOS X. Moreover, you can use it for other functions on mac models, including the search option.

Logitech keyboard 

F3 secondary function is to go back to the internet browser in the Logitech keyboard, indicated by an arrow pointing to the left side, and a primary search function is also available.

Microsoft Surface keyboard 

Its secondary function is to play or pause the audio in Microsoft Surface laptop supportive program, and one is a window media player.

Cooler Master Keyboard 

In Cooler Master keyboards, the F3 key performs two secondary functions depending on the keyboard type.

  • Press Fn and F3 on single color cooler master backlit keyboard to increase backlit brightness.
  • Press Fn and F3 on the multicolor cooler master backlit keyboard to adjust the green color levels.

Note: The F3 key is not present on tablets and smartphones because their keyboard has limited keys to perform necessary and basic functions. You will find F3 key only on the laptop or computer’s keywords. 

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Q: What is the F3 key on a laptop?

A: F3 key is a function key that has multiple functions depending on the laptop model and the operating system.

Q: How can I use F3 on my laptop?

A: The use of F3 depends on the laptop model and operating system. Press the F3 button to check his functionality. Mostly it has functions like searching, refreshing, opening the search box, etc.

Q: Why isn’t my F3 key working on my laptop?

A: If the F3 key is not working, there could be various reasons like hardware malfunction, driver issues, or software problems. Try troubleshooting the issue by checking the keyboard settings or updating the drivers.

Q: How can I remap the function of the F3 key on my laptop?

A: By using third-party software easily you can remap the function of the F3 key and also modify the registry on your operating system. However, it is recommended to be careful while modifying the registry because it can cause system instability.

Q: How can I use the F3 key to search for files on my laptop?

A: For searching, press the F3 key while on the desktop or in a folder. This will open the search box, where you can enter the name of the file you want to search for.

Q: What are some other functions of the F3 key on a laptop?

A: The F3 key can be used for functions like opening the find and replace dialog box in Microsoft Word, refreshing a web page, opening the Mission Control on Mac, etc.

Q: Can I disable the F3 key on my laptop?

A: Yes, you can disable the F3 key by Changing the keyboard settings or using third-party software. However, it is recommended to be careful while disabling the function keys as it can affect the performance of some applications.


How to use F3 on a laptop? The information related to this topic will help you a lot while working on a laptop, and you will use this information to make your work easy and fast. There are many ways to use F3, and how to get benefits from these functions of F3 is now clear.

From searching the particular file in a folder or on the web, it performs other functions like increasing and decreasing the light of backlit keyboards, brightness, on/off the WiFi/BT, and many more.

Hi, yasir here. I have always been interested in Technology and loved to take them apart and put them back together. I studied computer hardware engineering at MIT and now work as a computer engineer. I am the chief editor at Coded Couture. My goal is to help people make informed decisions about the products they buy.

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