F4 not working in Excel

I recently bought a new laptop (Dell Latitude 3520) and transferred all my data onto it. When I loaded up an Excel file and started creating formulas, one of the few shortcuts I actually use (F4 to make a cell reference absolute or relative) wasn’t working. This is because on this keyboard, in order to access the F keys you first have to press the Function (Fn) key.

Using the Fn key to access F4

If you don’t want to change any settings, then you will need to press and hold the Fn key (1 below) before clicking F4 (2 below) which for us is 1 extra step (which we don’t want to do).

F4 not working in Excel

Unlock/ lock the Fn key

If you would prefer that when you click on one of the F keys (e.g. F4 for $ signs, or F12 for Save As) they use that functionality and not the other options like increase/ decrease sound, brightness and other actions which are less frequent than the Excel F4 use, then you can override the Fn key

To do this hold the Fn key down (1) and push the ESC key (2).

F4 not working in Excel

Now you can just press the F4 or F12 button and Excel will immediately do the required action instead of requiring the Fn button pushed first.

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