What is F4?


Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope

The F4 key is a function key found at the top of almost all computer keyboards. The key is most often used with the Alt and Ctrl keys to close open windows and tabs. F4 also has other uses depending on the computer and program, as mentioned below.

How to use the F4 key

Open the program that uses the key and press F4. If the F4 key also has an icon on the key, it indicates the key has a secondary function. To use the secondary function, press and hold down the Fn key, and while continuing to hold the key, press F4.

If when pressing the F4 key the secondary function is performed (e.g., mutes audio), the function keys are the secondary function. For example, on an Apple computer, to press F4, hold down the fn key, and press F4.


If the FnLk (function lock) is enabled, the keyboard acts as if the Fn key is being pressed until it is unlocked.

Information about what the secondary function may be is found on the below secondary function of F4 section.

Where is the F4 key used?

The following list is all of the locations the F4 key can be used with information about how it’s used.

Microsoft Windows

When used in conjunction with the Alt and Ctrl key, the F4 is most often used to close a program or window in a program. Alt+F4 closes the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows. Ctrl+F4 closes the open window or tab in the active window in Microsoft Windows.

With earlier versions of Windows (e.g., Windows 95 to XP), the F4 key was used to open the find window.

Microsoft Word

In Microsoft Word 2000 and above, the F4 key repeats the last action performed. For example, if you highlighted text and changed its font and font color. If you highlight other text and press F4, the last changes you performed are repeated.

Microsoft Excel

While in the Excel formula box, pressing F4 switches between an absolute and relative cell reference.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Open the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

The secondary function of F4

For laptop keyboards and desktop computer keyboards with the Fn key, each function key has two functions. Unfortunately, there’s no standard to what each key uses as its secondary function, so every keyboard is different. Below is a list of different keyboards and their secondary function for the F4 key.

Apple keyboard F4 key

On Apple keyboards, the default F4 key primary function displays the available apps on the computer. Pressing the fn+F4 for the secondary function is F4.

Cooler Master keyboard F4 key

On Cooler Master desktop keyboards, the F4 secondary function is one of the following options depending on the model.

  • With a single-color keyboard backlight keyboards, FN+F4 changes the keyboard backlight mode from all keys to no keys or WASD and arrow keys.
  • With a multiple backlight colors (RGB) keyboard, FN+F4 adjusts the blue color levels.

Dell keyboard F4 key

On Dell laptop keyboards, the F4 key secondary function is to mute and unmute the volume.

HP keyboard F4 key

On Hewlett-Packard laptop keyboards with a screen or box symbol on the F4 key, the secondary F4 function is to switch between the laptop display and external monitor.

Lenovo ThinkPad F4 key

On the IBM and Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards with a line through a microphone, the F4 key secondary function mutes the microphone.

Logitech keyboard F4 key

On Logitech keyboards with an arrow pointing to the left on the key, the F4 key secondary function goes back in an Internet browser.

Microsoft Surface F4 key

On the Microsoft Surface laptops, the F4 key secondary function is to mute and unmute the volume.

Below are links to related keyboard shortcuts and individual key pages.

Fn, Function keys, Keyboard, Keyboard terms

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