If you have used Excel for quite some time you would be familiar with the function keys. These are very convenient shortcuts that add to the ease of your workflow. But if these keys are not working then it may become a hassle to use 2 or 3 clicks to do the same thing.
One such shortcut is the F2 key. The F2 key has practically the same functionality as a double click on a cell. That is the F2 key enables the editing mode in an Excel cell.
But there is a slight difference between double clicking on a cell and pressing F2. That is if you double-click in a particular area in a cell, your cursor will be placed at that exact spot.
But if you press F2, your Cursor will be placed at the end of the contents of that cell. So by pressing F2 you can change the contents of a cell in your Excel.
In this guide, we will show you some ways you can fix your F2 not working problem in Excel. We will also discuss some reasons why your F2 might not be working along with the solutions.
So let’s get to it.
How to Fix F2 Problem
The F2 key, in Excel lets you enter Edit mode directly and quickly. But, you may face an issue where the F2 key does not act accordingly and pose problems. This means every time you want to edit any cells, you will have to double-click to enter the edit mode.
To fix the F2 not working problem, you may follow the following solutions. Here are 4 solutions for you to try out if you are having problems with your F2 key.
Toggling The F Lock Key
Although this may not apply to users with newer keyboards, those who are using older keyboards, especially keyboards like the older Microsoft keyboards had an F lock key to lock the functionalities of the Function keys or the F keys.
Here is an example image of a Microsoft keyboard with the F lock key marked in red.
The F Lock key locks out the functionalities of the F keys and is normally shown with a light indicator. So if your F2 key is not working in Excel and you have an older keyboard, you may want to check the F lock key status. If your keyboard doesn’t have an indicator light, just try and toggle the key to check if it works.
But this will not work for newer keyboards as most newer keyboards have replaced the F lock key with the Fn key.
Toggling or Pressing and Holding The FN Key
With the craze of smaller and slimmer mechanical keyboards in the market, you will see a lot more keyboards with a minimal size profile. These keyboards may vary from an 85% size to even a 60% size profile.
Although these keyboards have the big upside of being portable, they lack many keys from a 100 percent profile keyboard. And to compensate for the size of these keyboards, manufacturers often bundle the function keys with other functionalities. To activate the function keys for these keyboards you have to use the Fn key.
For example, we have here a Logitech MK220 portable keyboard. The keyboard does not have full sized keys and is very minimal in profile.
So the keyboard has Fn keys to toggle between the F2 key and other functionalities like opening your mail app in this case. In such keyboards, you may have to click the Fn keys along with the Function keys for your F2 to work.
Similarly, for laptop keyboards, you often have to toggle the fn key to make the F2 key work in Excel. Here is an example of a laptop keyboard with the Fn key.
But in Excel, you may also have to simultaneously hold the Fn key and press the function key to make them work. So, if you wanted to use the F2 key you would have to simultaneously press F2 and Fn keys to achieve the function.
In some other cases, you may need to press and hold the Fn key to toggle between the F2 key and the secondary function for that key. And depending on the keyboard you might also have to press and hold the Fn and the Esc key to unlock the function keys.
All of these vary from keyboard to keyboard. And depending on the system or keyboard you will almost always find a manual that explains the default Fn state.
So, if you cannot use the F2 key in excel, it is better to check the Fn key state on your keyboard.
Check Default Behaviour of F2
Sometimes, if your Excel is not properly configured, if you press F2, Excel may not show you that you are editing in the cell. Rather Excel will show you that you are editing on the formula bar.
Although this is not a major issue, it may not be your wanted behavior. To fix this and to see the edits in your cell, go to File>Options>Advanced, or in our case, it was File>More>Options>Advanced. On the new pop-up menu, make sure to check the Allow editing directly in Cells option as marked in the image below.
This will enable direct editing in your cell and you will be able to directly edit in your cell if you press F2.
Replace Your Keyboard/ Switch
But despite you trying all of the solutions above, you may find yourself in a pickle if you still cannot get your F2 key to work. If that is the case, you should check if your keyboard is faulty or if your F2 key itself is not working due to a faulty key.
If you have a spare keyboard lying around, you can check if the F2 function is working with that keyboard. But if you do not have one, you can check the F2 keyboard functionality with the On-Screen-Keyboard functionality. If you don’t know how you can check our guide on the Excel not scrolling issue where we explain in detail how to enable the On-Screen Keyboard in your system.
But for a simple guide, in your Windows 10/11 system, in the search box simply start typing On Screen and windows will suggest the on-screen keyboard for you.
Just open the On Screen Keyboard to check your F2 key and if it works from the on screen keyboard you can assume that your F2 key is faulty in the physical keyboard.
In these cases, just replace the keyboard if you rely on using the F2 key very often. If you are using a hot switch mechanical keyboard, you can replace the switch itself relieving you of the hassle of replacing the entire keyboard.
In this guide, we have shown you how you can fix your F2 keys not working in your Excel. We have also explained why the F2 key may not be working in your case.
In most cases, it is because somehow the F2 key may be locked by the Fn key, which is a simple solution. But, it can also be because your Excel is misconfigured.
So before trying out something radical like uninstalling your Excel, try out our solutions. And your F2 not working problem should be solved.
So why wait? Go out there and edit some cells in Excel without double-clicking every time.