Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Disabling the F1 Key.

Disabling the F1 Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 30, 2018)

7

The F1 key is used to summon forth Excel's help system. Depending on how you type, you may find the F1 key bothersome. For instance, if you meant to press F2 to edit the contents of a cell, but you instead press F1, this can throw a real crimp in your editing stride. For this reason, you may look for an easy way to disable the F1 key.

One definitely low-tech solution is to simply remove the key. They F1 keycap, on most keyboards used with desktop systems, is relatively easy to remove. If it is a bit stubborn, you may need to slip the edge of a small screwdriver under the cap to help pry it loose.

If you don't like doing this type of keyboard surgery, you can disable the key through the use of a macro. This macro could be included in your Personal workbook file, as a part of the Open event, so that it runs every time that Excel is started. The macro should contain a single command:

Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""

The OnKey method is only triggered, in this case, when the F1 key is pressed. This usage results in the F1 key being ignored. If you wanted the F1 key to run some different procedure, you could use it as follows:

Application.OnKey "{F1}", "MyProcedure"

To later return the functioning of the F1 key to normal, use this line:

Application.OnKey "{F1}"

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8488) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Disabling the F1 Key.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once

Need to open a bunch of workbooks from within Excel? It's easy to do when you construct a selection set in the Open ...

Discover More

Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook

When you enter a URL or e-mail address in a worksheet, Excel usually converts it to a clickable hyperlink. This doesn't ...

Discover More

Managing Corporate Templates

Templates are used to store styles and lots of other customizations that affect how you use Word. On a single-user ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Office 365 and Excel Versions

What is Office 365 and how does it relate to the version of Excel you have? This tip provides what you need to understand ...

Discover More

Embedding Your Phone Number in a Workbook

Want to provide a bit of contact information in a workbook? A great place to do it (out of sight, but not inaccessible) ...

Discover More

Slowing Down Mouse Selection

Ever tried to select a range of cells using the mouse, only to have the cells scroll by so quickly you can't make the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 4?

2019-02-09 09:10:22

user1

this doesn't work


2016-07-29 16:53:16

Danny

Morten:
Any Hope at all?
I have the same issue whether I have it set up to automatically run, or if I have a macro that I run, it still persists to open when editing a cell


2015-04-20 05:25:49

Morten

This only works in some circumstances. E.g. when I'm inside a cell (with F2) and accidentally press F1, the popup still appears.


2014-07-08 10:53:38

Glenn Case

Malbec:

Make sure you add the code to the code page of "ThisWorkbook" rather than to a module.

From the VBA Project window, double-click "ThisWorkbook" under VBAProject (Personal.xlsb) to open the code window.


2014-07-07 19:24:49

FatFingers McGill

This is the best tip evvvaaarrr!

Had to Google how to create an auto_open event for my Personal.xlsb file, but it works great!

FFM


2014-06-09 07:50:04

Malbec

I am trying to add this to my personal.xlsb:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""
End Sub

but it's not working.
any ideas??
Thank you!


2014-06-02 08:57:58

Bryan

I'm glad you were able to integrate my suggestion (how to revert the F1 key, comment now deleted) into the article.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.