The F Keys - F13 F14 F15 F16

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
Four more F's than what I am used to... but when I press them nothing happens. Is there a OSX fucntion to map these to commands? What are they intended to do in OSX?



Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
In general, they do nothing. Apple laptops don't have these keys, so there can't really be any major OS X functions mapped to them. Some sophisticated pro-level apps may be able to take advantage of them, and you can also map other common functions to them in System Preferences --> Keyboard & Mouse --> Keyboard Shortcuts.


Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
The Kop
F14 and F15 should adjust the brightness of your display.

You can assign them to in System Preference - Keyboard- Keyboard Shortcuts(or something like that, currently away from my mac)

Or if you want to be able to assign them to change tracks in iTunes etc. then you can use an application like sizzlingkeys. May also want to check out onekey or something like that enables you to assign more complicated things to it, like applescripts etc.

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
I am on a Mac Pro, I should add.

I was able to map screenshots to F13 successfully, but the System Prefs will not allow any mapping of 14 15 16

F14 and 15 do nothing at all, and F16 does nothing I can see, but if I hit F16 repeatedly, it pegs all four CPU cores at around 40%!

not sure what it's doing, but it's doing something

Alex Quinn

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2008
Solution: Disable shortcuts under "Display" in system Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts

Just for the record.... The solution was to go into the Keyboard Shortcuts in the System Preferences and, under Display, uncheck the entries for increasing/decreasing brightness.

I found that in the QuicKeys FAQ. I'm not actually using QuicKeys, but I'm pretty sure it's the same problem. Until you do what I've described here, it seems that nothing else in the system can detect that F14 and F15 have been pressed. There's also some great info on Mac keyboard remapping at Jacob Rus' page on the Cocoa Text System.

I know this is an old post, but I wasted a bunch of time trying to solve this tonight, finding a lot of forum threads like this with the same question, but but no satisfactory answer.
  • Like
Reactions: bam0027