Num Lock

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Num Lock, commonly referred to as “number lock,” is a fundamental feature present on almost all computer keyboards. Its primary purpose is to modify the behavior of specific keys, particularly the numeric keypad, allowing users to input numbers more efficiently. Understanding the significance and functionality of Num Lock is crucial for ensuring a smooth computing experience.

What exactly is Num Lock?

Num Lock refers to a key that typically resides on computer keyboards. It may also be known as Num key, Num Lock key or even Num Lk key. It functions as a toggle key that allows users to enable or disable access to the numeric pad. When enabled, users can utilize the numeric keys; when disabled, these keys perform other actions frequently associated with directional inputs.
 Num Lock
Num Lock
For instance, let’s say you have disabled the num lock and you try pressing the keys that are typically associated with it. In this case, those keys might function as arrow keys.
Different keyboard designs implement num locks in various ways and they are beginning to be phased out on smaller keyboard designs.
The Num Lock function found on computer keyboards enables users to utilize the numeric keypad for entering numerical data. When activated, it transforms the right side of the keyboard into a dedicated numeric input tool, making tasks like calculations, data manipulation and spreadsheet usage more efficient. This feature greatly improves the ease and speed of inputting numerical information, ultimately enhancing overall user productivity and experience.

Where is located the Num Lock key on an Apple keyboard?

On an Apple keyboard, there is no separate set of keys or Num Lock key. The number pad on an Apple Mac computer keyboard functions solely as a number pad without any additional settings. Therefore, you won’t find a Num Lock key on Apple keyboards. Instead of the num key, there is a clear key located in the same spot as shown in the image below;

What does Num Lock do?

And where can you find the Num Lock key on a laptop keyboard? The location of the Num Lock key is generally consistent across laptops that have a numeric pad, just like in the keyboard image below. However, due to space constraints and to make laptops more compact, most laptop keyboards do not include a numeric pad.

Feature of  num lock 

Some laptops have a Num Lock key but don’t come with a numeric keypad. In such cases, users can input numbers or perform other numeric functions using the keys located around the Backspace key, as illustrated in the image below.
Certain laptops combine two keys into one. In such situations, you need to press the Fn key along with the second key you wish to use.

Where can I find the Num Lock key?

On traditional desktop keyboards, there is a numeric keypad located on the right side, below the row of letter keys. The Num Lock key is typically found in the upper left corner of this keypad.
If you are using a laptop that has a numeric keypad, you will find the Num Lock key in the same position as on a desktop keyboard. However, compact laptop keyboards often do not have a dedicated numeric keypad. In such cases, the number lock functionality is usually accessed by pressing a key that shares its function with another key, such as Scroll Lock or Backspace.
When a key has multiple functions, you may notice that the alternate function is labeled in a different color. To activate it, hold down the Fn (function) key and press Num Lock. Some keyboards have a specific key for number lock, but even then you will need to hold down Fn while pressing it. If both Num Lock and Fn keys are labeled in the same color, this is likely your situation.

What does Num Lock do?

The num lock feature replaces certain keys on your keyboard with a numeric keypad.Sometimes, when computers start up, they automatically activate number lock. However, on most compact keyboards, you need to enable this feature manually.
This feature, which is often overlooked, can be quite useful in various scenarios. For instance, some individuals prefer using a keypad (like the ones on phones and calculators) to input long sequences of numbers because it makes typing easier.

Applications of  num lock

The Num Lock function is widely used in computer basics and has various applications, including;
  1. Data Entry; It allows for faster and more efficient input of numerical data, especially in programs like spreadsheets and databases.
  1. Numeric Calculations; Num Lock enables the use of the numeric keypad for quick calculations in software such as accounting applications, calculators and mathematical tools.
  1. Gaming; In certain gaming applications, the Num Lock key can be utilized for specific in game functions, shortcuts or hotkeys to enhance the gaming experience for particular types of games.
  1. Accessibility; Num Lock can be particularly useful for individuals with disabilities who rely on the numeric keypad for input. It offers a more convenient and accessible way to enter numbers and perform tasks.


In conclusion, the Num Lock feature improves computer efficiency and usability.
Enabling or disabling the NumLock function on your laptop doesn’t directly impact its performance. However, it’s worth considering whether you need to enable or disable NumLock based on the tasks you’re currently working on. Enabling NumLock provides access to various features and shortcuts mentioned earlier in this article, which can be helpful when dealing with specific assignments or tasks like data entry. So, to summarize; toggling NumLock won’t necessarily enhance performance, but it can be advantageous in certain situations where utilizing those specific features can aid in completing work quickly and effectively.
To sum it up, Num Lock serves as a convenient tool for users to streamline data entry on their computers. By enabling the use of the numeric keypad for numerical input, it enhances the efficiency of tasks such as data entry, manipulating spreadsheets and performing numeric calculations. Despite its seemingly simple function, its impact on user experience and productivity should not be underestimated in the realm of essential computer features.
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