Dell XPS laptops all have mixed function and media function keys. For the XPS 11, the special functions are turned on by default, with F-key functions requiring the Fn + F-key combination. This can be pretty annoying for those that need F-key functionality, such as for those using the language bar or Office.

To turn this off, either use the Windows Mobility Center (i.e. the customized by Dell section) or the computer BIOS. Read more at WindowsClub.

To access the BIOS, read more at Dell Support.

To read more about Dell special media key functions, read more here.

I bought a Dell XPS 11 a while back for its super-slim form and excellent display. So far, it’s been a pleasure to use. However, I recently ran into a problem where the volume buttons started triggering Microsoft Narrator.

I started looking around for the answer, and I found a few interesting things. This apparently affects Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro tablets as well as other Dell XPS tablet PCs, such as the XPS 12, running Windows 8.

What happens is that Windows confuses the buttons with these actions:

  • Win + Vol Up = start Narrator
  • Win + Vol Down = screenshot (saved in ~\Pictures\Screenshots)

And it may be caused by installing a security update for .NET 3.5 and 4.5.1.

You can try fixing it by following these steps:

  1. Press the Windows button on your tablet PC.
  2. Reinstall the security updates.
  3. Uninstall the Keyboard Device from the Device Manager and restart the PC.

Does that help?

 

As a side note, the official Dell forums were no help at all.

 

Sources:

  • http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/volume-up-toggles-the-narrator-on-off-and-the-volume-down-dims-the-screen.56434/
  • http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-desktop/narrator-windows-8-volume-keys-activated-for-no/73bbb642-8f00-4301-9526-e24aa201ddf2?auth=1