The missing Lenovo Thinkpad scroll lock key

One of my coworkers accidentally enabled scroll lock on a Lenovo Thinkpad L440 the other day, which is bad news when you do it accidentally and can’t find the missing Thinkpad scroll lock key.

Recent Thinkpad laptops have no scroll lock key marked on the keyboard, but we found that the <Fn+K> key combination works as scroll lock. On other Thinkpads, it may be <Fn+C>. I found later that the <Fn+K> combination also works on the Thinkpad T440s and T450s. So it’s likely that on recent Thinkpads, <Fn+K> is a safe bet.

missing thinkpad scroll lock
This recent Thinkpad is too svelte for Scroll Lock, SysRq, Break, Pause, and other keys you probably haven’t used (at least not intentionally) in 20 years.

The design decision makes some sense. The public demands ever smaller laptops but still wants full-sized keyboards, so jettisoning keys that some people never use is one way to accomplish that goal. Sometimes I live in Excel for weeks at a time, yet I rarely use the Scroll Lock key. At least half the time I use it, it was accidental. The missing key makes accidents more rare, but it makes them more problematic when they do happen.

Believe it or not, there are some keys you’ll use even less often than Scroll Lock. Lenovo squirreled those keys away to save space too. Here are the other keyboard shortcuts for the L440 and other Lenovo Thinkpads for other little-used keys that are present on a traditional PS/2 keyboard.

<Fn+B> functions as the Break key on a conventional keyboard

<Fn+P> functions as the Pause key on the conventional keyboard

<Fn+S> functions as the SysRq key on the conventional keyboard

<Fn+4> puts your computer into sleep mode. To return to normal operation, press the Fn key only

The first three are a bit easier to remember than Scroll Lock because they start with the same letter the traditional key does. A key to enable sleep mode isn’t something you see on all keyboards, but it’s a nice shortcut.

If you’re curious about the scroll lock key, I have more information on its original purpose. Thinkpad keyboards have another trick too–here’s how to lock the function keys.

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