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Depending on usage, there are several unused keys on the keyboard. Generally, the Scroll lock, which is designed for toggling between a scrolling and non-scrolling mode, is the most useless key. Others are the Insert key, Pause/Break, Menu key, Tilde/Squiggly ~, and some function keys.

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What keyboard key is rarely used?

Different areas of the computer keyboard

The standard QWERTY keyboard on the computer is designed with 104 different keys. All the keys are grouped into different categories.

For instance, out of the 104 keys, 12 of them are function keys, named F1, F2, F3, F4,…, F10, F11, and F12.

Furthermore, there is another group called the numeric pad. As the name suggests, the keyboard keys under this category are used to input numbers on our computer. Of course, the numeric pad also includes special characters, such as @, #, $, and %.

On the standard keyboard is the typing area, which carries the alphanumeric keys. This area is usually the busiest on the keyboard, as it’s designed primarily for typing letters and numbers. When using the word processor or spreadsheet, this area is the one that allows the computer users to enter their desired keys easily.

That’s not all; the last category of keys on the standard keyboard is the “cursor control” keys. With these keys, you can easily control what you do on your computer. Some of the keys in this group are the directional keys, status light keys, Esc button, Insert key, Home, PageUp, Delete, End, Menu, PageDown keys, and a few others.

Although all the keys on the keyboard are designed for a specific purpose, not all of them are often used. Matter of fact, there are certain keys that computer users rarely use when operating their systems. It’s safe to say that these keys are useless.

Here’s the most rarely used key on the keyboard

Now, let’s go back and address the burning question of what key is rarely used on the standard keyboard?

If you direct this question to 10 computer users, you’ll most likely get different answers from them. That’s because the use of keys depends on exactly what you’re using your computer to do, such as programming, gaming, or normal office work.

Having gone through various social media platforms and forums, I found out that the Scroll lock key, insert key, pause/break key, menu key, tilde/squiggly or (~) key, F12, F1, F2, Cap lock, F3, F6, F7, F9, and F12 are the keys that came out too often as answers to the question.

Of all the keys listed above, I’ll personally go for the Scroll lock key. Many people don’t even know the function of the scroll lock key on the keyboard. In case you don’t know, the primary function of the key is to toggle between a scrolling and non-scrolling mode.

According to the function, when you switch on the scroll lock button, the activation is supposed to help lock the current position of the cursor. However, this key doesn’t even perform this function. When you switch on the key and use the “Arrow keys,” you’ll still be able to scroll the screen irrespective of the current location of the cursor. That’s why I’m choosing the scroll lock key as the most rarely used key on the keyboard.

The same thing can be said for the Pause/Break key. The only difference, however, is that you can still use these keys to pause and play the BIOS POST output on some computers.

The bottom line is that the scroll lock button is the most rarely used key on the standard keyboard. Many people choose not to use the key because it hardly performs its function, which is to toggle between a scrolling and non-scrolling mode. Matter of fact, some higher-end keyboards don’t even come with this key anymore.

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Which are the most unused keys on the keyboard?

Here’s another burning question; which are the most unused keys on the standard keyboard? Again, the answer to this question will depend on what you use your computer to do for your daily activities.

If you’re someone who is not into programming or gaming, you’ll certainly have many keys on your keyboard that you don’t use. That said, let’s have a quick look at some of the most unused keys on the keyboard, below.

Scroll lock

As you already know, the scroll lock button is one of the few keys on the keyboard that people hardly use. If the keyboard you have is advanced, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you can’t find the key.


The pause/break key is another rarely used key on the keyboard. Many people don’t use the key because of its function, which is used to halt a text-mode program’s output. Unless you’re a computer engineer or repairer, you will likely not use the pause/break key.

Tilde/Squiggly key

Unless you’re into computing, the tilde/squiggly key (~) should be one of the most unused keys on your keyboard. The primary function of the key is to switch between windows or toggle menus. For instance, if you’re the type that works with Excel, you can always press the key alongside the Ctrl button to display all formulas in cells.

Although the tilde/squiggly key, like the rest of the keys on this list, has its functions, it’s still one of the most unused keys on a standard keyboard.

Cap lock key

The cap lock key is one of the most popular keys on this list, yet it’s still considered unused. So, why is the cap lock key often unused by most people?

I’m sure you know the function of the cap lock. However, for those who don’t know, the key is used to toggle the upper case on and off. Unfortunately, there’s another key that can help you perform this function faster, instead of pressing the cap lock key every time.

Most people find pressing the Shift button and a letter key together easier to type uppercase. I added the Cap lock key to this list because, without it, many people will still be fine.

Menu key

The menu key is, no doubt, one of the most unused keys on the keyboard. The key is designed to help computer users launch a context menu with the keyboard. This function can easily be performed on the mouse. Unless the mouse doesn’t have the usual right-mouse button, which rarely happens, then the menu key is useless on the keyboard for most people.

Insert key

The insert key is one of the most unused keys on a standard keyboard. The key is primarily designed to help computer users switch between the two text-entering modes on a word processor. However, many people don’t usually make use of the button when operating their computers.

Function keys

A couple of function keys are also some of the most unused keys on a computer keyboard. For instance, the F1 key is primarily designed to open the help screen for different programs. But who uses this key today? People hardly look for help, which is why this key is rarely used by computer users.

Unless you’re a programmer, you’ll agree with me that the F12 key is one of the most unused keys. The key is primarily used to open firebug and Chrome developer tools. Other function keys that are rarely used are the F2, F3, F6, F7, and F9 keys.

What keyboard shortcuts are unused?

Here’s the list of some of the unused shortcut keys on a computer keyboard.

  • Windows key +Ctrl+D for adding a new virtual desktop.
  • Windows key + X for displaying a quick link menu.