As keyboard enthusiasts, we always want to learn more about our devices. Why certain keys are more important than others, the statistics and function of each key, and everything in between. One of the most interesting facts is the usage of different keys on the keyboard.
What is the least important key on a keyboard? This question might have popped into your head at some point while using a keyboard for typing or gaming.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the importance of different keys and what makes a particular key less important than others. We will also find out if there are any useless keys on a keyboard, and the statistically least important key on a keyboard to help you learn about keyboard technology.
So, let’s get started.
How to Measure Key Importance?
The importance of a particular key on a keyboard depends upon a lot of factors actually. To help you understand the concept of key importance, I’ve made a list of the considerations you need to take. First, let’s take a look at key importance and how it is measured.
- Common Usage – The commonality of a key is a significant factor to consider if you’re talking about key importance. How important a key is, depends upon how much it is actually used in generic day-to-day usage or the case of common computer usage.
- Importance of Function – The function of a key is also quite crucial. The more important the function performed by the key, for example, the Esc key or the enter key, the more important and commonly used. At the same time, lesser important keys won’t have that much important use.
- Specialized Usage – If you’re using a computer for a professional line of work, the importance of a key also depends upon that. Basically, this means that if you’re a coder, macros would be important to you and the function keys deal with that; however, as a typist, the letter E would be essential to you.
- Keyboard Dependence – Keyboard dependence means whether a keyboard can survive without a key in it. For example, if the keyboard doesn’t work without a particular key in it, that key would be essential for the functioning of the keyboard.
What Makes a Key the Least Important?
At this point, you must be wondering, what actually makes a key the least important on a keyboard? Well, apart from looking at the factors of key importance, there aren’t many things you need to do to deem a key the least important for your own use or general usage.
The thing is that if a key does not offer any useful benefits in the day-to-day usage of a computer, it wouldn’t be considered as important as you’d think it might be.
Another straightforward way of finding whether a key is useless is to see if it is very uncommon in the keyboard enthusiast community and whether anyone even knows its function or not.
All these elements and a few others help you identify a key that is not as important as the other ones. Basically, we would be taking away from this because our keyboard will be completely functional and undisturbed without a key that is the least important.
Can Any Key Be Useless On a Keyboard?
A lot of people tend to ask me, can a key actually be useless on a keyboard? Well, if we think about it deeply, not really. A key is never useless. It can be less used, uncommonly used, less important than others, but it will never be useless; otherwise, there would be no point in its existence.
Let’s take the example of the function keys. If you’ve set macros on the function keys and you use the keys for programming and coding applications, they will be much useful to you. However, a person who doesn’t use such applications might have never even used the function keys other than booting options. So, it might not be useful to them.
But either way, the key exists, and it is useful in some particular way. The level of use makes it a more important or less important key on the keyboard, which is why we’re talking about this concept.
Why Scroll Lock is the Least Important Key on a Keyboard
Although there are many debates over which key is the least important on a keyboard, we’re going to talk about the least important key on a keyboard for generic usage. The key that is the least important is the Scroll Lock key. You might not even be familiar with this particular key because many smaller-sized keyboards like the TKL, 60% or 40% of keyboards don’t even consider its addition.
The purpose of the Scroll Lock key is to lock the ability to scroll a page using the arrow keys or to halt the operation of a program. Due to its requirement being almost unnecessary, it is deemed as the least important key.
There are even some full-sized regular keyboards that do not consider this key worth adding. It has a function that usually doesn’t require any usage in the keyboard at all.
And there are many other keys on the keyboard that are near the least important Scroll Lock key in terms of common usage, but this particular key edges them out. This key is considered the least important by popular agreement of the internet keyboard enthusiast communities and various forums.
When it comes to usage, the least important key, according to many polls and forums, is the Scroll Lock Key, but that might not be the case for you. Personal choice, line of work, computer usage matter a lot as well. That’s why this is more of a mutual agreement or opinion than a hard and fast fact when it comes to keyboarding. I hope you learned a lot from this article and that you’re going to have a great keyboarding experience in the future. Have a wonderful day ahead of you!
Now that you know the LEAST important key, check out the MOST important key on a keyboard next!