Do macbook keyboards light up

Do macbook keyboards light up DEFAULT

How to Disable Keyboard Backlighting on MacBook Pro or Air

MacBook keyboard backlighting

Keyboard backlighting is one of the best keyboard features on Mac laptops, illuminating the keyboard to help you see the keys better in low light situations. And let&#;s face it, it also just plain looks cool too. Most MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air users like the keyboard backlighting feature, but there are some users who might not, and there also some scenarios where some Mac laptop users may wish to completely disable the keyboard backlighting feature.

This article will show you how to completely disable the keyboard backlighting on Mac laptops should you want to do so.

How to Disable Keyboard Backlighting on Mac Laptops

Here&#;s how you can turn off keyboard backlighting on MacBook Pro, Air, and MacBook:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and to &#;System Preferences&#; then select the &#;Keyboard&#; preference panel
  2. Under the &#;Keyboard&#; section uncheck the box for &#;Adjust keyboard brightness in low light&#;
  3. Now press the &#;F5&#; key repeatedly (or fn + F5, or find the keyboard backlight button on Touch Bar) until the key backlighting is off

That&#;s it, keyboard backlighting will now be off. This is visibly obvious, so give the keys a look or take them into dim or dark lighting to confirm.

It&#;s important to turn off the &#;Adjust keyboard brightness in low light&#; setting first, otherwise you&#;ll find the keyboard backlighting sometimes turns itself back on again depending on what the ambient lighting situation is.

To disable keyboard backlighting on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, you will need to locate the keyboard backlighting button on Touch Bar to disable the backlighting from there.

How to turn off keyboard backlighting MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Just tap the button repeatedly to turn backlighting off on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

How to Enable Keyboard Backlighting on Mac Laptops

If you want to reverse this change and re-enable keyboard backlighting on the Mac laptop series:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu then to &#;System Preferences&#; and choose the &#;Keyboard&#; preferences
  2. Under the &#;Keyboard&#; section check to enable &#;Adjust keyboard brightness in low light&#;
  3. Press &#;F6&#; key repeatedly (or fn + F6, or find the keyboard backlight button on Touch Bar) until keyboard backlighting is back on and at the brightness setting you desire

If you&#;re trying to turn keyboard backlighting on again but see a keyboard lighting locked logo on the screen, it&#;s probably because the light sensor is being activated by a bright light in the room or from elsewhere. Nonetheless if you&#;re convinced there&#;s another issue, follow this troubleshooting guide if keyboard backlighting is not working on a MacBook and you&#;ll probably be able to fix it pretty quickly.

For Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, to enable keyboard backlighting again find the backlighting buttons on Touch Bar and tap the brighten button repeatedly to enable backlighting and to increase the brightness of keyboard to suit your preferences.

Keyboard backlighting buttons MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

This applies to the backlit keyboards on MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, as the Apple desktop keyboards don&#;t have keyboard backlighting.

If you know of another method to disable keyboard backlighting on Mac laptop, share with us in the comments below!


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How To Turn Off Keyboard Light On Mac

For years, MacBook keyboards have been heralded as the best in the business. Standard size, low profile, reliable mechanisms (apart from the Butterfly models), gorgeous typography, and beautiful backlighting — all contributed to the popularity of Apple’s Magic Keyboard. 

Out of all the features, keyboard backlighting has probably raised the most eyebrows and received the most praise. Mac keyboard lights not only illuminate the perimeter of each key but also shine directly through the letters and symbols, making typing at night simple and easy on the eyes. What’s better, backlit Mac keyboards automatically turn on in low-light environments and turn off in bright ones. 

There are, however, instances when you don’t want to turn on keyboard backlighting. So here are a few easy ways to turn your laptop keyboard light off. 

Why Turn Mac Keyboard Lights Off?

Even though most people find a lot of value in having keyboard backlights turned on at night, this feature is not without downsides. 

When you turn off the lights in a room to watch a movie, for example, you don’t want your Mac keyboard light to distract you from what’s happening on the screen. Similarly, when you know all the keys by heart and have no problem typing blindly, even at night, you might not want to light up keyboard and drain your Mac’s battery life. Finally, if you notice that you have a light keyboard during the day — it’s just a pure waste of energy.

So let’s dive into what you specifically need to do in these situations. 

How to turn off keyboard light on Mac

There are two essential ways to turn keyboard lights off: temporary and permanent. The temporary and the most accessible one is to use the keyboard itself: 

  1. Find the row with the F keys on your keyboard (top row)

  2. Locate the F5 key with a small line and dots around it

  3. Press and hold the F5 key or just tap it a few times. You’ll see an indicator on your screen showing how the brightness is decreasing. 

However, with time you’ll find your keyboard brightness returning to its default value. To make whatever changes you’ve set permanent: 

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the menu bar ➙ System Preferences

  2. Select Keyboard (or just click Option + F5)

  3. Uncheck “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light”

In the same window, you also have the option to set Mac keyboard lights to turn off after a certain period of inactivity (from 5 secs to 5 min). 

Mac keyboard lightness keys

If you’re using one of the latest MacBook models equipped with a Touch Bar, you might not see the F5 key or the correct icon to decrease the keyboard backlight due to the buttons contextually shifting. In this case, look for a few standard icons (such as screen brightness and volume) at the right end of your Touch Bar. There should also be a left-pointing arrow beside them. Tap the arrow to expand the Touch Bar and reveal the standard icon set. Then follow the directions above. If you still don’t see the keyboard backlight icons, click on your desktop or open Finder to reset your Touch Bar. 

How to turn on keyboard light on Mac

After you learn how you can turn off laptop keyboard lights, you might also wonder how to turn on backlit keyboard on Mac when you need to. 

The process is largely the same, but in reverse: 

  1. Tap or hold F6 to increase brightness

  2. Use Option + F6 to open the Keyboard System Preferences menu and see if you need the “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light” option

The “increase keyboard brightness” button is also present in the standard Touch Bar, right after the “decrease keyboard brightness” one. 

How to fix backlit Mac keyboard not working

Sometimes, even if you follow all the directions above, you might find that your light keyboard keys are not working and your Mac displays a lock icon when you’re trying to use them. 

Most commonly, the lock icon appears when your Mac can’t accurately detect the lighting conditions — when your lighting sensor is in direct sunlight, for example. Since the sensor is located right next to your MacBook’s front-facing camera, just try to move your Mac to a shade. 

The next step is to take over the laptop keyboard light control: 

  1. Open the Keyboard menu in System Preferences (use Option + F5 or F6)

  2. Turn off “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light”

  3. Move the keyboard brightness up or down manually

If none of the above corrected the issue, you might need to reset your SMC (system management controller), which is responsible for lots of low-level tasks on your Mac. 

To reset SMC on a MacBook with the T2 Security Chip (present on models from and newer): 

  1. Turn off the computer

  2. Hold Control + Option + Shift for seven seconds

  3. Keep holding the three keys and add the power button too. Hold all four keys for seven more seconds and release. 

  4. Turn your Mac on after a few seconds

To reset SMC on older MacBooks without controller devices: 

  1. Turn it off 

  2. Hold Control + Option + Shift keys

  3. Hold the power button too

  4. Keep holding for 10 seconds

  5. Release all keys and turn on your Mac

MacBook security chip controller

How to control your Mac remotely

While following all of the above should get your laptop keyboard lights working, there’s also another way to manipulate virtually any option in your Mac — with an effortless tap on your phone. 

Remote Mouse is a simple but powerful Mac (also iOS and Android) app that combines the versatility of your keyboard and mouse to control any software or feature on your Mac. Use your phone’s volume buttons to change your Mac’s volume or flip through the slides in a presentation. Waive your phone in the air to move the cursor on your desktop. Activate dozens of commands by voice throughout your day and even easily switch between your Macs — Remote Mouse is the ultimate controller you need. 

Remote Mouse controller Mac app

How to work on Mac faster with shortcuts

While you can use your mouse to click through anything you want your Mac to do, it’s highly inefficient. Since you’re most likely repeating lots of the same actions every day again and again (copy-paste, close the app window, etc.), it pays off greatly to find or create keyboard shortcuts for them. It’s estimated that people who use shortcuts all the time, save up to eight working days a year compared to mouse-clickers. Luckily, there’s an easy way to bridge the gap. 

Mouseless is an interactive cheat sheet for every keyboard shortcut in every Mac app you use. But it not only simply gives you the shortcut list but also creates quick training sessions, so you can internalize using new shortcuts faster. Just refer back to the app a few times a day and you’ll find yourself being much more productive even after your first week. 

Mouseless keyboard shortcuts Mac app

By now you see it’s really easy to turn off keyboard light on Mac using a few keys and options. And if they don’t work, make sure to troubleshoot right away. Even better, you can turn your phone into an input device as well with Remote Mouse and learn even more outstanding shortcuts with Mouseless. 

Best of all, Remote Mouse and Mouseless are available to you absolutely free for seven days through a trial of Setapp, a platform with more than time-saving Mac utilities and apps, from task managers (GoodTask) to distraction dimmers (HazeOver). Try them all today at no cost and see for yourself!

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Backlit keyboards are now so common that it’s difficult to remember a time before all keyboards had backlights. The implementation of backlighting in keyboards varies, but Apple notebooks tend to have an LED for each key, which means the brightness is consistent across the keyboard. Other keyboards may have just a few LEDs under the keys, which means some keys are more illuminated than others. 

Why is keyboard backlighting useful?

Your Mac’s keyboard light in low-light situations, such as when you’re using your MacBook in a dimly lit room, lecture theatre, or conference room. It can be difficult to see the keys in those settings, so backlit keyboards shine an LED through the keycap, allowing you to identify all the keys on the keyboard. Without backlighting, you’d be typing almost blind and make more mistakes.

What are the problems with backlit keyboards?

The biggest issue is battery use. Although the LEDs used to backlight keyboards on Macs use very little power, there are a lot of them and together they can make a difference. If you’re running very low on battery, it could be enough to mean you run out before the end of a lecture, meeting, or Netflix movie. 

There could also be an issue that the backlight on a keyboard causes a distraction for others in the room, though the brightness of Mac’s screen is likely to be more of an issue.

How to turn the keyboard light off on your Mac

  1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Select the Keyboard pane.
  3. Uncheck the box next to ‘Adjust keyboard brightness in low light’
  4. Press F5 repeatedly (or fn and F, or use the relevant button on the Touch Bar).
  5. Stop when the backlight is off.
  6. Quit System Preferences.

It’s important to uncheck the box next to the ‘Adjust keyboard brightness in low light’ box before you tap F5, otherwise, it will just come back on again. 

How to turn on the keyboard light on your Mac

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose the Keyboard pane.
  3. Check the box ‘Adjust keyboard brightness in low light’
  4. Press F6 (or fn and F6, or the relevant button on the Touch Bar) repeatedly until the backlight comes back on.
  5. Quit System Preferences

If you’re trying to light up the keyboard on your Mac or turn up the level and get a message or logo saying keyboard lighting is locked, it may be that the light sensor has picked up a bright light somewhere in the room. Try changing position or moving to a different room. 

If the keyboard light doesn’t work properly

Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) in your Mac controls a number of hardware functions and low-level power management. So when something goes wrong and none of the usual fixes work, it’s worth resetting it. The backlighting on the keyboard is one feature that’s controlled by the SMC. Before you reset the SMC, however, you should try one more thing:

  1. Unplug the power adapter from both your MacBook and the electrical outlet.
  2. Go to the Apple menu and choose Shutdown.
  3. Once your Mac has shut down, remove and re-insert the battery if it’s removable. 
  4. Press the power button to start your Mac.

If that doesn’t work, here’s how to reset the SMC on Macs that don’t have the T2 security chip.

If the battery is non-removable

  1. Shut down your Mac from the Apple menu.
  2. Press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button (or TouchID button if you have a Mac with a Touch Bar) at the same time.
  3. Hold all the keys and the power button for ten seconds. 
  4. Release all the keys.
  5. Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

If the battery is removable

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the power button for five seconds.
  4. Reinsert the battery.
  5. Press the power button again to start up your Mac.

If your Mac has the Apple T2 security chip 

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the power button for ten seconds.
  3. Release the power button and wait a few seconds.
  4. Press the power button again to start up your Mac.

If that doesn’t work, try this:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the right Shift key, the left Option key, and the left Control key for seven seconds. Your Mac might turn on and show the Apple logo on its display. Keep holding those keys and press and hold the power button for another seven seconds. Your Mac will turn off if it turned on earlier.
  3. Release all the keys and the power button.
  4. Press the power button again to turn on your Mac. 


You might have discovered while you were trying to fix the backlighting problem that your keyboard isn’t as responsive as it should be. This can happen for a number of reasons, but there is a straightforward fix, using a tool I use a lot – CleanMyMac X. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Download, install and launch CleanMyMac X.
  2. Choose Optimization from the sidebar
  3. Go through each of the options, checking Login Items and Launch Agents for anything you don’t need. If you find anything, check the box next to it and click Remove. Do the same with Hung Applications.
  4. Choose Maintenance and go through the options, reading descriptions. 

The backlight on your Mac’s keyboard is a very useful tool. So it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work as it’s supposed to. However, there are solutions and you should work your way through them above to try and fix it. If all else fails, contact Apple Support. And don’t forget to try the tip at the end. 

MacBook Pro keyboard backlight not working - Fixed

How to turn on the keyboard light on your Mac computer, or set it to turn on automatically

mac keyboard light
  • You can turn on the keyboard light on your Mac computer so that it's easy to see the keys even in low-light conditions.
  • To adjust the brightness of the keyboard light on your Mac, use the F5 and F6 keys. 
  • You can also set up your keyboard light to automatically turn on when it's dark, and adjust how long it stays on for. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Today, we use laptops anywhere and everywhere — from the office, to a plane, to your living room, and beyond. 

This means you may expect easy access to your computer in a range of different conditions, even if they may not be the most optimal for work. 

Luckily, using a Mac computer in the dark is a simple task, thanks to the backlit keyboard that gives every key a certain glow so you can type as you normally would. 

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Macbook Pro (From $1, at Best Buy)

How to turn on the keyboard light on a Mac computer

To brighten a Mac keyboard with a keyboard light, just tap the F6 until the keys reach your desired brightness. To darken them again, tap F5.

How_to_turn_on_keyboard_light_Mac_ _1
Steven John/Business Insider

How to get your Mac keyboard light to turn on automatically 

You can also set your Mac to automatically adjust the key brightness to the lighting conditions, thanks to a light sensor built into the top of the screen near the laptop's camera.

Open the System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo, then click Keyboard on the window that opens.

Click the box beside the words "Adjust keyboard brightness in low light."

How_to_turn_on_keyboard_light_Mac_ _2
Steven John/Business Insider

This window also allows you to set an interval of inactivity after which the backlighting will shut down.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Steven John

Freelance Writer

Insider Inc. receives a commission when you buy through our links.

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Light up do macbook keyboards

Turn your Mac keyboard’s backlighting on or off

If your Mac notebook computer has a backlit keyboard, you can adjust the level of backlighting when you’re using your Mac in low light conditions or turn off backlighting.

Manually adjust keyboard backlighting or turn it off

Do one of the following, depending on your Mac model:

  • On the keyboard, press the increase brightness key or the decrease brightness key . To turn backlighting off, keep pressing the decrease brightness key.

  • In Control Center, click Keyboard Brightness, then drag the slider.

  • In the Touch Bar, expand the Control Strip, then tap the increase brightness button or the decrease brightness button . To turn backlighting off, touch and hold the decrease brightness button.

Automatically adjust backlighting in low light conditions

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Keyboard , then click Keyboard.

  2. Select “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light.”

Automatically turn backlighting off after a period of inactivity

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Keyboard , then click Keyboard.

  2. Select “Turn keyboard backlight off after [time period] of inactivity,” then choose a time from the pop-up menu.

Tip: The light sensor is located at the top of your computer near the camera; make sure that area isn’t covered when you use your Mac in low light conditions.

See alsoUse Control Center on MacUse the Touch Bar on Mac

MacBook Pro keyboard backlight not working - Fixed

How can I adjust keyboard backlight on the new M1 MacBook Air?

  • Install with Homebrew

  • Open Karabiner-Elements. The icon looks like this:

    Karabiner-Elements icon

  • Since it needs to see your keystrokes and modify them, you'll need to enable some accessibility permissions. I can't remember exactly which, but you should be prompted to enable them when you open the app.

  • With Karabiner-Elements open, click on the "Function keys" tab, and set to and to . Uncheck "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" if it's checked.

    screenshot of Karabiner-Elements preferences pane

  • and should now attempt to change the the keyboard brightness, but they don't always work, and sometimes you get an icon with a 🚫 flash on the screen (see this GitHub issue for details). Oddly enough, whether it works or not depends on the ambient lighting in the room. To fix this, you need to disable the "Adjust keyboard brightness in low light" setting. Go to the macOS keyboard preferences menu (System Preferences > Keyboard), and uncheck it.

    enter image description here

    You may notice in the screenshot that the "Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" option is checked here. It doesn't appear to have any effect whether it is checked or not, but the setting in Karabiner-Elements does matter.

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