How to fix a keyboard backlight that doesn’t work on Windows and Mac

  • Backlit keyboards are keyboards with keys that are backlit by an LED.
  • They provide better visibility and make typing easier, even in completely dark rooms.
  • But sometimes, for no apparent reason, a backlit Mac laptop keyboard won’t work at all.
  • There are several possible reasons why the backlight may stop working on your MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air.
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In addition to making typing easier in low light, the backlit keyboard on all MacBook Pro and Air laptops looks very stylish as well. When the brightness is set at a reasonable or low level, the backlight uses very low-power LEDs, so it has little effect on battery life. Due to this, many people prefer to keep a backlit keyboard handy even when there is not enough lighting to make it useful.

When running BootCamp running Windows 10, my MacBook Pro’s backlit keyboard does not work (i.e. there is no lighting).

There are times, however, when Mac laptops with backlit keyboards suddenly stop working completely and even its keyboard shortcuts won’t let you manually control the backlight.

Keyboard Lit Up

On certain MacBook models, the Increase brightness key looks like half a sun with three rays, so you can turn on the backlighting. You can adjust the brightness of the keyboard light by pressing it until it is as bright as you want. Press the Decrease brightness button until the light turns off, which appears as a half-circle outlined with dots.

Most of the time, you can fix the problem with your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air backlight after it stops working for several reasons. Follow these troubleshooting steps if you notice the backlight on your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro keyboard isn’t working. The problem can usually be solved easily and quickly.

What causes the backlighting of Windows and Mac keyboards to fail?

What causes the backlighting of Windows and Mac keyboards to fail?

Backlit keyboards make typing in completely dark rooms easier by providing better visibility and making it easier to see the keys. Both laptops and desktop computers now come with backlit keyboards.

Several factors can influence the performance of the backlit keyboard.
There can be a problem with the software or hardware if the update was not done correctly.

What do I do if my keyboard backlight isn’t working on my Mac?

Updated: April 2024

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Until you reach your desired level of backlight, press the key several times.

What do I do if my keyboard backlight isn't working on my Mac?

Verify the position of your light sensor

The first thing to look for is that the sensor is pointed directly at the source of light.
You may not be able to use the automatic backlight in this case.
Make sure the Ambient Light Sensor is positioned properly. Then, check whether the Mac keyboard backlight is working.

Adjusting the brightness of your keyboard

Using these steps to adjust the keyboard brightness may also fix the backlighting problem if you set it to 0.

  1. At the top left of the screen, click the Apple icon.
  2. To change your system preferences, click System Preferences…
  3. From the list of choices, select Keyboard.
  4. Check the box “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light conditions.” and uncheck it.
  5. Changing the brightness of your keyboard can be done manually by pressing F1 or F2.

Modify the entire keyboard

You may need to replace a keyboard in this case if you spill liquid on it, such as water, milk, or soup. The keyboard backlight may stop working if you spill liquid on it. The Mac keyboard can either be replaced yourself or sent to a Mac repair service. The latter option is highly recommended.

In the event that the keyboard backlight does not work after installing the latest Windows Update, you may need to uninstall it. Otherwise, you may be able to restore your computer to a previous state if you created a System Restore Point in advance.

Normally, you would have to purchase a suitable new keyboard bezel. You also need to prepare tools such as screws, knives, screwdrivers, and others. Once your Mac is turned off, you will need to remove the battery for the keyboard bezel to be replaced.

Contact customer service

Your Mac’s customer service is the best place to turn if all these methods fail to fix your backlit keyboard.
In this way, you will be able to reach the target directly and effectively.

The keyboard backlight that doesn’t light up on Windows or Mac will be fixed using any of the solutions listed below. Choose the method that is best suited to your device.

What do I do if my keyboard backlight isn’t working on Windows?

What do I do if my keyboard backlight isn't working on Windows?

Restart your computer

Turning off your computer and removing the battery will generally fix most problems. After removing the battery, restart the computer and replace the battery. Next, check if the problem with the keyboard backlight, which does not work in Windows 10, has been fixed. Try another method if this does not work.

Modified software can be removed

The problem should be resolved by uninstalling the software prior to reinstalling it, and then checking. If not, you need to reinstall the software.

  1. Navigate to the Apps and Features section in Settings.
  2. You can remove the changed software by selecting Uninstall after you click the software you changed.

Update the BIOS and Chip Drivers

A different version of the chip driver might be causing these issues, so you may also want to update the BIOS and chip drivers.

Changing Windows Keyboard Properties

There can also be delays in keyboard backlights in Windows 10, which means the keyboard backlight won’t turn on. In this case, you must change the keyboard properties in Windows 10.

  1. Go to Keyboard, then center the open items.
  2. After that, click the Keyboard Properties window and change the time at which the backlight is turned off.
  3. You can now exit the program by clicking OK.

Reinstall the most recent Windows update

When you install the latest Windows update, the keyboard backlight doesn’t work.
The update should be uninstalled, and if you have previously created a system restore point, you may be able to restore your computer to its previous state.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't manually adjust the keyboard brightness, it's probably because you're in a very bright environment and your Mac is set to adjust the brightness automatically. In this case, the backlit keyboard will turn off.

Turn the keyboard backlight on: Press the button to increase the keyboard brightness until it's bright enough for your needs. Use the function keys to adjust the keyboard backlight: Press F5 to decrease the keyboard backlight, or F6 to increase it.

Make sure you have the Keyboard Backlight option enabled in your BIOS. With the computer turned off, press the power button. Note: If the Keyboard Backlight option is not enabled, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard. Depending on the BIOS version on your computer, you may have other options.

If your laptop has a backlit keyboard, press the F5 or F4 (on some models) key on the keyboard to turn the backlight on or off. You may need to press the fn (function) key at the same time. If the backlight icon is not located on the F5 key, locate the backlit keyboard key in the function key row.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.