Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 6, 2017
How to adjust your Mac laptop if it contains the keyboard backlight

For those who like to work at night, most Mac laptops have a keyboard backlight making it easier to see your keys. Here is how you determine if yours has this feature and how to adjust it to your likeness.

First, let’s determine if your Mac has the keyboard backlight. To do this, open the Apple menu, select System Preferences and then select Keyboard. Inside the box, if you see the option to “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light,” you have a keyboard backlight. If you don’t see this option, your Mac does not offer this feature.

To adjust your keyboard backlight, which you can set to do automatically or manually, go back to System Preferences and select Keyboard. Keep in mind, this will only work if you are in low light conditions.

At the top of the box, make sure the Keyboard tab is selected. The first option you come to, below the key repeat options, is where you place a checkmark in the box to set your Mac’s keyboard brightness automatically. If you wish to control it manually, leave the box empty. In a moment, I’ll show you an easy way to manually control your keyboard backlight.

The next option allows you to select when to turn off the keyboard light after so many minutes of inactivity. To conserve battery power, I recommend you select a shorter duration before the light turns off. Remember to checkmark the box after making your choice. You can close the system preferences box once you are done.

An even easier way to control your backlight is to use the function keys across the top, or if your Mac is newer, you can use the Control Strip.

If you choose to manually control your backlight, function key F5 will reduce the light gradually until it is completely off and F6 will increase the light to its brightest point. If your Mac is older, it may be your F9 and F10 function keys.

If your Mac is newer using the Control Strip, tap < to expand the strip and then tap the two brightness controls icons which look like a line with a half circle of dots over it. They are positioned just like the function keys where the left one reduces and turns off the keyboard backlight and right one increases it.

For me, I like to manually control my keyboard backlight so it remains a constant brightness and I have it set to turn off after 5 seconds of inactivity.

For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>