How to Turn on Keyboard Light on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

Turning on the Keyboard Light on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you own a Mac laptop with a backlit keyboard, you may find it useful to turn on the keyboard light in low-light or dark environments. The illuminated keys not only enhance visibility but also add a touch of sophistication to your workspace. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of turning on the keyboard light on your Mac.

Step 1: Check for Compatibility

Before proceeding, ensure that your Mac model supports a backlit keyboard. Not all Mac laptops have this feature. To verify compatibility, check the specifications of your device on Apple’s official website or refer to the documentation that came with your MacBook.

Step 2: Locate the Keyboard Brightness Keys

On most Mac laptops, the keyboard brightness keys are located at the top row of the keyboard, usually marked with icons resembling small suns or light bulbs. These keys are typically labeled F5 and F6, and they control the brightness level of both the screen and keyboard backlight.

Step 3: Increase Keyboard Brightness

To turn on the keyboard light, simply press and hold down the “Fn” key located at the bottom left corner of your keyboard while simultaneously pressing either F5 or F6. Pressing F6 will increase brightness while pressing F5 will decrease it. Look for an icon depicting a sun or a light bulb with increasing intensity to indicate that you are adjusting the brightness level accordingly.

Note: On newer MacBook models equipped with Touch Bar instead of physical function keys, you can control keyboard brightness by tapping on the “Brightness” button within Control Strip or by accessing it through System Preferences.

Step 4: Customize Keyboard Brightness Settings

If you want more control over your keyboard’s backlight settings, navigate to System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.” Next, click on “Keyboard” and then select the “Keyboard” tab.

Here, you can adjust the brightness level using the slider provided. Drag it to the left to decrease brightness or to the right to increase it. Additionally, you can enable or disable automatic keyboard brightness adjustment based on ambient light conditions by ticking or unticking the “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light” option.

Step 5: Keyboard Brightness Shortcuts

For quick access to keyboard backlight adjustments, you can set up shortcuts. Within System Preferences, click on “Keyboard,” then select the “Shortcuts” tab. In the left sidebar, choose “Display,” and you will find options to assign specific keys for increasing, decreasing, or toggling keyboard brightness.

By default, these shortcuts are not enabled. To activate them, click on a specific shortcut option and press the desired key combination. For example, you might want to use “Control + F5” or “Control + F6” for increasing or decreasing keyboard brightness respectively.

Now that you know how to turn on and customize your Mac’s keyboard backlighting, working in dimly lit environments will no longer be a challenge. With just a few simple steps and some personalization options at hand, you can enjoy a well-lit workspace even in low-light conditions.


In this tutorial, we have learned how to turn on the keyboard light on your Mac laptop. We started by checking compatibility and locating the keyboard brightness keys.

Then we explored how to increase or decrease brightness using these keys. Additionally, we discussed customizing backlight settings through System Preferences and setting up shortcuts for quick adjustments.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, go ahead and make your workspace more visually engaging while enhancing your productivity!

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