How to Fix Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac

All portable MacBook Pro and Air Lineup have a backlight keyboard, which helps in working in dim light, and of course, it makes look fancy. But sometimes you may come with a problem that keyboard backlight is not working on Mac. 

You don’t need to worry. It’s not broken. It must be the light sensor. The ambient light sensor sometimes detects more light, and the keyboard illumination will disable itself and refuse to turn on and instead will show a locked image. 

You may be thinking it will reduce the battery life or something like this, but let me tell you as the backlighting uses meager power LED to illuminate there is no hit on the battery life if the brightness is set low a reasonable level. 

What are the Reasons for This Problem?

Sometimes you will observe that the Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac seemingly for no apparent reasons, and in this if you try to correct it manually by using some keyboard shortcuts and you will not observe any changes in the problem. 

  • As I have said earlier, the backlight may not be working due to the appropriate light, I mean, it might be getting more light, and the illumination will disable itself, thus refusing to turn on.
  • As you know, everything is connected to the software. There is a possibility they fail to work due to harmful software or hardware update; proper updates are required for the system’s proper functioning.

So, as you can see, there are not many reasons for this problem. Now, let us move to steps that will help you to solve this problem.

Ways to Fix Backlight Not Working in Mac

First, let’s start with the simple steps and check whether your light sensor is directly facing some light source. If that is the case, then your automatic keyboard lighting may not be triggered due to the light source. 

You can check by covering your webcam. If you can feel the change, then the solution is simply to adjust the Mac that so that the source of light is no longer shining at the display or at near the front camera.

This is a feature of Mac book, which will disable the backlighting you can check it by going in a pitch-black room or by flashing a light or torch near the camera, and the keyboard will go dark.

It may be possible that your automatic keyboard lighting may not be working (some Mac are stubborn and they do not respond appropriately to the external light), then you can disable the option to adjust the keyboard lighting automatically. 

1. Changed the Keyboard Preferences

Step 1: Open system preferences from the Apple menu.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
Open system preferences

Step 2: Then go to the keyboard menu.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
System menu

Step 3: Uncheck the box “automatically illuminate keyboard in low light” 

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
automatically illuminate keyboard in low light

Step 4: Once done, you can use F5 or F6. 

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
use F5 or F6

This may sound contradictory, but once automatic illumination is removed, you have full control over the brightness level, it will not be affected by the external light sources. 

Hence, by chance, you have spilled something on your keyboard, it may have affected the software. If that is the case3, then you may even have to change the entire keyboard panel

If still, the problem persists, then your cables may be loose, then you have to open the Mac and check the backlight cable if it is fixed properly or not. You may have to replace it.

2. Reset the SMC

If your problem is not solved after performing all these steps, let me ask you a question: are you sure your Mac supports the backlight feature?  

Is the “Automatically illuminate keyboard in low light” toggle completely missing from the Keyboard preferences? To get the things in order again, you may have to reset the SMC system, management controller. 

SMC controls a variety of hardware functions and system-level power functions. Sometimes things can go haywire throughout major OS X version upgrades or for no apparent reason. 

Resetting the SMC can solve many stubborn problems. For resetting follow the following steps:

Step 1: Choose Apple menu>s shutdown 

Step 2: After your Mac shuts down, press the shift- control-option on the left side of the built-in keyboard then press the power button at the same time. Hold the keys and the power button for 10 secs.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
Press the keys

Step 3: If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch ID, the touch ID is the power button.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
Touch ID

Step 4: Now release all the keys. 

Step 5: Press the power button and turn on your Mac.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
Turn on mac

3. Reimage Repair Tool

If the above methods are of no use, I will recommend using Reimage Repair Tool, which can quickly scan the repositories to replace the corrupted and missing files. This works in many cases, as many errors are due to the missing files in the software. 

Still not working! 

After using all the methods if the error is still there, then I would suggest that the best thing to do now is to connect official channels through the apple or contact apple care or you can also make an appointment at the genius bar they can find your problem and can make your essential work again.

Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac
Reimage for Mac

Eleggible’s Final Words

Even though keyboard backlight makes it look a little fancier, it also causes some problems, which may be minor issues, but it needs to be fixed.

Most of the problems related to Keyboard Backlight Not Working on Mac are due to the light sensor only. The steps mentioned above are simple and can be quickly followed and will surely help you solve the problem. I hope this article was a help to you.

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