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How to Fix the Keyboard Backlight not working on MacBook?

MacBooks are known for their sleek and stylish design, high-end performance, and innovative features. One such feature is the backlight keyboard, which improves the user experience by providing proper illumination in low-light conditions. Mac users can illuminate their work environment with the intelligent keyboard backlight.


It can let Mac users work from anywhere with ease and comfort. However, in some rare cases, the backlight may not work properly. It is an issue to address for a regular system user. To help tech aspirants, we have briefed the quick and easy steps to diagnose the MacBook Keyboard not working issue. Make your technical insights enhanced with this quick guide to resolve the backlight not working on your MacBook.

How to Solve Backlight Not Working on a MacBook?

The Mac device itself can help you in tweaking the Mac keyboard not working issue. Let us learn how we can do it manually.

Avoid the Light Sensor from Facing Bright Light Source

The light sensor is responsible for the functioning of your Mac keyboard backlight. Make sure your light sensor is not facing any strong light sources. A strong light on the keyboard may make the light invisible. Using your MacBook in a dark area can resolve the issue with your Mac keyboard backlight.

Check the Battery Level

Another possible reason for the keyboard backlight not working is a low battery level. The MacBook is designed to turn off the keyboard backlight when the battery level is low to conserve power.

Step 1: To check the battery level, click on the Apple menu.

Step 2: Go for the ‘About This Mac’ option.

Step 3: Click on the Battery tab. If the battery level is extremely low, connect the MacBook to a power source to charge it. You can also find the battery level indicator on the top right bar.

Check the Keyboard Connections

In some cases, the keyboard backlight may not work due to hardware issues. It is essential to check the connections of the keyboard to ensure that everything is in order. Disconnect the keyboard from the MacBook and reconnect it after a few seconds. If the problem persists, try connecting a different keyboard to see if the issue is with the keyboard or the MacBook.

Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for managing several hardware functions on a MacBook including the keyboard backlight. A corrupted SMC can result in various issues, including the keyboard backlight not working.

Disable the Automatic Turn-Off Keyboard Backlight

Sometimes keeping the automatic option enabled can interrupt the functionality of the Mac keyboard backlight. The auto light sensing ability of your Mac keyboard may be the reason for this problem. Use the following tweaks to ensure that you have not enabled the Auto-turn off option.

Step 1: Go to the Apple menu and select System Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and select the keyboard in the slide bar.

Keyboard Backlight not working on MacBook

Step 3: Drop down the “Turn keyboard backlight off after inactivity” menu and select a time period to automatically turn OFF the backlight after being inactive for the selected time.

Step 4: If the above option is selected, you can disable the Automatically turn off keyboard backlight.

Keyboard Backlight not working on MacBook

Step 5: At the same time, you can also disable the ‘Adjust keyboard brightness in low light’ option. This option automatically adjusts the backlight brightness when you move to low-light conditions.

Check whether the issue with your Mac keyboard has been resolved.

Reset the System Management Controllers

MacBook or iMac models that are intel-based can diagnose the Mac keyboard as not working issue by resetting SMC. System Management Controller can control and manage all hardware-related functions in your MacBook. The tweaks given below can help you in this regard.

Step 1: Access the Apple logo available.

Step 2: Choose the option to shut down your Mac.

Step 3: Hold down the Shift + Left option + Left arrow key together along with the power button.

Step 4: Let your Mac turn off and turn it on again. Release the four key combinations during the restart procedure. This process will reset the system management controllers and turn ON your Mac with a fresh start.

Disable the Power Saver Mode

Power Saver Mode is an intelligent option to save battery usage on your Mac. But sometimes it can hinder the performance of the Mac Keyboard backlight. To resolve this issue, you can try disabling Power Saver Mode on your Mac. Use the following tweaks to disable the Power Saver Mode on your Mac.

Keyboard Backlight not working on MacBook

Step 1: Choose the Apple menu available at the top bar.

Step 2: Go for the System Preference option and choose energy saver.

Step 3: Access the left side pane and choose the battery option.

Step 4: Locate and disable Low Power Mode on the right side of the screen.

Summing Up

MacBook is a smart OS customized with smart tweaks and settings. Apart from the excellent capabilities of the MacBook, sometimes it may lag in some functionalities like Mac Keyboard Backlight. However, using it wisely may require some smart tweaks that everyone should know. This post will aid you in solving the MacBook Keyboard light not working issue. Make sure to use these tweaks and illuminate your Mac.