How to make your keyboard light up

laptop keyboard header
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Do you need to see your keyboard in the dark? Turn on the backlight on your Windows or Mac computer. If supported, you can enable the backlight using a keyboard shortcut, a built-in app, or your keyboard’s dedicated app. We’ll show you your options.

Make your Windows keyboard light up

In Windows, you can use a keyboard key or the built-in Mobility Center app to turn on your keyboard backlight. Here are the two ways for you.

Use a keyboard shortcut

The key you use to activate your keyboard backlight depends on the manufacturer of your device. However, the most used keys are F5, F9 and F11. If pressing these keys does not turn on the keyboard, hold down the Fn key and then press those keys.

Press a key to activate the keyboard backlight.

There are manufacturer-specific keys that you can use to turn on your keyboard’s backlight. Here is a list of some of those keys:

  • ASUS: Press the F7 or Fn+F7 keys. If that doesn’t work, try F4 or Fn+F4. On gaming models, use the Fn+Up Arrow key.
  • hp: Press the F5 or Fn+F5 keys.
  • lenovo: Press Fn+Space bar.
  • dell: Press the F10, Fn+F10, Fn+F6, Fn+F5, or Fn+Right Arrow keys.
  • M: YES: Use the dedicated backlit button on your keyboard or use SteelSeries Engine or MSI Center software.
  • Samsung: Press the Fn+F9 keys. If that doesn’t work, install the Samsung Settings app on your machine.

Use Windows Mobility Center

To turn on your keyboard backlight graphically, use the Windows Mobility Center app. You can open it by pressing Windows + X and selecting the app from the list.

Select "mobility center" on the list.

In the “Windows Mobility Center” window, in the “Keyboard brightness” section, drag the slider to the right. This will activate the backlight of your keyboard.

If you don’t see the “Keyboard Brightness” section, your keyboard probably doesn’t support the feature. In this case, you can try your keyboard manufacturer’s app (if they have one) to see if that allows you to turn on the backlight.

Make your Mac keyboard light up

On a compatible Mac, you have three ways to turn on your keyboard backlight.

One way is to press the dedicated key to increase the brightness on your keyboard.

Press the brightness increase key.

The other way is to go to Control Center, select “Keyboard Brightness” and drag the slider to the right.

Drag the "keyboard brightness" slider

If your Mac has a Touch Bar, on the expanded control strip, press the brightness up button to light up your keyboard.

On top of that, your Mac has a smart feature that can automatically adjust your keyboard’s backlight. To enable it, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard and turn on the “Adjust keyboard brightness in low light” option.

To make your keyboard backlight turn off after a specified period of time, use the option “Turn off keyboard backlight after [Time Period] of Inactivity”.

Smartly control the keyboard backlight on a Mac.

Your keyboard light is now on, allowing you to see the keys even in the dark. Happy writing with him!

RELATED: What do the symbols on the Mac keyboard really mean?

What to do if your keyboard won’t turn on

Not all keyboards are backlit. If pressing a keyboard shortcut or selecting the backlight option in an app doesn’t turn on your keyboard, your device isn’t supported. It is also possible that the backlight is simply broken.

In any case, your best option is to get an external keyboard lamp. There are plenty to choose from, but the BenQ Screenbar Plus has great reviews and comes with an adjustable dial so you can type in the perfect amount of light wherever you go.

BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED Computer Lamp

This USB powered lamp illuminates your keyboard and the front area of ​​your computer. You can manually adjust its brightness or let its sensors determine the best light for your situation.


Did you know that you can do more with your keyboard by assigning it macros? Check our guide to know how to do it.

RELATED: 5 convenient macros to assign to your keyboard

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