How To Turn Up Brightness on Mac With a Keyboard

Macbook Air Keyboard

Dim displays have a lot of benefits. It helps to conserve our battery, and most importantly, it reduces the strain on our eyes. Staring at a bright screen for long periods can cause blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches. Despite this, sometimes we have no choice but to turn up the brightness on our MacBook screen and keyboard while working during the day. 

Quick Answer

The easiest way to turn up screen brightness on your Mac is with the “increase brightness” key on your keyboard. To turn up the screen brightness on Mac with the keyboard, press the F2 button. To increase the keyboard brightness on Mac with your keyboard, press the F6 button

We will address how to turn up the display brightness of your MacBook using the shortcut keys on your keyboard. We will also discuss how to adjust the brightness of your keyboard light using the control keys. We’ll provide an alternative method for newer MacBooks without the control keys for adjusting keyboard brightness. Finally, we will answer frequently asked questions on this topic. 

How To Adjust Screen Brightness With a Keyboard

We often need to adjust the brightness of our screen depending on the situation. If we are in a bright area or directly under the sunlight, we will not be able to see a dim screen. In a darker area, we are better off reducing the screen brightness to conserve our computer’s battery and reduce the strain on our eyes. 

Since you need to adjust your screen brightness regularly, the fastest and most convenient way to do it is through the shortcut keys on your keyboard. The “increase brightness” icon is on the F2 key on your MacBook keyboard, while the “decrease brightness” icon is on the F1 key.

To turn up the screen brightness on your MacBook, press the F2 key. This increases the brightness up a level. Keep pressing the F2 key to increase it until you reach the desired brightness level. To decrease the screen brightness, press your F1 key.

How To Adjust Screen Brightness Automatically

Some MacBooks have a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically increases or decreases the screen brightness based on the surrounding area’s lighting conditions. You can use this if your MacBook has the sensor, and you don’t want to worry about adjusting screen brightness every time the lighting condition changes.

To adjust your screen brightness automatically, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click “Displays”.
  3. Open “Display Settings”.
  4. Select “Automatically adjust brightness”.

How To Adjust Keyboard Brightness With a Keyboard

All MacBooks come with a backlight keyboard to ensure you can work efficiently when it is dark. Before Apple made the 2020 M1 MacBook Air, the MacBook keyboards had control keys for increasing and decreasing the keyboard brightness.

You can locate the “decrease keyboard brightness” icon on the F5 key and the “increase keyboard brightness” icon on the F6 key. To increase your keyboard’s brightness, press the F6 key until you reach the desired level. Press the F5 key to decrease the keyboard brightness.

How To Adjust Keyboard Brightness on Newer MacBook Versions

The F5 and F6 keys were used on the older MacBooks for controlling the keyboard brightness. Now, Apple has replaced the older keyboards with a new design, and a Spotlight Search key has replaced the keyboard brightness keys, a Do Not Disturb (DND) button, and a dictation key. You can’t adjust keyboard brightness on newer Macs with your keyboard.

Follow the steps below to adjust the keyboard brightness on your new MacBook.

  1. Go to the Menu bar and click on the Control Center icon.
  2. Select “Keyboard Brightness”.
  3. Move the keyboard brightness slider forward to increase the keyboard brightness. Drag the slider backward to reduce the keyboard brightness.

If you can’t settle on the right intensity for your keyboard light and you will need to change it frequently, the steps above will waste too much time. You can add the keyboard brightness menu to your menu bar. You can do this by clicking the control center icon on the menu bar and dragging the keyboard brightness option to the menu bar.


Your MacBook version will determine whether you can use control keys to adjust your brightness or not. With an older MacBook version, you can turn up the screen and keyboard brightness using the control keys on your keyboard. However, the new keyboard design has removed the control keys for adjusting keyboard brightness. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I adjust display brightness on Mac without a keyboard?

Click the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. Under the “Hardware” section, click “Displays”. Click the Display tab at the top of the screen. Drag the brightness slider to the left to decrease the brightness of your screen and to the right to increase the brightness. 

How do I set a timer for my Mac keyboard backlight?

Click Control Center on the menu bar and select “Keyboard Brightness”. Click on “Keyboard Preferences”. Set the timer to turn off the keyboard backlight and check the box.

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