iMac backlighting - is it possible to turn it all the way off?

trigf

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 16, 2009
208
65
I frequently VNC/Logmein to my iMac from other rooms in the house and from work. I wanted to find an elegant solution for keeping the display dark while I do this, but I couldn't come across anything. As soon as you perform any task on the computer, the display comes back to life.

It's a privacy issue, because I don't want my roommate or anyone else in the house looking at what I'm doing on the computer when I'm not there.

So I figured that the easiest thing to do at this point is to just turn off the backlighting. But as we all know, even the lowest brightness setting on the iMac is still pretty bright.

Is there a utility that will completely turn off the iMac's backlight? I was thinking that maybe I can trick OSX into somehow thinking it's a MacBook display, which would allow me to turn the backlight all the way off.

Any ideas?
 

thegilly

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2008
73
0
Auckland, New Zealand
The software options I can think of (Shades, Brightness Control, etc.) don't turn off the backlight; switched to full they just make the screen look black. I don't know whether they'd work with remote login or with the latest versions of OS X. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

Forgive me for sounding all prosaic and old-school, but have you considered simply putting an opaque cover over your iMac before you leave the room? If you made one of sturdy enough material you could even padlock it. Wouldn't keep anyone out if they were really determined, but from the sound of it you're simply wanting to remove temptation, and covering the screen would do that. If anyone asks, just say it's there to keep the machine free of dust.
 

M0esmac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2012
750
28
UK
Oh god. I didn't now that. I will be buying for my bedroom and it would stand directly into my bed... It will annoy at night... :mad:
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,235
353
Uhmm I don't know .. But you can turn off the iMac display? Shift - Ctrl - Eject on OSX would certainly do that. Or you can use something like nircmd.exe while on BootCamp, create desktop shortcut with it and assign the hotkeys, it will be almost as easy on OSX.

Your machine will keep doing what it's doing except the screen turned off. So I don't see the problem .. Unless I miss something?
 

thegilly

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2008
73
0
Auckland, New Zealand
Oh god. I didn't now that. I will be buying for my bedroom and it would stand directly into my bed... It will annoy at night... :mad:
You shouldn't have a problem, because you will be quite happy to sleep or shut down your iMac at night, right? (If you sleep it, you'll have the bat signal, of course. If you shut down, you'll have at most the faint reflection from a single internal LED on your desktop, and hopefully they've done away with even that in the years since my iMac was made.) The OP wants to have an iMac awake and running, but without anyone being able to see what's happening on the screen.

Now, my iMac is 5-ish years old, and things may have changed since its time, but the backlight-off shortcut from the laptops does NOT work on it; when the machine is awake, the backlight is on, period. The best I can do if I want it awake is make it LOOK black (with a utility called Brightness Control), but it's still bright in a dark room because the backlight remains on.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
372
Inside
Oh god. I didn't now that. I will be buying for my bedroom and it would stand directly into my bed... It will annoy at night... :mad:
The screen can be turned off, which turns off the backlight. But turn off the backlight and have the LCD still show a picture, like on Macbooks, is not possible.