MacBook Pro keyboard backlight issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by officerdick, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. officerdick macrumors regular

    May 4, 2006

    I have a problem with my brand new MacBook Pro, the keyboard backlight stopped working :( When i try to turn on the backlight it shows the backlight HUD though with an "Ø" sign on, and there is no illumination. I tried to reset my ram with no luck.
    Thanks in advance
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
  3. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    dont call applecare. The backlight is controlled through the light sensor. If this sensor determines that the ambient light is too high you will not be able to turn on the backlighting. To test this take the laptop into a dark room and then turn on the keyboard. if you want to use the backlight when it is light try installing an application such as labtick

    hope this helps
  4. writeous macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2007
    Worked for me when i had this problem.
  5. Dozersbro macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    This is exactly what happened to me. Light won't work in dark or light places. I've used labtick but that's not doing a thing.
  6. stiphone macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    i had the same issue previously. Bought it to :apple: and they found out that the backlight is bad. End up replacing the whole keyboard unit for me. :)
  7. benmortimer macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Really? Why was mine was totally manually controllable until a few days ago then?
  8. anirban macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2007
    Houston, TX
    It can be done eitherways. The light sensor detects when the backlight needs to be illuminated, and the initial brightness. Then you can adjust the brightness using the function keys as required.
  9. benmortimer macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Right - but my point is that my light sensor never used to be in charge of that decision.

    I could have been in the brightest room in the world and still been able to turn the backlight on and off. Whereas now I can only adjust it once the computer has decided the room is dark enough to warrant the backlight at all.

    Do you see what I mean?
  10. ProphetFool macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    yeah wtf...

    My backlight worked just fine until yesterday when I turned it it reacts to ambient light. So thank you all for telling me what I already know about how the light works, but up until yesterday when the "illuminate backlight in low-light condition" box is unchecked...get that, unchecked as in not...then my backlight was manual control just like everything else on my mbp. But now I press the button in the light and i get the dreaded O with / through it...that is usually found on the shower room of most state penitentiaries and stands for "please god don't enter". This is a great misfortune because till now I was loving the manual control backlight...I don't need it I just like it, and damn it sometimes it just feels good to have the reassuring glow. Here is the kicker...I work outside so in the blinding rage of the suns keyboard was still manual. So, please god don't reply and tell me that it is an ambient light sensor and needs low light to activate...thank you for your comments, your all really knowledgeable, its just I would like an answer; not a bunch of people regurgitating what they've read on the tech specs page of their local website. I hadn't turned my keyboard off sense my recent apple update so my suspicion is that they fixed the "bug" and with my restart and turning off of my light I doomed myself to walk the way of the rest...even though the backlight should work the way that it did for me until yesterday. See that way is brilliant, other way...if it is a "fix" then we'll you dropped the ball Steve-O. So please if someone knows if it's a firmware update or something, or why so many of us enjoyed the manual control regardless of lighting...unless we wanted it auto, please tell me. That info would be helpful.:mad::confused:
  11. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    When I got my MBP, it came with 10.5.2. At that time, it behaved the same way it does today. If there is ambient light, you CANNOT turn on the keyboard light at all. If you are in a darker area, you can manually turn up or down the light even if you are in manual mode.
  12. ProphetFool macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    yes I know...that is how it's built to work, but for whatever reason several of us the keyboard was always manual...then one day it stopped, and I tested this several time I had a 1,000 candle power lamp pointing right at the camera sensor and still manual controlled so I don't get it. It should be either manual or auto low light/manual, just like it used to be...yesterday.
  13. benmortimer macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    um... APPLE?

    so anyway.

    we spent a few tens of thousands of pounds between us on these things, correct?

    why are we left chasing our tails on some weird mac forum? does apple read this stuff - has anyone spoken to apple?

    I posted the question on their website, but no reply.

    this service tastes of ass.
  14. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    Dear Ben,

    We're sorry your Apple product is operating the way we designed it to.

  15. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    the keyboard back light is a great add, but the screen already pretty much brightens the keyboard enough even if I do not look when I type. But the back lit keyboard is a nice effect behind black keys and this silver aluminum casing we have. :D
  16. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    Do you mean the official Apple forums? Apple employees and technicians don't use the boards (and I don't believe they're allowed to), and it's designed as a user-to-user feedback forum (in other words, it's people like you and me helping people like, you guessed it, you and me).
    Any response you get on the Apple forum is no more official than a response from here. The only way to get an answer from someone at Apple itself is to actually go into an Apple Store or call them up.
  17. benmortimer macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Dear vaguely smug Apple person.

    Read the thread. Which way did you design it to work. Fully manual control or not.

    lots of love

    Ben xoxo
  18. mwhdvm macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    Me too - 2 times!

    I bought a new MBP 15" and after 1 week it quit working. After hours on the phone with Apple and 4 days at a repair shop locally replacing the "top case" which includes the keyboard and then replacing the motherboard to no avail, the unit went into Apple for 1 week. They got it working, but then had other failures during testing, so they sent me a brand new unit (with a 2.6mHz processor when my original was a 2.5!) The keyboard lit up on first boot and I left to run some errands and got back to find the dreaded O with a / through it.

    After reading forums tonight and seeing complaints going back to 2005, I downloaded and installed "Lab Tick" and was instantly able to restore the keyboard backlight. Manual control of the keyboard seems to be gone via the F5 & F6 keys -- likely after an Apple update. I'm only 24 hours into using this unit and manual control disappeared. Frustrating, but glad that Lab Tick restored it.

    Hope that helps...
  19. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    My F8 F9 F10 keys provide manual control of keyboard backlighting on my 2.33 MBP (going on three years old now).

    I adjust via the keys BUT doing so "checks" the box automatically - so I'm not sure how / when / if the sensor starts adjusting.
  20. ammd macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2009
    Found a really simple fix

    Hi guys,

    I just joined MacRumors to post this fix. It started happening to me too a couple of minutes ago and I did what this guy said (put you hand over the speaker grill) and it worked for me! :D
  21. m1gs4n macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2009
    Ambient Light Sensor is gone?

    Same problem here. . None I've tested seems to work. In fact I can see that display backlight does no longer react to any changes of ambient light either. I have installed Lab Tick and this way I can select the keyboard light to my own taste but it seems like the ambient light sensor is gone.

    My question is whether this is a hardware problem and therefore I'll need to bring my macbook to Apple service or it is firmware problem (unfortunately I have not found any sign it could be the latter).
  22. Papacabeza007 macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2009
    Totally helped me too. Just put my finger over the little light sensor at the top of the screen.
  23. sMiK macrumors regular


    May 8, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    my problem here is that I can always manually change the backlight. But if i put my hand on the sensor nothing happens. I can adjust the backlight even when it's bright and it works, but then i put the hand on the sensor and it stays the same - take the hand off - still stays the same. The display brightness changes automatically though, but not the keyboard... what should I do?
  24. razorboy1969 macrumors newbie


    Nov 21, 2009
    backlight blues

    Go to keyboard setting at sys pref and check the 'illuminate keyboard in low light ..' box. This will activate the light sensor and change the keyboard backlight whenever you occlude the sensor (the iSight lens if you're using MBP).

    I find that tilting the screen affects the keyboard backlight when working in a brightly lit room. Used to be that my backlight was ALWAYS ON even in a bright room (i can manually toggle brightness via F5-F6). but i found out that tilting the screen forwards to a certain degree eliminates the keyboard backlight (however, the manual control will be lost). This is for people who find the backlight annoying. Hope that helps.

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