Thunderbolt brightness control settings gone?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Shadylane315, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Shadylane315 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'm not able to adjust the brightness on my computer anymore. I have a wireless keyboard and mouse hooked up to my mac mini which is hooked up to a 27'' thunderbolt display. I'm using the F1 and F2 keys but it's not working. I'm also trying to look for the slider in the display menu bar but nothing!!! Please help!
  2. dubAdub macrumors member


    Mar 31, 2011
    Bray, Ireland
    Do you gave "automatically adjust brightness" ticked in Display preferences?

    My TB Display lets me adjust the brightness even when that is ticked but I think I recall not being able to adjust the MBA's display after unplugging it from the TB when it was running off battery.
  3. Shadylane315 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Nope, thats not it because there is no mention of brightness control in the thunderbolt display preferences
  4. TuiSong macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2011
    Petone, New Zealand
    So you can't even access the adjustment slider via system prefs? mine is working fine via wired keyboard and system prefs. I'm wondering if disconnecting the display and unplugging it then reconnecting will help
  5. richlee111 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    Have you run the firmware update for the Thuderbolt display?
  6. iDemiurge macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2011
    I've experienced this exact same problem twice since I got my display a month ago. Last time just today. Brightness controls on keyboard stop working and brightness bar in system prefs disappears. Only way to get it back is to restart the computer or to unplug / plug the display.

    It seems that the ATD is full of little nagging problems, each one of them happening very sporadically, which is really maddening.

    Mine had an issue with the wired keyboard dropping inputs. I also experience the display blackout a couple of times.

    Also I have all updates installed, from EFI to display firmware.

    What drives me nuts is that the display can work one week or two with no issues whatsoever (and I love the display when it does!) and then suddenly one pops up like a little gremlin to bug you.

    As much as it pains me I'm thinking of calling apple to get it replaced before it turns a month old...
  7. agent007se macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Just registered to say that I have exactly the same problems as you, iDemiurge. Unplugging the display did not work, I had to reboot my MBP...

    Latest EFI / ATD updates...
  8. elleck macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    I registered to thank you guys for the suggestion to unplug the thunderbolt display as rebooting it was not fixing the brightness issue. Will apple be fixing this issue? are you guys just living with it? first time it happened to me in a few months of owning it, but hopefully won't happen often!
  9. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    Glad I wasn't the only one. I too have experienced this issue a few times. Restarting works but unplugging and replugging in the thunderbolt cable helps too.
  10. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    everytime I've used it on battery away from the TBD it loses the audio controls...but this morning is the first time I've noticed the loss of brightness settings. Looks like we have to reset the air each time, which is silly, there really should be a way to "refresh" so to speak.
  11. athens622 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
  12. Loden11111 macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    Salado, TX
    Keyboard Adjustment for Thunderbolt Brightness

    I was frustrated with having to bring up my Display Options window whenever I wanted to adjust the brightness on my Thunderbolt. While it may be mentioned somewhere else, experimentation revealed that a Control-F1/F2 will adjust the brightness.
  13. mattrsullivan macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2013
    Change location of title bar

    Using my MBP Retina (Mavericks) I was able to get the slider for brightness by choosing the Thunderbolt as my primary monitor.

    IOW, go to System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement and drag the menu bar to the TB.

    Poof! should be fixed!
  14. paulstat macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2017
    I had this exact problem. Here's how I fixed it:
    1. Unplugged the thunderbolt cord to my laptop.
    2. Unplugged the power cords of the monitors.
    3. Wait a few seconds.
    4. Plugged in the monitor power cords.
    5. Plugged in the thunderbolt connection.
    The brightness slider came back!

    I had to try it in various orders before it worked (power before thunderbolt cord, monitor 1's power before monitor 2's, etc.) so your mileage may vary.

    My details:
    • Two 27" Thunderbolts
    • Mid 2015 MacBook Pro
    • The brightness slider was missing for only one of the displays
    • Resetting the PRAM / NVRAM didn't help

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