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Shadylane315

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
195
0
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!
 

dubAdub

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2011
89
0
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.
 

Shadylane315

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
195
0
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.

Nope, thats not it because there is no mention of brightness control in the thunderbolt display preferences
 

TuiSong

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2011
147
0
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
 

iDemiurge

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2011
275
212
Portugal
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...
 

agent007se

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2011
1
0
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...
 

elleck

macrumors newbie
Dec 7, 2011
1
0
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!
 

auero

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2006
1,386
114
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.
 

jterp7

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2011
1,256
137
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.

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.
 

Loden11111

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2013
2
0
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.
 

mattrsullivan

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2013
1
0
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!
 

paulstat

macrumors newbie
Apr 5, 2017
1
1
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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colindgrant

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2022
2
0
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

This is what finally worked for me after trying a lot of combinations and some 3rd party tools.

2021 16" MacBook M1 Pro
macOS 12.2.1 (21D62) Monterey
2x Thunderbolt Displays with:
Firmware 26.2
Port Micro Firmware 2.07
Cable Firmware 1.0.16

My setup is arranged like this:
MacBook <TB3> TB3 to TB2 dongle <TB2> Thunderbolt Display <TB2> Thunderbolt Display <TB2> Hub
The display's built-in cables connect upstream (toward Mac), and external ports connect downstream (toward hub)

This post is still relevant 5 years later. Thank you!
 
Last edited:

AnotherScott

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2006
30
2
Another solution that worked for me: a free app from the app store, called Brightness Slider

 

Patrix Johnson

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2022
1
0
The Netherlands // Indonesia
Followed this thread already a while now because I had the same problem on my TB screen, only besides the Brightness Control settings, also my TB screen webcam stopped working after a while. Unplugging the Thunderbolt cable worked but every time only a little while before the same problem (brightness and webcam) started again.

Resetting the PRAM and NVRAM did the trick and resolved both problems and the screen is working flawless again till now!
 

chrono1081

macrumors G3
Jan 26, 2008
8,397
4,002
Isla Nublar
Ugh sadly this didn't work for me. I downloaded brightness slider but it only brightens to what your monitor was last set at. I literally had to plug in my intel MacBook Pro, turn brightness up all the way, and then plug back in my M2 air to adjust brightness up and down.
 

AnotherScott

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2006
30
2
Also, while F1/F2 with vs. without the control key is supposed to let you adjust the brightness on either the internal or external display, I have found that, with the Thunderbolt monitor on my Macbook Pro, the keys would not let me adjust the TB display's brightness if I connected through the standard cable, but the WOULD work properly if I instead connected through a plain thunderbolt cable.
 

Jforte

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2020
159
64
Portugal
Hello. I bought a used Thunderbolt Display to Connect a MacBook Pro 15 2015.
My macbook has macOS Ventura 13.5 (with OCLP). I can adjust brightness, but i have no option regarding auto brightness.
the thunderbolt display is supposed to have an ambient light sensor and on “about this Mac”, under “adicional information- Graphics/monitors” i can see Thunderbolt Display information, and on “adjust brightness automatically” i can se “Yes”. I tried “lunar” and “monitor control”, but i cannot see the “auto brightness option” nowhere… do you guys know about a solution for this?
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68030
Apr 27, 2003
2,990
2,332
Arizona
You can also try using MonitorControl. It's free, and lots of people use it when they have Displays that simply are not supported by macOS's built-in adjustments via keyboard shortcuts for Brightness and audio Volume, etc.

To @Jforte's point, there is no "auto-brightness" setting in MonitorControl, so if it doesn't show up in System Settings where it should be, you might be S.O.L. on that. It's not a problem for me, because once I set the brightness for one of my displays, I rarely if ever change it.
 
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Jforte

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2020
159
64
Portugal
You can also try using MonitorControl. It's free, and lots of people use it when they have Displays that simply are not supported by macOS's built-in adjustments via keyboard shortcuts for Brightness and audio Volume, etc.

To @Jforte's point, there is no "auto-brightness" setting in MonitorControl, so if it doesn't show up in System Settings where it should be, you might be S.O.L. on that. It's not a problem for me, because once I set the brightness for one of my displays, I rarely if ever change it.
What does it mean S.O.L.? I can change manually the brightness (and volume) in macOS, also with shortcut keys, but Thunderbolt Display, that is now “obsolete”, does have an ambient light sensor.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68030
Apr 27, 2003
2,990
2,332
Arizona
Well, unfortunately I can't tell you what S.O.L. actually stands for because the moderators here are overzealous - so they'll either delete the post or possibly ban me. But I'm sure if you Google "What does S.O.L. stand for?" you'll get your answer.
 
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