Backlit keyboards don’t just look cool, but they make using your computer in low-light environments easier. Instead of hunching over your keyboard or increasing the monitor’s brightness so you can see what key you’re pressing, you can turn on your keyboard’s backlight.
However, different apps, software updates, or hardware issues might stop your backlit keyboard from working. So if you’ve already restarted your computer or connected your keyboard to every USB port, and it’s still not working, it’s time you take a closer look at the problem.
1. Check if Your Keyboard Comes With the Backlit Feature
Even if you’ve bought a new, fancy-looking keyboard, there’s a chance it doesn’t have the backlit feature. The same goes for your laptop. Go to the manufacturer’s website and check the product description for your keyboard or computer. This will save you from looking for an inexistent problem.
If you’re sure your keyboard comes with a backlight, try using a keyboard shortcut to turn it on. Depending on the manufacturer, the shortcut might be the Fn key and one of the F keys or Fn key + Spacebar.
If the backlight doesn’t turn on, try the solutions we have listed below. Some of them might be a bit complicated, but we’ll walk you through the steps.
2. Increase the Brightness Level
There’s a chance you’ve set the brightness level too low, so it doesn’t make a difference after you turn on the keyboard backlight. The fastest way to increase the brightness level is to use your keyboard. Look for the key with the backlight icon and press it two or three times in a row. If you’ve found the backlight icon, but it doesn’t work, press the Fn key at the same time.
3. Check the Keyboard App
If your laptop has a built-in backlit keyboard, check its app. Most of the time, the app will get installed at the same time as the keyboard drivers, but this may vary, depending on the manufacturer.
Also, if you’ve connected an external keyboard that comes with the backlit feature, you should take a look at the app. Check the keyboard settings within the app and make sure everything is as you want. Also, go to the producer’s website and update the app to the latest version.
Even if you’ve made the right system settings, a third-party keyboard app may overwrite them, so it’s worth checking it out.
4. Update Your Keyboard Drivers
If your keyboard backlight is sensor-activated, and it doesn’t work anymore, there’s a chance an outdated or corrupt driver is causing the problem. To fix it, you should update your keyboard driver. Here is how you can do it:
- Right-click Start > Device manager.
- Expand the Keyboard menu.
- Right-click your keyboard driver and select Update driver.
If this didn’t fix the problem, there are more ways to fix a corrupt driver.
5. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter
If updating the driver didn’t fix your backlit keyboard, Windows comes with a couple of built-in troubleshooting tools that you can use.
- Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.
- Select Update & Security and head to Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
- From Find and fix other problems, select Keyboard > Run the troubleshooter.
In Windows 11, go to Settings > System >Troubleshoot > Other trouble-shooters to access the Keyboard troubleshooter.
Once Windows finishes the troubleshooting process, try to turn on or adjust the brightness of your backlit keyboard. If it didn’t work, there is another troubleshooter you should run. While Microsoft removed it from the Settings menu, you can still access it using a Command Prompt line.
Follow these steps to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter:
- Open Command Prompt with administrative rights.
- Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter.
- In the Hardware and Devices window, click Advanced and check Apply repairs automatically.
- Click Next to run the troubleshooter.
6. Perform a Clean Boot
If nothing worked until now, you should perform a clean boot on your computer. This way, your system will start without any third-party app that might influence your backlit keyboard functionality. If your keyboard lights up, open Control Panel and take a look at the apps that you’ve installed lately since one of them is causing your problem.
Backlit Keyboard Problems Resolved
There’s a chance you can already press the right keys without looking at your keyboard but if you’ve just bought your computer, it will take some time until you get used to the keyboard layout. So fixing your keyboard backlight will be useful.
If you are still typing in the dark and seems the problem is not your system and you’re thinking about getting a new keyboard, you might be tempted to buy a Bluetooth keyboard. However, it might not be the best choice.