How to Turn on Your Keyboard Backlight

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A backlit keyboard is a useful feature if you’re working in environments with low lighting.
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A backlit keyboard is a useful feature if you're working in environments with low lighting. While it's not a standard feature on all keyboards, several laptop models come equipped with backlit keys. Different manufacturers use different methods for making the keyboard light up, but most do it with one of the function keys. A key that controls backlighting is typically marked with an icon that represents keyboard illumination.


Turning On Dell Backlit Keyboard

A Dell laptop computer may or may not come with a backlit keyboard. The quickest way to find out is by looking for an icon that looks like a glowing rectangle on the F6 or F10 function key. Depending on your laptop model, keyboard backlighting may be controlled by pressing the function key by itself or pressing it in combination with the Fn key. If the illumination icon isn't displayed on a function key, check the Right Arrow key in the lower right area of the keyboard. Some Dell laptops use the Fn key plus the Right Arrow key to turn the backlight off and on.


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Turning on HP Keyboard Backlight

HP laptops that support keyboard backlighting have a backlight icon on the F4, F5, F9 or F11 key. The icon shows three small vertical rectangles with glow lines coming from the left rectangle. For some models, pressing the function key alone will turn on the keyboard backlight. If this doesn't work, try pressing Fn with the backlight function key.

Controlling Mac Keyboard Backlighting

Backlit keyboards are available on portable Mac computers that display the keyboard brightness key, which shows a flat rectangle with glow lines. Press and hold the key to increase or decrease the amount of backlight. On some Mac keyboards, the F6 key increases backlighting and F5 decreases it.


You can also set some Mac keyboards to automatically adjust keyboard brightness depending on available light. Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and then select Keyboard. Toggle on the checkbox for Adjust keyboard brightness in low light. The keyboard will detect available light and adjust itself.

ASUS Keyboard Backlight Settings

The backlight key on an ASUS keyboard looks shows a tiny keyboard with glow lines. It appears on the F3 and F4 keys if backlighting is available. Press the Fn+F4 to increase backlighting on the keyboard. Use Fn+F3 to decrease backlighting and turn keyboard backlighting off.


Other Laptops with Keyboard Backlight

Samsung laptops use Fn+F9 to turn the light on and off when backlighting is available. For Samsung notebooks running Windows 10, you may need to download and install the Samsung Settings app from the Microsoft Store. Use the app to make sure backlighting is available and enabled.

Lenovo laptops that are configured with a backlight keyboard have a light icon displayed on the Spacebar key. Press Fn+Spacebar to switch the backlight between Off, Low and High. The Lenovo ThinkPad has the ThinkLight, a small LED that's mounted on the top of the screen and points down at the keyboard. It's controlled by pressing the Fn+PageUp keys.