I do my best work at night in the dark, so my backlit keyboard is a non-negotiable essential. In low-light environments, backlit keyboards make typing more comfortable. However, sometimes the keyboard backlight on Windows computers stops working, a frustrating situation if like me, you enjoy working late.
In this article, I will show you several ways to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows. This issue could arise from Windows apps, software updates, or hardware. So here’s what you can do to fix it.
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How Can You Fix Backlit Keyboards Not Working on Windows?
Instead of hunching over your keyboard or turning up your monitor’s brightness to see what key you’re pressing in the dark, it’s more practical to use Windows’ backlit keyboard. The troubleshooting steps listed below will help you fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows, so you can work whenever and on whatever light settings you want.
Confirm That Your Keyboard has a Backlit Feature
It’s possible that your keyboard or laptop doesn’t have the backlit option. When you’re looking to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows, first check your device manufacturer’s website and read the product description for your computer or keyboard.
If you’re sure that your keyboard has a backlight, try activating it with a keyboard shortcut. The shortcut is either the Fn key and one of the F keys or the Fn key + Spacebar, depending on the manufacturer. You can then move on to another solution below if the backlight still won’t turn on.
Increase the Brightness
It’s possible you’ve set the brightness setting too low, so turning on the keyboard backlit will have no impact. If this is the case, use your keyboard to increase the brightness level and thereby fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows.
Find the key that has the backlight icon on your keyboard and press it two or three times in a row. If you find the backlight icon but it does not work, simultaneously press the Fn key. You can also check out different ways to adjust brightness in this guide.
Examine Your Hardware
It could be difficult to determine if a problem with your backlit keyboard is a hardware or software issue. Therefore, rule out any hardware issues before looking at your system settings to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows.
- Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard. If it’s a Bluetooth keyboard, turn it off for a few seconds and then back on.
- Plug the keyboard into another USB port. If the backlit feature works after this action, it means you need to fix your USB port.
- Examine the keyboard cable and look for any damage.
Check the Keyboard App
Checking the keyboard app could also help to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows if your laptop has a built-in backlit keyboard. In most cases, the app and keyboard drivers are installed simultaneously.
You should also look at the app if you’ve connected an external keyboard with a backlit feature. Examine the app’s keyboard settings to make sure everything is how it should be. Find the producer’s website and update the app to the most recent version.
Even if you’ve made the necessary system changes, a third-party keyboard app could overwrite them, so this is worth investigating when you’re trying different ways to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows.
Update Keyboard Drivers
There’s a chance that an outdated or corrupt driver is causing the issue, if your keyboard backlight is sensor-activated and it doesn’t work again. In this case, update your keyboard driver to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows. Follow these steps:
- Right-click Start and select Device Manager.
- Enlarge the Keyboard menu.
- Right-click your keyboard driver and click the Update driver option.
Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter
There are a few built-in troubleshooting tools in Windows that you can use if updating the driver does nothing to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows.
- To open Windows Settings, press Win + I.
- Choose Update & Security, then go to Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
- Choose Keyboard > Run the troubleshooter from Find and fix other problems.
To access the keyboard troubleshooter in Windows 11, go to Settings > System >Troubleshoot >Other trouble-shooters. Turn on or adjust the brightness of your backlit keyboard after Windows has finished its troubleshooting process.
If that didn’t work to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows, there’s another troubleshooter you should try. Although Microsoft removed it from the Settings menu, you may still use the Command Prompt line to access it. To run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, follow these steps:
- Launch Command Prompt with administrative rights.
- Input “msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic” into the field and click Enter.
- Click Advanced in the Hardware and Devices window, then select Apply Repairs automatically.
- To run the troubleshooter, click Next.
Perform a Clean Boot
You should perform a clean boot on your system if nothing has worked so far to fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows. Doing this will make your laptop start up without any third-party apps that could interfere with the functionality of your backlit keyboard.
If your keyboard lights up, launch the Control Panel and check the apps you’ve recently installed to see if one of them is responsible for the issue.
To conclude, if the keyboard backlight on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer stops working, there’s no need to strain your eyes.
By following the different troubleshooting suggestions I’ve described above, you should be able to easily fix backlit keyboards not working on Windows. It may also help to contact Windows help center for expert intervention if nothing works to resolve the issue