Use Control Center to quickly adjust Mac’s keyboard brightness [Pro tip]

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How to adjust keyboard brightness using Control Center
Get greater control over keyboard brightness.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Control Center Pro Tips WeekWe want to help you master Control Center, one of the most powerful and underutilized features on Apple devices. Cult of Mac’s Control Center Pro Tips series will show you how to make the most of this useful toolbox on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

If you use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro as it was intended, your keyboard brightness controls aren’t immediately at your fingertips. But you can use Control Center instead to quickly adjust your backlighting.

We’ll show you how.

Although this tip is particularly handy for those who use a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it will work on any Apple laptop with a backlit keyboard — so long as you’re running macOS Big Sur with Control Center.

It’s great for fine-tuning keyboard brightness, or disabling the backlight altogether, when you’re using your function keys as traditional F keys or your keyboard brightness keys aren’t working.

Adjust keyboard brightness in Control Center

The trick is super-simple; just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Control Center button in your Mac’s menu bar.
  2. Click the Keyboard Brightness button.
  3. Use the slider to adjust keyboard brightness to your liking.

Click Keyboard Preferences… to quickly access additional settings.

How to adjust keyboard brightness using Control Center
Simply click the Keyboard Brightness button.
Screenshots: Cult of Mac

Note that these changes aren’t permanent by default, and your keyboard’s backlight will continue to adjust automatically based on the ambient light around you. To disable this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  2. Click Keyboard.
  3. Uncheck the box alongside Adjust keyboard brightness in low light.
How to adjust keyboard brightness using Control Center
You can disable automatic brightness adjustments if you prefer.
Screenshots: Cult of Mac