Why Won’t My Keyboard Light Up?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated July 25, 2022

Even the best keyboards can sometimes go awry. Solving these problems is never fun, whether it’s keyboard shortcuts not working correctly or other hardware issues. So, if you’re asking yourself, “Why won’t my keyboard light up?” you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll review the common issues causing this problem so you can be a better keyboard troubleshooter.


  • Keyboard backlighting issues can be caused by a range of factors, one of them being the driver not being updated. Keep your drivers updated to avoid this issue.
  • Sometimes, the problem is that you simply have the brightness level turned all the way down. Adjust the brightness level to see if the problem resolves.
  • You can always do a power cycle to see whether this simple fix solves your problem. Just hit the power button, wait a few minutes, and turn it back on.

Troubleshooting Backlit Keyboards

If you’re wondering what a backlit keyboard is, it’s just a type of keyboard with lighting underneath the keys. Keyboard illumination makes it easier to work or game in dim lighting or complete darkness.

Insider Tip

Some internal keyboards allow you to control the keyboard backlight brightness.

Like any other keyboard, sometimes backlit keyboards need troubleshooting, especially if that bright light isn’t shining the way it should. This could mean opening the control panel or hitting the power button to cycle the system.

Keep reading to find out more. If you’re looking for a new keyboard, try reading our review comparing the Apex 7 vs. the Apex Pro.

You Need to Update the Keyboard Driver

When the keyboard backlight isn’t working, one of your first steps should be checking to ensure the keyboard driver is installed correctly. You’ll want to check for updates, as well. Missing updates could cause the keyboard backlighting to not work due to software malfunctions.

The Keyboard Brightness is Too Low

Sometimes the brightness level is too low for you to see the keyboard backlight. Simply adjust the brightness level of your backlighting and ensure you don’t have it turned all the way down. This is a common mistake, especially if you’ve been making adjustments to your keyboard. For example, those with the leading hot-swappable keyboards might have this problem.


Make sure you’re investing in a computer or keyboard that has a keyboard backlight option built-in since some models lack this feature.

You Need to Hit the Power Button

Sometimes all that needs to happen is a good, old power cycle. That means you need to hit that power button, wait a minute or two, and then press the power button again. If this doesn’t work, you might need to rely on a more professional keyboard troubleshooter. If you’re on iOS, you might need to look into our article about your Mac keyboard not working.

STAT: In 2021, the computer hardware market in the United States generated total revenue of over 48.2 billion U.S. dollars, selling around 451 million units. (source)


What is the usage of function keys on a keyboard?

The function keys widen your horizons when doling out commands to your computer. They often control features like screenshotting, force quitting, screen brightness, and more.

Can I use an external keyboard with a laptop?

Yes, you absolutely can. They usually plug in through a USB port or connect wirelessly if in Bluetooth mode. This gives you more versatility in choosing the type of keyboard you want.

Why is keyboard backlighting useful?

Having keyboard illumination is as crucial as having a front-facing camera. It can be invaluable if you often have to use your computer in dim lighting, especially on planes or at night.

Is my internal keyboard backlit?

You can check the user manual to see if your laptop has keyboard illumination capabilities. If it does, you’ll likely have to use a function key to activate it.

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