How to Know if Your Laptop has a Backlit Keyboard

Laptops have become integral to our daily lives, serving various purposes, from work to entertainment. When choosing a laptop, many factors are considered, including screen size, processor, RAM, and storage capacity. 

However, one feature that often goes unnoticed until you need it is the keyboard backlight. A backlit keyboard can significantly enhance your typing experience, especially in low-light conditions. 

This comprehensive guide explores everything you need about backlit keyboards, including determining if your laptop has one. How to know if your laptop has a backlit keyboard I will discuss it in detail today.

How to Know if Your Laptop Has a Backlit Keyboard

Different manufacturers use varying key combinations to turn keyboard lighting on or off. This combination is hard to figure out in some laptops, so you must try different ways before getting it right. 

Additionally, there can be two versions of the same laptop model, one with a backlit keyboard and the other without, further complicating things. Let’s discuss some of the easiest ways to determine if your laptop has a backlit keyboard.

1. Turn on Backlit Keyboards

The backlit keyboard is a keyboard that has individual keys illuminated from beneath. This illumination can be adjusted in brightness and color in some models. 

Backlit keyboards are particularly useful in dimly lit or dark environments, such as during late-night work sessions or when using your laptop on a plane.

2. Advantages of Backlit Keyboards

Before we delve into the methods for determining if your laptop has a backlit keyboard, let’s briefly discuss the advantages of having one:

  • Enhanced Visibility: Backlit keyboards make it easier to see the keys, even in low-light or no-light conditions, reducing typing errors and strain on your eyes.
  • Aesthetics: Backlit keyboards often have a modern and stylish appearance, adding to the overall appeal of your laptop.
  • Productivity: They enable you to work or type more efficiently in various environments, whether in a dimly lit coffee shop or a darkened room.
  • Customization: Some backlit keyboards allow you to customize the lighting color and intensity, adding a personal touch to your laptop.

3. How to Identify a Backlit Keyboard

The F10, F6, or right arrow keys (placed in the lower right corner) are the quickest ways to tell if your computer has a backlit keyboard. Your PC does not have a backlit keyboard if none of these keys have the illumination icon.

4. Checking Laptop Specifications

The quickest way to determine if your laptop has a backlit keyboard is by checking its specifications.

Here’s how:

  • Manufacturer’s Website: Visit the official website of your laptop’s manufacturer and search for your laptop model. The product specifications should mention whether or not it has a backlit keyboard.
  • Retailer’s Website: If you bought your laptop from a retailer, their website or product description should also provide information about its features, including the keyboard.

5. Inspecting Keyboard Labels

Sometimes, laptop manufacturers indicate the presence of a backlit keyboard on the laptop itself.

  • Keyboard Symbols: Examine the keyboard closely for symbols or icons on the function keys (F1, F2, etc.) that suggest backlight control. These symbols usually resemble a sun or a lightbulb.
  • Backlight Toggle: If you find these symbols, press the corresponding function key (e.g., F3 or F5) while holding down the “Fn” key. This key combination often toggles the backlight on or off.

6. Consulting the User Manual

If you still need help determining whether your laptop has a backlit keyboard, refer to the user manual that came with your laptop. 

Look for a section that describes the laptop’s features and specifications. The manual should clearly state whether the keyboard is backlit.

7. Using Built-in Laptop Settings

Most laptops with backlit keyboards allow you to adjust the keyboard’s brightness and turn it on or off. 

Here’s how to do it on Windows and macOS:

On Windows:

  • Windows Settings: Go to “Settings“> “Devices“> “Typing.” If your laptop has a backlit keyboard, you should see an option to adjust the backlight settings.
  • Function Keys: As mentioned earlier, use the appropriate function key (e.g., F3 or F5) with the “Fn” key to toggle the backlight.

On macOS:

  • System Preferences: Navigate to “System Preferences“> “Keyboard“> “Keyboard.” You can adjust the backlight settings here if your MacBook has a backlit keyboard.
  • Keyboard Shortcut: MacBooks usually have a dedicated key (F5 or F6) for adjusting keyboard backlight brightness. 

8. Software and Third-Party Tools

If none of the above methods provide a clear answer, you can use software or third-party tools to check your laptop’s keyboard status. 

  • Laptop Manufacturer’s Software: Some laptop manufacturers offer dedicated software that provides detailed information about your laptop’s hardware, including the keyboard.
  • Third-Party Software: Tools like “HWiNFO” or “Speccy” can provide detailed hardware information about your laptop, including whether it has a backlit keyboard.

9. Common Misconceptions About Backlit Keyboards

Before we conclude, let’s address some common misconceptions about backlit keyboards:

  • All Laptops Have Them: Not all laptops come equipped with backlit keyboards. Entry-level and budget laptops may omit this feature to reduce costs.
  • Built-In Light Sensor: Some laptops have a built-in light sensor that automatically adjusts the keyboard backlight based on ambient lighting conditions. This sometimes gives the impression that the laptop doesn’t have a backlit keyboard when it does.
  • Colors and Intensity: Backlit keyboards vary in color options and brightness levels. Some laptops may offer RGB backlighting, allowing you to choose from millions of colors.

10. Try Different Key Combinations for Keyboard Lighting

This step can be complicated because a manufacturer can have different key combinations for different laptops.

Considering the number of laptop manufacturers, the list of exact combinations for keyboard lighting should be shorter to try out one by one. 

The best way to do this is to check the keys individually and look for an illumination icon (or a turned-on lightbulb icon).

When you find the icon on the keyboard, you should press it with the Fn key to enable the keyboard lighting.

Unfortunately, not all laptop keyboards will have this icon visible, so you’d have to try the most common key combinations to test it out. 

Here are the most common key combinations that turn the backlit keyboard on or off:

  • Fn + F4 key.
  • Fn + F5 key.
  • Fn+ F6 key.
  • Fn + F7 key.
  • Fn + F9 key.
  • Fn + F10 key.
  • Fn + F11 key.
  • Fn + right arrow key to increase brightness. Fn + left arrow key to decrease brightness.
  • Fn + up arrow key to increase brightness. Fn + down arrow key to decrease brightness.

5 Possible Work Arounds for a Laptop Without a Backlit Keyboard

The backlit keyboard is a nice-to-have feature that will help improve your productivity even when working in dark areas or with limited lighting.

However, if the one you use doesn’t have this feature built-in, there are still a few workarounds to make your keyboard more visible and improve your productivity.

1. Glow-in-the-Dark Keyboard Stickers

It is the best and least expensive solution to light up your keyboard. The only disadvantage of these stickers is that they’ll cover the secondary keys that may have different functions.

I recommend glow-in-the-dark keyboard stickers because it has all the English keys and different keyboard options.

They also remain “invisible” unless you’re working in the dark, which gives a similar effect to having a backlit keyboard.

The best thing about glow-in-the-dark stickers is that they don’t obstruct or add unnecessary bulk to your laptop.

There are no devices to work with, and you don’t have to worry about mechanical or electrical failure, which may be common for the other workarounds I’ll discuss.

2. USB-Powered Gooseneck Lamp

USB-Powered Gooseneck Lamp

Imagine having a miniature, portable table lamp for your keyboard that makes your keys more visible and offers the flexibility to work from anywhere. 

This ingenious solution allows you to harness your laptop’s power to illuminate your workspace, providing newfound versatility to your work environment.

I recommend opting for a gooseneck-style laptop clamp light due to its adaptability. With this accessory, you can easily adjust the brightness and position of the light to suit your preferences, ensuring optimal visibility and comfort during late-night work or gaming sessions.

Its seamless integration with your laptop setup sets the gooseneck laptop clamp light apart. Plugging it into one of your laptop’s USB ports makes it an integral part of your computer, effortlessly blending in without consuming valuable desk space or causing clutter.

But this nifty gadget offers more than just enhanced keyboard visibility. Its soft glow creates an illuminated workspace that is perfect for tackling various tasks beyond typing on your keyboard. 

Whether you need to sketch, jot down notes, or reference printed materials, this versatile light source covers you.

The gooseneck laptop clamp light is far more advantageous than plain stickers or other rudimentary solutions. 

Its adaptability and convenience make it an invaluable addition to your toolkit, especially if your work frequently takes you outside traditional office settings. 

With this portable illumination companion by your side, you’re empowered to work comfortably and effectively wherever your laptop takes you.

3. USB-Powered LED Light Bar

An LED light bar for a laptop is a device you attach to the monitor that emits light toward the keyboard. 

It works like a gooseneck lamp, but its position makes it more comfortable to work with, and it provides better lighting and features that aren’t possible with an ordinary lamp.

I recommend a screen light bar because it fits most laptops. It also has dimmable LED bulbs that provide true natural light colors while preventing monitor glare, making it more effective and easier to create a well-lit working environment.

An LED light bar is more expensive than the two options I shared, but it’s still cheaper than a laptop with a backlit keyboard variant.

It also creates an environment that allows you to work on other tasks without requiring additional lighting, making it the perfect choice for many people.

4. Red Light Headlamp

Some people work in dark areas because it helps them focus better on their tasks.

An LED lamp may not be an option for these people because it eliminates the “night light” that helps them work better. 

If you also prefer this working condition, consider using a redlight headlamp.

An LED headlamp is the perfect solution because it includes white and red LED lights that can light up your keyboard without excessively illuminating your entire workspace.

It also includes an adjustable strap that makes it more comfortable, even for long hours.

The only disadvantage to using a redlight headlamp is the unnecessary bulk. 

It’s also not the best solution for many people, but it’s still a better and cheaper option than upgrading a laptop to have a backlit keyboard.

5. External Keyboard

When addressing the absence of a backlit keyboard on your laptop, there may be more convenient solutions than connecting an external keyboard

After all, it means carrying around an extra device whenever you venture out for work. 

Nevertheless, the benefits of using an excellent external keyboard can significantly outweigh this minor inconvenience by making your typing experience faster and more comfortable.

The market offers diverse external keyboards, each catering to specific preferences and requirements. Your choice ultimately hinges on the features you prioritize for your work setup. 

However, one feature worth considering, almost ubiquitous in external keyboards, is the backlighting option. This feature proves invaluable when working in dimly lit or dark environments, ensuring you can easily continue typing.

It’s important to note that while an external keyboard provides an exceptional typing experience and enhances productivity, it may come with a few trade-offs. 

For instance, it tends to be less portable compared to other solutions. Nevertheless, a fully-featured external keyboard surpasses all alternatives when it comes to comfort and efficiency.

If you’re seeking a recommendation for an external keyboard, consider a 60% keyboard with arrow keys. 

This configuration balances functionality and portability, making it an excellent choice for those on the go. 

While it may not be as compact as a laptop keyboard, it offers a full-sized keyboard’s tactile feel and convenience, ensuring you can type with precision and speed, regardless of your location.


In conclusion, determining whether your laptop has a backlit keyboard is a straightforward process that involves checking specifications, inspecting keyboard labels, consulting the user manual, and using built-in laptop settings. 

A backlit keyboard can greatly enhance your laptop experience, especially when working or gaming in low-light environments. 

If your laptop has this feature, remember to explore the customization options and make the most of it. Enjoy your illuminated typing experience! Comment here.

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