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What do the F5 and F6 keys do on the 2011 MacBook Air? They are marked with what I interpret to be small-sunrise and big-sunrise icons. I do not see any effect when I press them.

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I interpreted them to be "speedometer icon", and almost thought it is for making the processor run faster or slower – 太極者無極而生 Aug 25 '15 at 7:18
up vote 22 down vote accepted

These are for decreasing and increasing the brightness of the keyboard backlight. When the system senses low light and the keyboard is allowed to illuminate, the keys will work. Otherwise, they silently do nothing at all.

enter image description here

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@bmike - You beat me to it with your screenshot; I was about to post this picture, but yours is more useful. – Neil Fein Aug 28 '11 at 2:20
Check out skitch on the app store - it is free and full of awesome! – bmike Aug 28 '11 at 4:04
Thank you @bmike. I am relieved to learn that my exploratory button poking was not disturbing sunrise and sunset for someone unknown to me. – Thomas L Holaday Aug 31 '11 at 22:05

protected by grgarside Oct 4 '15 at 14:13

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