Is there any command to control the intensity of keyboard light of a MacBook Pro?

  • found this repo that might help
    – Neveh
    Commented May 16 at 22:46

3 Answers 3


I haven't found a great solution yet. Here is some information that can help:

  • Apparently there is a solution for Ubuntu on MacBooks.

  • Lab Tick runs on OS X but unfortunately not command-line (nor open source).

  • brightness is free software to control the display brightness.

This turns off automatic backlight in low light:

defaults write com.apple.BezelServices kDim -bool false

This turns off keyboard illumination when computer is not used for 1 second:

defaults write com.apple.BezelServices kDimTime -int 1

But ideally I would just turn off the illumination under all circumstances. And I haven't found a CLI solution for that - yet.


This app can do it, using the (undocumented) CoreBrightness library built in to macOS. It works on my M2 MacBook Pro (2023 model). You can add custom themes or change the program to work to your liking. I modified it to run through the animation just once, not "forever" in a loop, and I set up simple "backlight on" and "backlight off" animations to call.



Have you tried the f5 key? That changes my keyboard light.

  • 2
    This does not remotely answer the question. He asked for a solution from the command line not from the keyboard function key.
    – Jash Jacob
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 0:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .