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I'm not able to control the brightness of a Dell monitor on the HDMI port of a Mac Mini M1. macOS doesn't seem to recognize it in the brightness control.

Are there any utilities out there that allow me to configure it from software since trying to do it through the Dell menu buttons is a hassle? The last time I tried (in about 2018 when Apple discontinued their monitors) the apps that attempted to do this were buggy or badly implemented (for example one tried to do it by superimposing an opacity layer over the window, but that had the problem of ruining screenshots).

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    I have this problem too. Would be great if there was a way to control the brightness on dell monitor using the brightness keys (F1/F2) on the keyboard.
    – gprasant
    May 16, 2018 at 16:48
  • Do we know if this is a completely generic problem? I.e., are there any third party monitors on which the brightness keys work natively? (Context: I thought it used to work on my Dell P2721Q but doesn’t anymore, but I could be misremembering.) May 24, 2023 at 8:43
  • @AndrewJaffe: unsure. I had menulet or monitor control that was working for awhile, and then stopped working or at least stopped being auto-loaded at boot, in a macOS update, so now I just have a Dell 4K on HDMI port and manually adjust its brightness for day or night work. Hassle, but I'm used to it. I wonder when native support will arrive for 3rd party monitors? Pro Display XDR as main display on MacBook Pro M1. It is stunning and flawlessly integrated. Extreme sticker shock, but I love the monitor every day. So crisp and clean; so much screen real estate. Easy to read small fonts.
    – clearlight
    Jun 1, 2023 at 15:40

4 Answers 4

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I have been using Monitor Controll - https://github.com/the0neyouseek/MonitorControl - for a couple of months now with a Dell screen, and I have only words of praise.

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  • I have Dell & Pro Display XDR displays on a Mac M1 Mini, This works perfectly. I can even calibrate its effect on the monitors to adjust brightness at approximately the same level to each other, by setting the Dell brightness via the menu buttons on the monitor. That effectively sets the max brightness thus reining in this app's brightness adjustment range. Also has a very clean layout and smart preferences and convenience features. This is the perfect replacement for the buggy/incomplete Brightness Menulet app I was using.
    – clearlight
    Nov 7, 2021 at 17:00
  • Wow. Thank you so much. This is so helpful.
    – Womble
    Nov 26, 2021 at 4:09
  • Just installed it. Easy, intuitive, works a treat. 👍🏼
    – Graham Lea
    Dec 6, 2021 at 6:24
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    With 4.0.2 installed I'm using it to adjust brightness of a M1 Max MacBook Pro with an Apple 6K Pro Display XDR and a 4K Dell monitor (3 displays!) And the Pro Display XDR is connected to the notebook through an OWC Thunderbolt 4 hub. It's really great.
    – clearlight
    Dec 9, 2021 at 5:14
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I've found Lunar.app and it syncs the brightness from your PC to the external monitors. It has a lot of other features that I not yet have played with, but a uniform brightness is already great. The app looks nice, so thats a plus (and it's free).

Here is an article on lifehacker.com, because the information on the Lunar site is really sparse.

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Using Luna would help in this case.

It will basically sync your primary screen brightness, as well as the other necessaries to your second screen.

Check this out: https://lunar.fyi

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  • Luna used to make my mac crash.
    – JFC
    Jan 12, 2021 at 22:07
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Brightness Menulet App mentioned above is a great option. You can find built releases of the app in forks:

So you don't really have to build it by yourself. You can check other forks and try to find other interesting solutions.

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  • Thanks. Last time I tried that app it would just quit randomly, which was really a drag. And then it seemed be be discontinued or unsupported for awhile. I just started using github.com/the0neyouseek/MonitorControl, which @Kolja posted above and it is working perfectly (see my comment to his post for more info).
    – clearlight
    Nov 7, 2021 at 17:20

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