I recently inherited a Mac Pro 2013. These have neat-looking lighting around their (many) front-panel ports, which as I recall (and old threads online confirm) is supposed to be proximity-activated. However, I can’t reliably activate these lights now — they’ve activated a couple of times while I’ve been plugging/unplugging devices, but I can’t find anything that triggers them consistently. Presumably this may be the proximity sensor having weakened with age, but it’s clearly not entirely dead since the lights do work occasionally. So I’d like to know how to activate them more consistently:

  • Where is the proximity/motion sensor located, or where is its detection most sensitive?
  • Is there an alternative way to activate the lights, either in hardware (a button somewhere) or in software?
  • 1
    Never had one, but does it actually spin on the base? Posts seem to suggest that the port light up when you turn it. (Otherwise, would the lights always be on if it was next to a wall?)
    – benwiggy
    Feb 29 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


From what I gather the back panel lights up when it moves from its stationary position. In other words, if you pick it up, it should light up.

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This information was gathered from PC Magazine.com (of all places)

The rear panel—through which you'll connect any expansion devices and peripherals—lights up whenever the body of the Mac Pro is rotated or tipped slightly, as you would when trying to plug something in.

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