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I have a Retina Display MacBook Pro with the latest OSX and also installed Windows 8 RTM on BootCamp.

I hadn't logged into BootCamp in a few weeks, so I dont recall if the backlit keyboard ever worked on bootcamp or not. The thing is, I haven't been able to make it backlit.

I installed Power Plan Assistant (and Trackpad++), and the "Turn Off backlit keyboard" option doesnt do anything. I thought if I clicked on it, it'd toggle whatever setting it is it uses to actually turn it off, and I could use that to turn it on.

As far as I know, I have the latest bootcamp drivers (i update anytime I get an alert about that), and the latest windows drivers on the bootcamp install.

I've googled extensively about how to manually turn the backlit keyboard on on a bootcamp partition, but haven't find anything. I tried dimming the display to 0, then to the max, and that doesnt work.

If it helps at all, my function keys don't work either on bootcamp.

Any ideas?

  • I've just confirmed that it was the Power Plan Assistant install that disabled my backlit keyboard. After a full BootCamp/Win8 reinstall, the back light was back on. But as soon as I installed PPA, it went off, with no way to turning it back on. I've contacted PPA support and will try to fiddle with some settings to see if there's a way to make it work. – GR7 Oct 28 '12 at 23:25
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Keyboard lights work perfectly in both W7 and W8. (and Fn F5 and Fn F6 control the intensity)

Try reinstalling the WindowsSupport files (which reinstalls the keyboard driver), you should not lose T++ functionality, but if you do just reinstall it (Power Plan Assist reinstallation is not needed)

Sometimes after some sleep-wake cycles the dimmer function stops working (Pressing Fn F5-F6 brings up a gray panel with a disabled sign), rebooting fixes the problem.

  • Rostol, have you confirmed that it is actually the keyboard driver that is related to the backlight on the keyboard being enabled? – GR7 Oct 28 '12 at 23:23
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    Well, given that I'm an OSX noob and this is my first mac, this is what happened, in case it happens to another OSX noob on Boot Camp. Power Plan Assistant automatically turns the backlit keyboard off as soon as you install it, BUT it incorrectly shows the menu option "Turn off Keyboard Backlight", as if indicating that it is on, when it isnt. Just pressing F6 will turn the keyboard backlight on. Thanks Rostol – GR7 Oct 29 '12 at 3:18
  • I just confirmed that this works quite well. I now have media keys and a backlit keyboard. – Matthew Doyle Nov 7 '12 at 22:43
  • This is the correct answer, confirmed by trying now; google brought me here, but you have made life much better! Thank you, sir, ma'am or whatever title you prefer! – daf May 25 '18 at 18:32
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When you log-in, after bootcamp.exe start, you will hear a sound like bing and then the keyboard lights will turn on. Sometimes, Windows is updated and maybe make the lights doesn't work.

If you don't see the lights, go to Task Manager, and look up bootcamp.exe. In case it's own CPU field > 0%, a sign is easily found by right click on Bootcamp icon on Taskbar, it will slow down to open popup, you just kill process bootcamp.exe. Then try re-launch it and wait until CPU field is 0%.

I'm usually facing this problem and this way is always good for me.

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I got this working without driver updates or anything like that! Just for reference, today is 9/21/19 and I'm using Bootcamp on a MacBook Pro, Windows 10 Pro (but my guess is this will work with any Win 8 or 10).

  • Go to Task Bar and click Bootcamp icon.
  • Click Bootcamp Control Panel.
  • Click Keyboard.
  • Uncheck the box that says "Adjust Keyboard brightness in low light".
  • Where it says "Turn off keyboard backlight when computer is not used for" - Choose "Never".

This worked for me but two caveats: I mostly use my laptop plugged in but if you don't, this will probably drain your battery a little faster than usual, and there was some DELAY when doing a Restart:

When I do Power, Restart - this is what happens:

  • I see the Windows background (Keyboard backlight is off).
  • Wait a few seconds.
  • Windows background / date & time blinks.
  • WAIT around 30 SECONDS OR MORE!
  • Keyboard backlight comes on!

After that, when I close and then re-open the laptop, the keyboard backlight comes on immediately!

Hope that helps someone!

PS - After doing this, I tried to adjust the brightness using Fn + F5 / F6 and it made the keyboard lights go out, but a Restart fixed it.

Update 11/16/19: After the Windows 10 update yesterday this no longer works. If anyone has a solution please post it!!!

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