You can pair your Apple iPad Pro or iPad Air with a Magic Keyboard with Trackpad for a comfortable, desktop-like setup. With it, you can really take advantage of the iPadOS ‘stellar keyboard and mouse support. But there is a sore spot, and that is the backlight of the Magic Keyboard. Sometimes the backlight can act funky and not as long as you expect.
For example, the backlight of the Magic Keyboard may not adjust properly to surrounding ambient light levels. Or, it may not turn off next to your iPad and end up draining the battery. The following fixes should help you resolve these issues.
Discover the ambient light sensor
The Magic Keyboard’s backlight automatically changes brightness according to the ambient light level. In a dark environment, the backlight increases in intensity and vice versa. However, the Magic Keyboard does not have its own ambient light sensor. Instead, it uses the one from your iPad.
If the backlight brightness doesn’t automatically change based on the ambient light, there’s probably something covering your iPad’s light sensor. In this case, the screen brightness on the iPad may also not adjust automatically.
The ambient light sensor is located on the top of the iPad in portrait mode or on the side that contains the power button. Usually it is on your left when using the device in landscape mode with your Magic Keyboard. If there is an object in the path blocking the sensor from a light source, consider moving it away.
Adjust brightness manually
If nothing is covering your iPad’s ambient light sensor, try adjusting the backlight brightness manually. However, iPadOS makes this unnecessarily complicated and forces you to dive deep into the Settings app. The following steps should show you how to do this.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPad.
2nd step: Select General from the sidebar.
Step 3: Tap Keyboard.
Step 4: Tap Hardware keyboard.
Step 5: Use the slider under Keyboard Brightness to adjust the brightness of the Magic Keyboard’s backlight. Move it to the left to decrease the backlight intensity, or move it to the right to increase the intensity.
Remove Magic Keyboard and Force Restart
Your Magic Keyboard’s backlight is supposed to turn off automatically when you lock your iPad (or when it locks automatically). If this does not happen, the backlight of the Magic Keyboard may end up using the battery unnecessarily. Force restarting your iPad can help resolve this issue.
It is best to detach your iPad Pro or iPad Air from the Magic Keyboard before initiating the force restart. Once you’ve done that, quickly press and release the volume up button. Then quickly press and release the volume down button. Follow up by pressing and holding the top button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
After force restarting your iPad, enter the device passcode to access the home screen. Then put your iPad back on the Magic Keyboard and check if that helped.
Also on Guiding Tech
Magic Keyboard’s backlighting issues date back to the accessory’s release date. Apple has since released updates to correct them. If you’re still using iPadOS 13.4, for example, consider upgrading to iPadOS 14 or later. Even if you are using a relatively recent version of iPadOS, it is best to apply the latest iPadOS updates, as they may fix recurring issues with the backlight on your Magic Keyboard.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPad.
2nd step: Select General.
Step 3: Tap Software Update.
Step 4: If you see an update listed, tap Download & Install to apply it.
Reset all settings
If you continue to enjoy the patchy backlight feature on your Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, try resetting the iPad settings. This should help remove any corrupt settings that are preventing your Magic Keyboard from working normally.
A settings reset does not remove any apps, documents, or photos from your iPad. But, this will reset your general and privacy settings, including a host of other settings, to their default values, so you’ll have to spend some time setting up your preferences from scratch afterwards.
Step 1: Detach your iPad from the Magic Keyboard.
2nd step: Open the Settings app.
Step 3: Select General.
Step 4: Tap on Reset.
Step 5: Tap Reset all settings.
Step 6: Enter the device passcode and press Reset to confirm.
After the reset procedure, reconnect your iPad to Magic Keyboard and check if the backlight is working fine.
No more backlighting problems
Hope our solutions help you to enjoy Magic Keyboard backlight. If you continue to have issues with the Magic Keyboard backlight and none of the help fixes, you should take it to your nearest Apple Store or Genius Bar. You might be facing a hardware problem that cannot be solved on your own.
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Last updated on Dec 15, 2020
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