How to Disable Auto-Brightness on Mac

George Herman
George Herman
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Mac users often don’t know how to change the screen brightness of their computer. For that reason, we wrote a How to Guide to help you solve this issue.

In this case, the first thing that Mac users should know is that the screen brightness can be changed via the function keys on their Mac keyboard or in the macOS user interface via System Preferences, or a third party utility.

If your Mac has built-in display, it uses an ambient light sensor and can then automatically raise or lower your Mac’s screen brightness accordingly. However, in a room with low light, your screen will dim itself immediately.

At the same time, if you’re using your laptop on a sunny place, it automatically brightens up its display which you may find not convenient. Thus, you should be able to control the light levels of your screen manually. This is how you can do this.

Disable Auto-Brightness in macOS

  1. Open the Apple Menu at the upper-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Select the Displays panel and under the Display tab, deselect “Automatically adjust brightness”.

As soon as you deselect the Automatically adjust brightness option, your screen will no longer brighten or dim automatically.

Now you will be able to manually adjust that setting either from System Preferences > Displays > Display panel using the “Brightness” slider, or by using function keys (or the Touch Bar) on your keyboard. Usually, the function keys are F1 and F2, but you’ll recognize them easily by the sun icons on them.

Another way to disable auto-brightness functionality is by doing so for your backlit keyboard. If you have a laptop with glowing keys, you can either let it decide how bright to make that glow, or you can define the brightness level manually. Here it is how to do this.

  1. Open the Apple Menu. 
  2. Go to System Preferences. 
  3. Select Keyboard and under the “Keyboard” tab deselect Adjust keyboard brightness in low light.”

If you want to change the brightness after completing the steps above, you can use the function keys (usually F5 and F6) or the controls on your Touch Bar with sun icons on them.

Through System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard, you can configure how long you’d like the backlight to stay on after you stop using your Mac to prevent a battery drain and make the life of your Mac much longer.

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