How to Turn Off or On and Troubleshoot the Backlit Keyboard on Your Dell Notebook Computer


How to Turn Off or On and Troubleshoot the Backlit Keyboard on Your Dell Notebook Computer



Depending on the model of your Dell computer and the features that are installed, it may or may not have a backlit keyboard.

The easiest way to determine whether your computer is equipped with a backlit keyboard is to look at the F10, F6, or right arrow key (located in the lower right-hand corner). If none of these keys have the illumination icon printed on it, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.

Refer to Table 1 to see what the icon looks like and what key combinations to use for toggling the brightness options on your keyboard.

Possible Backlit Keyboard Key Combinations
Press the Notebook F10 Key key.
Note: When nothing happens while pressing the F10 key,
press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook Esc Key key, and try again.
Press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook F6 Key key.
Press and hold the Notebook Fn Key key and press the Notebook Right Arrow Key key.
Note: This is the right arrow key, which is located in the lower right-hand corner.
Figure 1: Backlit Keyboard Key Combinations.

If the key combinations do not toggle through the options, make sure the computer has the latest System Setup (BIOS) and is configured correctly.

Select your computer model from the Table of Contents and follow the instructions for updating the BIOS and changing the settings on the keyboard back light. Your backlit keyboard may have options other than off (disabled), dim, or bright.

Over time, many models of Dell computers have had different BIOS interfaces and different options depending on the hardware in the computer. Once in the BIOS, you must configure your BIOS interface to match the instructions below.


Table of Contents:

  1. Latitude Computers
  2. Precision Computers
  3. Vostro Computers
  4. XPS Computers
  5. Inspiron Computers
  6. G Series Computers
  7. Additional Information Resources

1. Latitude Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

    3. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

    4. Click Keyboard Illumination.

      Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.

      Depending on the version of the BIOS on your computer, you may have different options.

      On the newer versions of the BIOS, the options may be:

      • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
      • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
      • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
        Note: There may be another option listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu, Keyboard Backlight with AC. When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.

      On an older version of the BIOS, the options may be:

      • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
      • Auto ALS and Input - The keyboard automatically illuminates in dim lighting conditions when the internal keyboard, touchpad, or pointstick is used. When using this setting, the Ambient Light Sensor has to be set to Enable in the BIOS.
        To set the Ambient Light Sensor to Enable, perform the following steps:
        1. Click the + sign next to Video in the System Configuration menu.

        2. Click Ambient Light Sensor.

        3. Select Enable.

      • Auto Input Only - The keyboard illuminates when the internal keyboard, touchpad, or pointstick is used.
    5. Click Apply, and then Exit.

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2. Precision Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

    3. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

    4. Click Keyboard Illumination.

      Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.

      Depending on the version of the BIOS on your computer, you may have different options.

      On the newer versions of the BIOS, the options may be:

      • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
      • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
      • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
        Note: Other options listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu may include:
        • Keyboard Backlight Timeout on AC - Allows you to set how long the backlight stays on while on AC power.
        • Keyboard Backlight Timeout on Battery - Allows you to set how long the backlight stays on while on battery power.
        • Keyboard Backlight with AC - When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.

      On an older version of the BIOS, the options may be:

      • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
      • Auto ALS and Input - The keyboard automatically illuminates in dim lighting conditions when the internal keyboard, touchpad, or pointstick are used. When using this setting, the Ambient Light Sensor has to be set to Enable in the BIOS.
        To set the Ambient Light Sensor to Enable, perform the following steps:
        1. Click the + sign next to Video in the System Configuration menu.

        2. Click Ambient Light Sensor.

        3. Select Enable.

      • Auto Input Only - The keyboard illuminates when the internal keyboard, touchpad, or pointstick is used.
    5. Click Apply, and then Exit.

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3. Vostro Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

    3. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

    4. Click Keyboard Illumination.

      Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.

      The options are:

      • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
      • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
      • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
        Note: There may be another option listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu: Keyboard Backlight with AC. When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.
    5. Click Apply, and then Exit.

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4. XPS Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

      Depending on the version of the BIOS on your computer, you may have different options.

      On the newer versions of the BIOS:

      1. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

      2. Click Keyboard Illumination.

        Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.
        • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
        • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
        • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
          Note: There may be another option listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu, Keyboard Backlight with AC. When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.
      3. Click Apply, and then Exit.

      On older versions of the BIOS:

      1. Look on the Main BIOS screen for Keyboard Type - backlite.

        Notes:
        • When Keyboard Type - backlite is not shown, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.
        • In this version of the BIOS, when Keyboard Type - backlite is shown, the backlit keyboard is automatically enabled and there are no configuration options.

      2. Press the Esc key to exit the BIOS.

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5. Inspiron Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

      Depending on the version of the BIOS on your computer, you may have different options.

      On some versions of the BIOS:

      1. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

      2. Click Keyboard Illumination.

        Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.
        • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
        • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
        • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
          Note: There may be another option listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu: Keyboard Backlight with AC. When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.
      3. Click Apply, and then Exit.

      On other versions of the BIOS:

      1. Look on the Main BIOS screen for Keyboard Type - backlite.

        Notes:
        • When Keyboard Type - backlite is not shown, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.
        • In this version of the BIOS, when Keyboard Type - backlite is shown, the backlit keyboard is automatically enabled and there are no configuration options.
      2. Press the Esc key to exit the BIOS.

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6. G Series Computers

  1. Make sure the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?

  2. Make sure the Keyboard backlit option is enabled in the BIOS.
    1. With the computer powered off, press the power button.

    2. Immediately start pressing the F2 key once per second (if the computer boots into Windows, shut down the computer and try again).

      Depending on the version of the BIOS on your computer, you may have different options.

      On some versions of the BIOS:

      1. Click the + sign next to System Configuration.

      2. Click Keyboard Illumination.

        Note: If Keyboard Illumination is not an option, your computer does not have a backlit keyboard.
        • Disabled or Off - The keyboard illumination is off.
        • Dim - The keyboard illumination is at half brightness.
        • Bright - The keyboard illumination is at full brightness.
          Note: There may be another option listed under Keyboard Illumination in the System Configuration menu: Keyboard Backlight with AC. When enabled, you can use the brightness level keys on the keyboard to set the brightness level.
      3. Click Apply, and then Exit.

      Back to Top


      6. Additional Information Resources

      How to resolve LED issues with your Backlit Keyboard using the latest Dell Utility
      Provides information about issues with the keyboard backlight caused by the various backlit keyboard settings and utilities and how to resolve them.

      Back to Top






Article ID: SLN153665

Last Date Modified: 06/19/2020 02:37 AM

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