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How to Fix a Macbook Pro Screen that is too Dark

Why is my MacBook Pro screen darker than usual?

The main reason why a MacBook Pro screen is darker than usual due to drained batteries, sleep mode is activated, or a loose HDMI connection.

  • Drained batteries
  • Activated sleep mode
  • Loosely connected cables


Drained batteries

Batteries tend to drain fast if your MacBook Pro has been active for a long time. You can recharge them or replace them with new batteries.


Activated sleep mode

When you take your hands off the keyboard and don’t have any contact with the mouse for long, your MacBook screen tends to go into sleep mode and the screen appears darker than usual.


Loosely connected cables

If the cables are not firmly connected, your screen turns dark. You can unplug the cables and plug them in securely.


Why is my MacBook Pro screen so dark even on full brightness?

Your MacBook Pro screen is dark even when the brightness is set at maximum level due to an erroneous pressing of function keys, a switched OFF ambient light sensor or a pending reset of the NVRAM.

  • Erroneous pressing of Function keys
  • Switched OFF ambient light sensor
  • Pending reset of NVRAM


These are very minor issues that can be resolved in just a few minutes by following the steps given below.


Erroneous pressing of function keys

  1. Press the Fn and F2 keys on your keyboard at the same time.
  2. Repeat this a couple of times.


Switched OFF ambient light sensor 

  1. In the Apple menu, click on System Preferences.
  2. Tap on Display and click Display settings.
  3. Select Automatically adjust brightness or Ambient light compensation.


Reset the NVRAM

  1. Switch OFF your MacBook Pro and switch it ON immediately.
  2. Press the Power button.
  3. Press and hold the OptionCommandP and R keys.
  4. Release the keys as soon as you hear the start-up sound.


Macbook Pro screen is too dark


How do I make my MacBook Pro screen brighter?

You can make your MacBook Pro screen brighter by manually adjusting the brightness levels, using the brightness function keys on your keyboard, or changing the brightness settings to automatic.

  • Manual adjustment of the brightness level
  • Using brightness function keys
  • Changing brightness settings to automatic


These brightness-adjusting issues can be easily resolved in the following manner.


Manual adjustment of brightness level

  1. Go to the Apple menu and click on System preferences.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Adjust the brightness slider according to your preference.


Function keys

  1. Switch ON your Mac.
  2. Press the brightness key with a large sun icon to increase the brightness


Automatic adjustment of brightness

  1. Select System Preferences in the Apple menu.
  2. Tap on Displays.
  3. Select Automatically adjust brightness.


Why is my MacBook Pro brightness not working?

Your MacBook Pro brightness is not working due to display settings not being optimal, a hardware problem, or a pending software update.

  • Non-optimized display settings
  • Hardware problem
  • Pending software update


Display settings are not a very pressing issue. You can resolve them with the instructions given below.


Adjust display settings to optimal

  1. In the top left corner of your MacBook Pro screen, tap on the Apple menu.
  2. Select System preferences.
  3. Click on Displays followed by Display Settings.
  4. If the resolution is set to default, click on Scale.


Hardware problem

Resort to a certified technician to help you resolve the issues.


Pending Software Update 

  1. Tap the Apple menu on the left side of your Mac screen.
  2. Select System preferences.
  3. Click on Software Update.


Best MacBook Pro brightness settings

Some of the best MacBook Pro brightness settings include transparency and contrast and night shift.

  • Transparency and contrast
  • Night shift


Transparency and contrast settings

  1. In the Apple menu select System preferences.
  2. On the left panel, tap on Display.
  3. Under Accessibility, tick the box against Increase contrast or Reduce transparency as per your preferences.


Night shift

  1. Tap System Preferences in the Apple menu.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Click on the Night shift tab.
  4. Schedule the time as per your choice. You can also control the night shift manually.



Why does my MacBook Pro screen keep changing?

Your MacBook Pro screen keeps changing because of default dynamic wallpaper settings, an external display connection to your Mac, or an existing picture database file.


  • Default dynamic wallpaper settings
  1. From the menu bar on your screen, launch System preferences.
  2. Select Desktop & Screen saver.
  3. Click the Desktop tab in the top-left corner of the screen. If you view 3 arrows in a cycle, it implies dynamic wallpaper.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Desktop tab.
  5. Deselect the Change picture option.


  • External display connection to your MacBook Pro
  1. Switch ON your MacBook.
  2. Disconnect the external display from your machine.
  3. Select your desired wallpaper and switch OFF your MacBook.
  4. Restart your MacBook.


  • Delete picture database file
  1. Go to the Finder menu.
  2. Press the ShiftCMD and G keys.
  3. Type ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/desktop picture.db in the dialog box.
  4. Click on Go.
  5. Select and Control+click on the Desktop picture database file.
  6. Click on Move to trash.
  7. Select a static wallpaper of your choice and restart your MacBook Pro.


Why does my MacBook Pro screen keep dimming?

Your MacBook Pro screen keeps dimming because of an enabled auto-dimming setting. Another reason is because the laptop been unplugged from its direct power source.

You can solve these problems by following the instructions given below.


Disable auto-dimming

  1. From the Apple menu, open System preferences.
  2. Click on Energy saver.
  3. Under the Battery tab, uncheck the box next to slightly dim the display when using this power source.
  4. Repeat the same settings under the Power adapter tab.
  5. Close System preferences.


Plugin your MacBook into the power source

  1. Check the connection of your MacBook Pro with its power source.
  2. If the cable is loosely inserted, unplug it and then plug it in firmly.


Disable automatic adjustments

  1. In the Apple menu, tap on System preferences.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Under the Display tab, deselect the box next to Automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes.
  4. Close System preferences.


Why does my MacBook Pro brightness go dim in sunlight?

Your MacBook Pro brightness goes dim in sunlight due to enabled invert colors settings, an enabled ambient light sensor, or enabled auto-dimming settings.

These problems need minor fixes and can be solved with the instructions as follows.


Disable invert colors

  1. From the Apple menu, select System preferences.
  2. Under Accessibility, tap on Display.
  3. Tick-mark the box next to Invert colors.


Disable ambient light sensor

  1. On the top menu bar of your MacBook Pro, click on the Apple icon.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select System preferences and click on the Displays option.
  3. On the next screen, click the Display tab.
  4. Uncheck the box next to the option for Automatically adjust brightness.


Disable auto-dimming settings

  1. In the Apple menu, click the system preferences option.
  2. Tap on Battery and select the Battery option.
  3. Deselect the check box next to Slightly dim the display when using this power source.
  4. Return to System preferences.
  5. Select the Displays system preference panel.
  6. Untick the box next to Automatically adjust brightness.
  7. Close System preferences.


How to turn off dark mode on MacBook Pro?

You can turn OFF dark mode on MacBook Pro by disabling the dark mode or by changing the settings in the dynamic desktop images.

Follow the instructions given below to resolve these glitches.


  • Disable dark mode
  1. From the Apple menu, go to System preferences.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Light next to Appearance.


  • Change setting in dynamic desktop images
  1. Launch System preferences.
  2. Select Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Tap on Desktop and locate Dynamic Desktop images.
  4. From the drop-down menu, click on Light (Still).


How to fix a MacBook Pro screen that is too dark?

You can fix a MacBook Pro screen that is too dark by examining the USB-C ports, disabling the sleep mode, or adjusting the brightness level.

These issues can be resolved in a matter of minutes with the following instructions.


Examine the USB-C ports

  1. Use a magnifying glass to examine the USB-C ports.
  2. If you find any debris, try to gently clean it with a soft toothbrush. Alternately, you can use a toothpick covered with soft cotton and try to remove the dirt.
  3. If the USB-C ports are damaged, you can have them replaced at a certified Mac outlet.


Disable the sleep mode

  1. From the Apple menu, select System preferences.
  2. Click on Energy saver.
  3. In the Energy saver panel, locate the Turn display off after slider.
  4. Roll the slider to Never to prevent your Mac from sleeping and the screen going dark.


Adjust the brightness level settings

  1. Select System preferences from the Apple menu on your Mac screen.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Drag the brightness slider to adjust the brightness of your Mac.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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