How To Change Gaming Keyboard Light Settings – Tips and Tricks

A backlit keyboard emits light from underneath its keys. This increases the visibility of the symbols and letters on the keys when you are working in dark environments. Often, the backlight also illuminates the tiny spaces surrounding the keys, further enhancing the keyboard's visibility. Most keyboards with backlights allow for adjusting the brightness levels and allow you to change gaming keyboard light settings.

To change gaming keyboard light settings require pressing keyboard shortcuts. To turn off the backlight, try pressing the F5, F9, or F1 keys, alternatively it may require a dual-action Fn + F5, F9, or F11 key combination. Use the F5 button to change the colors on a laptop keyboard. Simultaneously press the "Fn" + "F5" keys to change the light colors on other keyboards. 

If the gaming keyboard does not light up when issuing the above commands, increase the brightness to ensure the lighting can be seen. If the keyboard does not emit light at all, try updating the drivers and running the keyboard troubleshooter to find the problem. 

Gaming keyboard light settings can be changed easily with shortcuts. The backlighting of a gaming keyboard illuminates the keys for better identification in the dark.
A backlit keyboard illuminates the keys so that they are easier to see. Image Source: Amazon.

Similarly, you might find interest in learning more about how to use a mouse and keyboard for Xbox gaming. If so, be sure to check out our related article for more information.

How To Turn Off the Gaming Keyboard Light and How To Turn It Back On

The vast majority of modern laptops come with keyboard backlights. The keyboard backlight feature can be turned OFF and ON by issuing simple commands or by accessing software settings. 

To turn off the gaming keyboard light go to the Windows Mobility Center, locate the keyboard backlighting feature, and click it to access light settings.

This article by HP explains how to animate, customize, or install keyboard backlight color on any iOS or Windows laptop.

Gaming keyboard light settings can be accessed and changed in the settings of your computer.
The settings on a backlit keyboard can be configured in the Windows Mobility Control Center. Image Source: Amazon.

To turn off keyboard backlighting proceed as follows:

Step 1. Go to Windows Mobility Center

Type "Windows Mobility Center" into the search bar and when it appears click on it.

Step 2. Click on Keyboard Backlighting

Locate and click on "keyboard backlighting." A window with the keyboard light settings will appear. Here, you can turn off your keyboard backlight.

Your gaming keyboard light settings can be accessed and changed by navigating to your settings menu.
Adjust your keyboard backlight in your settings menu. Image source: Techsupportall.

To turn the keyboard backlighting back on proceed as follows:

Step 3. Access the Hardware and Sound Settings

Go to Start, then access the Control Panel and locate the Hardware and Sound settings and click it.

Go to your control panel and in the settings menu turn your keyboard’s backlighting back on.
Turn the keyboard backlighting back on by accessing the control panel interface. Image source: Techjunkie.

Step 4. Go To the Windows Mobility Center and Click Keyboard Backlighting

From the Hardware and Sound interface, locate and click “Windows Mobility Center”, then click “Keyboard Backlighting” as specified before. 

Step 5. Locate and Click the “ON” Button.

On the Keyboard backlighting tab, activate the keyboard backlight by clicking the "ON" button and then pressing OK.

Click the “On” button to turn the backlighting back on.
Turn keyboard lighting on or off in the final interface of the keyboard backlight settings. Image source: Techjunkie.

What Is the Difference Between RGB and LED Keyboards?

Generally, there are two types of keyboards classified according to their type of lighting - RGB keyboards and LED keyboards. Both keyboard types have lighting features that add to their functionality and aesthetic appearance. 

The difference between RGB keyboards and LED keyboards is primarily the extent to which lighting can be optimized. RGB keyboards often allow for selecting any of 16+ million color shades and applying them on a per-key basis, whether individually or in sets. Led keyboards tend to display just a few primary colors and sometimes only a single preset color. 

Our article about how keyboards work explains the basic keyboard functions and the various types of keyboards.

Keyboard choice is a personal preference that affects user experience and comfort as this article from the Journal of Biomechanics explains. Backlighting on a keyboard improves keystroke accuracy and reduces eye strain. Gamers may want to opt for an RGB keyboard as it allows for easier locating of keys due to the option to light each key, or set of keys, separately. For work purposes, an LED keyboard will do just fine.

Lighting on RGB & LED keyboards improves keystroke accuracy and reduces eyestrain.
RGB and LED backlit keyboards can be lit in different ways to look completely different. Image Source: Razer.

RGB Keyboards

RGB keyboards like this one can display almost the entire spectrum of colors visible to the human eye. The keyboard software lets you choose your favorite colors and program them to appear on specific keys or in unique sequences. They are the ideal choice for gamers who want to create a vibrant ambiance while playing or in sleep mode. For more on RGB keyboards see this article by Lenovo.

An RGB keyboard can display nearly the entire spectrum of colors visible to the naked eye.
An RGB keyboard can display a sequence of color effects. Image Source: Amazon.

LED Keyboards

LED keyboards like this one come with a single light color or limited light color choices. They can allow for lighting presets by only lighting certain keys and leaving others unilluminated. They are the ideal choice for gamers who have a set color scheme for their other gaming peripherals and aren’t looking for color variations. See this article by backlighting manufacturer Nelson Miller to read more about LED keyboards.

Check out this video tutorial by Mysterious that explains more about changing the color settings on your keyboard.

Led keyboards can only display one color but can be set to highlight different areas or keys of a keyboard.
A LED keyboard will display one color. Image Source: Amazon.

Some Examples of RGB and LED Keyboards

Type of Keyboard Features Examples
RGB Keyboard 16.8 Million Lighting Colors Backlit Keys, Spill-Resistant Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard
RGB Mechanical Keyboard OPX RGB Optical-Mechanical Keyswitches Corsair K100 Rgb Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
LED Keyboard LED backlighting and large font keycaps Corsair K63 Wireless Special Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
LED Mechanical Keyboard 7 Light colors, with breathing modes and speed selection Bakth 7 Colors Led Backlit Gaming Keyboard

Make sure you also take a look at these e-gaming keyboard layout tips and tricks for more detailed information. Additionally, be sure to read these articles to find out how many keys are on a gaming keyboard and what makes gaming keyboards so expensive.

How To Change the Color of an RGB Keyboard - Step-by-Step

Keyboards have different types of options available for changing their backlit color. Users can choose from a specific sequence of color combinations and effects, as well as the speed of color transitions and intensity. Most color changes are not complicated to perform. Adjusting RGB keyboard color can often be done in a few minutes.

To change the RGB keyboard color, first ensure that the keyboard lights are on. Next, press the FN and C button simultaneously and select lighting. Lastly, click the static option and select the preferred color.

Gamers are fond of customizing their keyboards and mice because it creates an immersive feeling to their gameplay. However, sometimes they might want to turn off game mode and revert to more subdued settings to perform work tasks on the computer. Our article about how to turn off gaming mode on a keyboard explains how to disable the game lighting sequences. We will now explain which steps to take to change an RGB keyboard’s color. 

Customizing the colors of a gaming keyboard enhances the feeling of being immersed in a game.
Pressing the "FN" button is an easy way to change an RGB keyboard’s color. Image source: Grafixfather.

Follow these steps to change the color of an RGB keyboard:

Step 1. Press FN and C Simultaneously

Press the "FN" + "C" simultaneously on the keyboard. The keyboard backlighting color wheel will appear on the screen. This color wheel displays all the light options for the backlit keyboard. Next, select the "Lighting" option on the left navigation sidebar.

Step 2. Select “Static” From the Options and Choose a Color

Once on the "Lighting" option tab, three options appear, these are the "Animation", "Static", and "Off" options. If you want to select the keyboard backlit color manually, you have to choose the option labeled "Static." When clicked, you can select the color you wish to see as your keyboard backlight.

How To Change Keyboard Backlight Settings in Windows

There are several ways to change keyboard backlight settings in Windows. You could adjust the blacklight brightness if the intensity is too low. You could switch the keyboard backlight on or off manually, or you could adjust the keyboard settings by enabling the sleep timer so that the keyboard backlight automatically turns off after a specified time when not in use.  

To change keyboard backlight settings when using Windows, access settings or try adjusting the backlight brightness, or set a keyboard backlight sleep timer. 

Follow these steps to change your keyboard backlight settings in Windows:

Step 1. Turn the Lighting on Using the Windows Mobility Center.

Search and open "Windows Mobility Center" from your computer's search bar. Once opened, locate and click "Keyboard Backlighting" to change your keyboard backlight.

Step 2. Adjust Backlight Brightness and Sleep Functions

Once in the Keyboard Backlighting menu, you can adjust the ON or OFF button, the keyboard backlight brightness, and the keyboard backlight sleep timer to your preference.

Once the gaming keyboard backlighting menu has been accessed various settings can be adjusted including the sleep timer and brightness.
This keyboard backlighting menu allows for optimizing lighting. Image source: Techsupportall.

You may also want to know how to fix a key not working on a gaming keyboard. Be sure to read our related article to find out more.

How To Customize Keyboard Backlight Settings on a Mac

When considering Apple Mac keyboards for gaming be mindful of the fact that they don’t have the same features as regular gaming keyboards. So, changing gaming keyboard light settings will be a little bit different. 

To customize keyboard backlight settings as well as function keys on a Mac go to the Apple System Preferences, click the Keyboard symbol, then click Keyboard again, and access “Keyboard System Preferences”. 

Apple Magic keyboards like this one don’t have backlit keys because they are not really intended for gaming. However, Apple Macbooks do have backlit keyboards and their backlighting adjustments can be set using the Apple preferences menu as described in this article from Apple support. Mac users can change their Apple keyboards to ones like this one so that they can have RGB lighting effects.

Easily change the backlight settings on your Mac computer by following these steps:

Step 1. Go to the Control Center and Click the Keyboard Brightness Tab

Open your Mac's Control Center widget, then click the "Keyboard Brightness" tab.

The brightness of the keyboard backlight can be adjusted on a Mac computer by clicking “Keyboard Brightness."
Click the “Keyboard Brightness” tab to set the keyboard backlight on a Mac. Image source: Geekupdate.

Step 2. Adjust and Customize the Backlight in the Menu

Now that the keyboard panel is opened, you can adjust and customize your Mac's keyboard backlight however you wish.

Various settings can be adjusted including the keyboard backlight sleep timer.
Navigate to the keyboard settings interface to set a keyboard backlight on a Mac computer. Image source: Geekupdated.

Why Won't My Gaming Keyboard Light Up?

Even the best gaming keyboards can malfunction. If your keyboard is not functioning properly you will need to troubleshoot the possible causes of problems including a backlight issue. 

A gaming keyboard that doesn't light up could be the result of USB port problems, outdated drivers, or an old and faulty keyboard.

We have several articles covering how to troubleshoot computer component issues, like our article about how to quickly fix a gaming mouse that is slow.

To fix keyboard lighting problems first try restarting your computer or laptop and then try the following fixes: 

Fix 1. Increase the Brightness of the Keyboard Backlight

To increase the brightness of the keyboard backlight all you need to do is open the control panel and visit the mobility center. To do so first check your computer's model and the installed features. Check whether the illumination icon is printed on the F10, F6, or right arrow keys. 

Open the Control Panel. From there, select Windows Mobility Center. Navigate to the "Keyboard backlighting" icon or "Keyboard Properties" icon (depending on the laptop brand) on the Windows Mobility Center and click it. A keyboard backlit window will come up. Choose “ON” under "Keyboard Lighting." To adjust the keyboard brightness, choose either the “Bright” or “Dim” option. Remember to click “OK” after you have made the desired changes.

Fix 2. Connect Your Keyboard to Every USB Port

A faulty USB port can be the cause of the keyboard malfunctioning. Try unplugging the keyboard from its port and plugging it into a different port. Also, try plugging the keyboard into another computer to determine if the keyboard or port is the issue. 

Fix 3. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter

If the keyboard lighting does not work no matter which USB port you are using, run the keyboard troubleshooter to diagnose the problem.

Type Troubleshoot Settings in the Start menu and click on the top result. Then, select the "Additional Troubleshooters" option. Next, scroll down and click on the keyboard under "Find and Fix Other Problems." Select the "Run the troubleshooter" option and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.

Fix 4. Update the Keyboard Drivers

If the keyboard is still not working correctly, update your drivers. An outdated or corrupt driver can cause the lights of your keyboard to malfunction. Keyboard manufacturers usually have a downloads page on their websites, like this one from Corsair, where users can download and install the latest software for their keyboards. When the keyboard backlight is not working, you should ensure the keyboard driver is installed correctly. To update your keyboard driver right-click on “Start”, go to “Device manager”, go to “Keyboard menu”, right-click  your “Keyboard driver”, and select "Update driver". After a few minutes, the driver update should be complete and all that remains is to check that the keyboard backlight is turned on.


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