If you’re using an iPad Pro or iPad Air, the Magic Keyboard with Trackpad is the best accessory you can get your hands on. It greatly improves the way you use your iPad, thanks to iPadOS’ amazing keyboard and mouse support. But there is a sensitive point and that is the backlight of the Magic Keyboard. Sometimes, it may not work as you expect.
For example, the Magic Keyboard’s backlight may not adjust properly to surrounding ambient light levels. Or it may not close next to your iPad, causing the battery to run out. The following fixes will help you resolve such issues.
Uncover Ambient Light Sensor
Magic Keyboard’s backlight automatically changes in brightness depending on the ambient light level. In dark environments, the intensity of the backlight increases and vice versa. However, the Magic Keyboard does not have its own ambient light sensor. Instead, it uses the one on your iPad.
If the brightness of the backlight doesn’t change automatically based on ambient light, there may be something covering the light sensor in your iPad. In this case, the screen brightness on the iPad may not be adjusted automatically either.
The ambient light sensor is located on the top of the iPad in portrait mode or on the side with the Power/Top button. It is usually on your left when you use the device in landscape mode with your Magic Keyboard. If there is an object blocking the sensor from a light source, consider moving it out of the way.
Manually Adjust Brightness
If nothing is covering the ambient light sensor on your iPad, try adjusting the backlight brightness manually. However, iPadOS complicates this unnecessarily and requires you to dig deep into the Settings app. The steps below should show you how to do this.
Stage 1: Open the Settings app on your iPad.
Step 2: Select General in the sidebar.
Stage 3: Tap Keyboard.
Step 4: Tap Hardware Keyboard.
Step 5: Use the slider under Keyboard Brightness to adjust the brightness of Magic Keyboard’s backlight. Move it to the left to decrease the backlight intensity or to the right to increase the intensity.
Uninstall Magic Keyboard and Force Restart
The backlight on your Magic Keyboard should automatically turn off when you lock (or auto-lock) your iPad. If that doesn’t happen, the Magic Keyboard’s backlight can consume battery life unnecessarily. Force restarting your iPad can help fix this.
It’s best to disconnect your iPad Pro or iPad Air from the Magic Keyboard before initiating a force restart. Once you’ve done that, quickly press and release the Volume Up button. Next, quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Follow along by holding the Top button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
After your iPad force restarts, enter the device passcode to enter the Home screen. Then plug your iPad back into the Magic Keyboard and see if that helps.
Problems with the Magic Keyboard’s backlight date back to when the accessory was released. Apple has since released updates to fix these. For example, if you’re still using iPadOS 13.4, consider upgrading to iPadOS 14 or later. Even if you are using a relatively newer version of iPadOS, it is best to apply the latest iPadOS updates as these can fix recurring backlight related issues on your Magic Keyboard.
Stage 1: Open the Settings app on your iPad.
Step 2: Choose General.
Stage 3: Tap Software Update.
Step 4: If you see an update listed, tap Download and Install to apply it.
reset all settings
If you continue to experience spotty backlight functionality on your Magic Keyboard w/Trackpad, try resetting iPad settings. This will help remove any broken settings that are preventing your Magic Keyboard from working normally.
Resetting the settings will not delete apps, documents or photos on your iPad. However, it does return your public and privacy settings to their defaults, including a number of other settings, so you’ll have to spend time adjusting your preferences from scratch later on.
Stage 1: Disconnect your iPad from Magic Keyboard.
Step 2: Open the Settings app.
Stage 3: Choose General.
Step 4: Tap Reset.
Step 5: Tap Reset All Settings.
Step 6: Enter the device password and tap Reset to confirm.
After the reset procedure, reconnect your iPad to the Magic Keyboard and check if the backlight is working fine.
No More Backlight Boredom
If you continue to experience persistent problems with the Magic Keyboard’s backlight and none of the fixes helped, consider taking the keyboard to the nearest Apple Store or Genius Bar. You may be dealing with a hardware-related error that is impossible to fix entirely on your own.
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