Stop the MacBook Pro and MacBook Screen from Dimming
The MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro screen backlighting is set to automatically dim and adjust in different situations. For the MacBook, it will adjust based on the power source and based on how long the computer is not in use. For the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the same is also true, in addition to the screen adjusting it’s brightness level based upon ambient light differences and power source changes.
If you’re not happy with these automatic brightness adjustments, here is how to disable auto-brightness features on Mac to stop the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro screens from dimming themselves without user input.
This is a two stage process based covering a few different settings, first you’ll stop the brightness changes from dimming based on power sources, and then you’ll prevent the Mac from changing the screen brightness based upon lighting conditions.
How to Stop the MacBook & MacBook Pro Screen from Dimming
The MacBook, Air, and MacBook Pro will both automatically dim the screen if running on battery, or if the computer is left alone for a period of time. Here is how to disable these features:
- Open “System Preferences” from the Apple menu
- Click on “Energy Saver”, then go under “Battery” tab first
- Unselect the check box next to “Slightly dim the display when using this power source”
- Unselect the checkbox next to “Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep”
- Repeat the same settings adjustments under the “Power Adapter” tab if desired
- Close System Preferences
Now you’ll want to move along to the next stage, which stops the MacBook screens from dimming themselves based upon lighting conditions in the area the Mac is being used in.
How to Stop the MacBook Pro / Air Screen from Dimming with Ambient Light
Now if you have a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and your screen is still dimming, it is because of the ambient light sensor. You can prevent the auto-dimming by turning off automatic adjustments:
- Stay in System Preferences, otherwise open it again from the Apple menu
- Click on “Displays” then look under the “Display” tab
- Unselect the checkbox next to “Automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes”
- Close System Preferences
The language may vary slightly from versions of Mac OS X and from Macbook to Mac, and newer versions of Mac OS X label this setting more simply as “Automatically adjust brightness” – the setting has the same effect though.
Changes to both of these take effect immediately.
Note that if you are running on battery and you disable the screen dimming features that you will lose some length in battery life. The only exception to that would be if you are particularly good at maintaining brightness levels yourself by tapping the brightness buttons on the keyboard.
As is always applicable with any gadgets, be them Macs, smartphones, whatever, battery life is better with a lower brightness setting on any display, so always try to find the best balance between lower brightness levels and battery life for your needs.