How to Turn On the Keyboard Light on a Lenovo Laptop

A keyboard shortcut can turn the backlight on (or off)

What to Know

  • Press the Function (Fn) and Spacebar keys simultaneously to turn on the keyboard backlight.
  • Continue using this shortcut to increase the brightness or turn the keyboard backlight off.
  • You can also control the keyboard backlight with Lenovo's Vantage software.

The keyboard light on a Lenovo laptop makes typing easy even in a pitch-black room. Many different models of Lenovo laptops have a keyboard backlight, but nearly all of them turn on and off using the same shortcut. Here's how to turn on the keyboard light on a Lenovo laptop.

How to Turn On the Keyboard Light on a Lenovo Laptop

These steps work for Lenovo IdeaPad and ThinkPad laptops which have a keyboard backlight.

  1. Find the keyboard backlight shortcut key on your Lenovo laptop. Most Lenovo laptops place it on the Spacebar.

  2. Press the Function key (abbreviated as Fn) and backlight shortcut key (typically the Spacebar) at the same time.

  3. Most Lenovo laptops offer several levels of keyboard backlight brightness. You can press the Function and backlight shortcut key again to increase brightness. Continuing to activate the shortcut will eventually cycle the keyboard backlight back off.

A photo of a Lenovo laptop keyboard with the Function and Spacebar keys shown


How to Turn On a Lenovo ThinkLight

Older Lenovo ThinkPad laptops did not have a keyboard backlight and instead used a built-in LED lamp called the ThinkLight. It's at the top of the display and shines down on the keyboard, providing usable light for both the keyboard and any nearby documents.


Here's how to turn it on.

  1. Find the ThinkLight shortcut key. This is typically the Page Up key, which may be abbreviated as PgUp.

  2. Press the Function key (abbreviated as Fn) and the Page Up key simultaneously.

  3. To turn the ThinkLight off, press the Function key and Page Up key simultaneously again.

A photo of the Lenovo ThinkLight button on a Lenovo ThinkPad T420s


Does My Lenovo Laptop Have a Backlit Keyboard?

You can quickly tell if your Lenovo laptop has a backlit keyboard by searching for the keyboard backlight shortcut, which, again, is typically found on the Spacebar. Lenovo laptops that don't have backlighting will not have this shortcut printed on the keyboard.

Why Is the Keyboard on My Lenovo Laptop Not Lighting Up?

It might sound a little funny, but the most common reason a Lenovo keyboard is not lighting up is that there isn't one on your laptop. Lenovo still sells less-expensive laptops which don't include a keyboard backlight. You'll know this is true if you can't find the keyboard backlight shortcut on the keyboard.

If your Lenovo laptop does have a keyboard backlight, but the keyboard shortcut doesn't work, try activating it with Lenovo's Vantage software. The keyboard backlight's toggle is in the Inputs & Accessories section.

Are you still having trouble? See if the backlight is turned off in the laptop's BIOS. Restart and press Enter at the boot screen (which displays a Lenovo logo). Then press F1 to enter the BIOS. The BIOS menu can vary significantly between laptops but look for a Keyboard or Keyboard/Mouse menu. Open it and search for a Keyboard Backlight field. If it's off or otherwise disabled, turn it on. Save your settings and exit BIOS.

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