How to Fix Asus Keyboard Backlight Not Working

For some users, they are just some fancy LEDs, but for others, these backlights are more than just fancy LEDs, they are a crucial element of most high-end Asus laptops; a brand known for superior quality and high performance.

Not just do these backlights make the Asus laptops more visually appealing, they also make them easier to use in the dark. As such, waking up to a dysfunctional backlight takes away some shine form the ace brand and makes it less convenient to use at night.

Common forms of this problem.

  1. Backlight stopped working after reinstalling or upgrading to Windows 10.
  2. Backlight works fine during startup, but afterwards it turns off completely.
  3. The backlight is uncontrollable (Keeps to one level of intensity).
  4. Backlight flashes continuously.
  5. Backlight not displaying at all.

Potential Causes

Depending on the events that happened before you began experiencing this problem, the causes could range from hardware to software related issues. On the software side, is usually issues with the drivers. Either the drivers are not installed of they are corrupt.

On the hardware side, it could be that the cable connecting the keyboard backlight is disconnected (This is more likely if you recently performed hardware repairs on your laptop). It could also be that the laptop has experienced some other error that could be hindering the backlight functionality.

In any of these cases, below are various suggestions that can resolve these problems. Any of these solutions could effectively resolve one or more of the above-listed forms of this problem. It is however recommended that you apply these fixes in the order they are presented so as to avoid further complications to this problem.

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SOLUTION 1: Hard Restart Your Laptop

This is a quick way to start troubleshooting this problem. Here first shut down the laptop and remove all power sources. This includes the battery and the AC source. If you have an internal battery and not able to open up your laptop to detach the battery connector, then you can try to press and hold down the power button until the laptop shuts down completely, then boot it up again and see if the backlight begins to work fine again.

For laptops with external removable batteries, after removing the battery and the AC power source, simply press and hold down the power button for about 30 seconds. This will help drain the residual power and reset the temporal memory.

This will help to clear the temporal memory of any errors that might have been registered that prevent the backlight from functioning or malfunctioning.  Afterwards, return the power sources and power on the laptop to see if the backlight now works fine.

 

SOLUTION 2: Reinstall the Latest ATK Drivers for the Keyboard

This will likely fix most of the problems listed above especially the case where the backlight comes on during startup and goes off after startup. ATK is short for Accessibility Toolkit.

The ATK Hotkey Utility assigns functionalities to the different function keys on your keyboard, like changing screen brightness, turning on wireless networking, switching between the monitor and external video source, and of course turning on the keyboard light as we want to do in this case.

  • So first you need to know the model of your laptop, you can check around the screen bezel, or underneath the back cover to find yours. It could also be underneath the battery compartment. Here mine is Asus ROG G551JM.
  • Go to Asus support page. (Is always advisable to download drivers from the manufacturer support page to avoid installing unwanted applications or malware to your system).
  • So here on this page, scroll down to where it says enter download center and click on it. 
  • Then it takes me to this page asking for the model of the computer, here I will type in G551JM and select the corresponding result. Click on driver and utility by the right.
  • It should then bring you to this page, here select the operating system you currently have. Mine is Windows 10 64 bits.
  • Then scroll down until you find ATK. Here it shows the latest version, so click on download and wait for the download to complete.

I’ve come across claims that this driver is the same for all Asus laptops, irrespective of the model, but is pretty easy to just key in your PC model and operating system to get the latest match for your specs.

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After downloading, simply just open the zipped folder by double-clicking, you can also go to your download location and unzip from there. Here you will find the application named setup. Simply run by double-clicking. You should have this ATK setup wizard pop up. Here hit next, next, next, and wait for the installation to complete. As soon as the installation is complete you should see your keyboard light turn back on. Here click close, and then it prompts you to restart your PC.

If you have all your works saved and ready to restart, then hit yes and your PC should restart immediately. Upon restarting you should have your keyboard backlights working properly again, including the intensity adjustments.

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SOLUTION 3: Manually Start the HControl.exe Program

The HControl program is a module in the ATK package that that is also required to be running for full keyboard functionalities including the backlight. This program is usually running alongside the ATK, but sometime you might need to run it manually from the program files. To do that, simply open your computer folder and navigate to the following location:

                    C:\Program Files (x86)\ASUS\ATK Package\ATK Hotkey

Here find the executable file named “HControl.exe”, simply run by double-clicking and that should potentially resolve the issue.

SOLUTION 4: Check That the Function Keys Have Not Been Disabled in the BIOS Settings

Normally the function keys f4 and f3 keys with the keyboard signs, are used to turn on or turn off the keyboard backlight respectively, with different levels of intensity in between.

As such if for some reason the function keys are disabled from the BIOS, then it won’t be possible to control the backlight, this is more likely if you discover that your backlight maintains only one level of intensity and can’t be controlled.

To resolve this issue, you need to open your BIOS settings using the corresponding key upon startup. In the BIOS settings, try to find the function keys setting and ensure that it is enabled, if not enable it and save changes.

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SOLUTION 5: Check for Loose Cable Connections

This is a bit on the hardware side, often the keyboard backlight connects to the motherboard via a separate cable from the keyboard itself, as such is possible that the backlight cable is not properly connected as such even if the keyboard functions properly the backlight won’t come on.

This is more likely after performing some hardware related fixes on the laptop, as such checking that the backlight cable is properly connected could be the solution to this problem.

FINAL NOTE

There are times when this could actually be a clear indication of a broken backlight. As much as we don’t want this to be the case, and probably your keyboard has been working fine the night before and suddenly you run into this.

The fact is that there are such rare situations where the backlight just develops a fault and stops working. Resolving this will require changing the keyboard entirely. You can check on eBay or Amazon for a reliable supplier and order with your exact laptop model.

I hope one of these suggestions was able to help you out. If you encounter any problems while implementing any of these suggestions, you can post in the comment section to get more help.

Also, share with us in the comment section which of these solutions worked for you. If you discover some other fixes that weren’t covered in this post, please share with us in the comment section and I will join the discussion. The video below demonstrates most of the suggestions discussed above.

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4 thoughts on “How to Fix Asus Keyboard Backlight Not Working

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