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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook Screen Randomly Dimming to Lowest Setting

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I have a Macbook4,1 (2008) running OS 10.6.8. In the last month or so, I have had two incidents with the screen dimming to the lowest setting and being unrecoverable using the screen brightness keys.

The first incident, I woke it up from sleep and the screen was dimmed all the way down (where you can barely make out the desktop), and the brightness keys were unresponsive. I forced a shutdown, and the brightness was restored about halfway through the gray Apple logo boot screen upon rebooting.

The second incident happened just now. This time I was browsing some folders in Finder with the screen brightness all the way up. I turned to another computer for less than a minute, and when I came back to the Macbook, the screen was dimmed all the way down, and the brightness keys were unresponsive. This time, rebooting did nothing. But after rebooting, I put it to sleep by closing the lid, and when I opened the lid after about 30 seconds, the screen brightness was restored.

Question: In case this becomes too frequent or goes completely, will simply replacing the screen fix the issue, or could it be something separate? The computer is under no warranty, and I've replaced the top casing on it over a year ago, so am comfortable doing my own repairs. Just wanted to make sure if the issue is the screen itself or something else.


iMac 27" late-2012, 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM
Macbook Air 13" mid-2012, 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM
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Member Since: Oct 27, 2011
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Do you possibly have the auto-brightness feature on?

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Grace Guitars,

The same thing is happening to my computer currently. If I set the brightness below the half way point it usually doesn't dim. However, recently it's been getting worse. Did you ever figure out how to fix this problem? Thanks
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Resetting the System Management Controller usually, but not always, resolves that problem. See the following Apple KB article: LINK
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