Your MacBook does not know better than you.
Apple’s macOS has an infuriating habit of automatically changing the computer’s screen brightness level, seemingly at random. No, it’s not all in your head. Thankfully, you can turn off this annoying so-called feature.
Some MacBooks are equipped with ambient light sensors, and will attempt to automatically adjust the screen brightness to compensate for changes in surrounding light. Working in your dark bedroom to start the day, but your sunny backyard after lunch? Your Mac, at least in theory, will figure it out.
But reality is often quite different from theory.
If you work in a place where the light changes throughout the day — say there’s a skylight above you, or you’re next to some windows — this setting means your screen is constantly doing visual summersaults in front of your eyes.
Let’s be clear: Manually adjusting your screen brightness makes sense. That’s why there are, on many MacBooks, buttons right on the keyboard to let you do just that.
It’s the automatic part, without any input from the computer user, that’s frustrating.
Here’s how to keep it from happening.
To stop your MacBook from automatically adjusting the screen brightness level:
- Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen.
- Select System Preferences.
- Click Displays.
- Uncheck “Automatically adjust brightness.”
That’s it! Using a MacBook will now no longer make you question whether or not you’re slowly losing your mind as your screen flips from eye-scorchingly bright to barely legible.
Your display will forever remain one brightness level — unless you decide to manually change it.