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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:53 AM

laptop screen keeps going dim.

2 year old macbook pro. any time i am not actively typing or clicking, the screen starts to dim. probably drops a click or 3. checked the energy saver settings and it's not that. using in plugged in, charge light stays green.
anyone have a clue? time to buy a new one?

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply laptop screen keeps going dim. (Original post)
mopinko Feb 2013 OP
OnyxCollie Feb 2013 #1
mopinko Feb 2013 #4
Stinky The Clown Feb 2013 #2
mopinko Feb 2013 #3
Stinky The Clown Feb 2013 #5
mopinko Feb 2013 #6
REP Feb 2013 #7
mopinko Feb 2013 #8
REP Feb 2013 #9

Response to mopinko (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

1. Hmm...

The only time my MacBook screen goes dim is when it's not plugged in (and then it acts like you've described.)

In fact, I've just had to boost the brightness right now.

The Power Adapter/Battery menus on the Energy Saver preference panel has a button for automatically reducing brightness before display goes to sleep. Are they checked?

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:31 AM

4. autodim is off.

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Response to mopinko (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:19 AM

2. I'd say the energy setting but you say you've checked that.

I am willing to bet this is a setting matter, not hardware, but check your battery. Maybe it is dying. If the machine is under Apple Care you can probably get a new battery.

Click the Apple (upper left) > About this Mac > More Info > System Report > Power

At the top of the resulting screen you will see "Battery Information". Look down to the lines "Charge Information". The big number here is Full Charge Capacity. You want to be around 5000 mAh.

Under "Health Information" look to see what the cycle count is. Under 500 or so is probably perfectly okay. Apple says the batteries are good for 300 cycles, but I have had one go over 1200 and still be useable (reduced battery life, but useable). If you have a very low cycle count, that's not good either. Let the machine run down and then fully charge. Cycle it like this a few times a week until the count comes up a bit. This could revive a slowing battery. This is called "calibrating" the battery. The Apple web site has a some info about it.

Look further down that window to see the current settings. It might be a sleep setting and not a power setting.

Anyway, hope this helps.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:31 AM

3. ok-

charge info- 5164
cycle count- 143

auto dimming is off. sleep settings are 15 minutes.
so, helpful to check, thanks.

it has actually been run up and down a few times lately as son has a burned out charger and keeps stealing mine.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:54 PM

5. You know, every now and then the brightness keys get jostled. They are F5 and F6.

I found myself squinting to see my screen. I had moved them way down the brightness scale.

Dumb but true.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:04 PM

6. yeah, it happens.

first thing i tried, tho.

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Response to mopinko (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:10 PM

7. What is 'sleep' set to?

It dims before it sleeps.

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Response to REP (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:20 PM

8. 15 minutes

dunno. excuse for a new one?

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Response to mopinko (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:22 PM

9. Set sleep to 30

Or buy a new one.

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