TL; DR: Apple monitors (in laptops, desktops, and external) support using the F1/F2 keys for brightness control. Do any third party monitors support this functionality natively?
Context: I have a Dell P2721Q monitor attached to an M2 MacBook Pro (and an Intel MBP prior to that). I seem to recall that my brightness keys worked perfectly with it, out of the box. (Important: Perhaps this is completely incorrect; I am honestly not 100% sure, since I also use an Apple Studio Display in another setup, where it does work, and I might only be thinking of that.)
Yesterday, the monitor stopped accepting my laptop’s video. After quite a long set of attempts — changing cables, rebooting the laptop, changing various monitor configurations, it still didn’t work, until I finally tried the obvious thing: actually unplugging the monitor from the wall (not just turning it off by the switch). And it worked! I then got spooked and found that there was a firmware update online, which I applied, with no obvious changes. (This whole paragraph might be a red herring…)
However, after this I noticed that I couldn’t change the brightness via the keyboard, or the Displays panel of “System Settings” (but see above — perhaps I never could!). I have checked that DDC/CI is enabled, and certainly all of the other settings (various power and USB settings) seem as before, but F1/F2 still don’t seem to work (I can set the brightness etc just fine using the monitor hardware controls).
I am aware of, and have tried, MonitorControl, Lunar and other similar software, and of similar questions here.
- Was I hallucinating that it ever worked?
- If not, any idea what might have changed?
- Are there any monitors that do support this?