This laptop has a very sophisticated backlighting system with full color, profiles, and massive programmability, but I just use the default color scheme.

However, this has all just stopped working and I have no backlighting at all.

This happened to me once before and I called MSI tech support and they told me it sounded like a hardware problem. I couldn't afford the downtime waiting for them to repair it, so I just accepted that backlighting wouldn't ever work.

Then, a few months later, it magically started working again, so I assume it was a driver problem that fixed itself.

Now the backlighting has gone out again and I really don't want to wait helplessly for it to fix itself. But I'm not sure what I need to do to force the repair. My best guess is that a Windows update installed the wrong drivers and I need to reinstall the correct ones, but the MSI website is not very helpful and I'm terrified of bricking my machine by messing with the BIOS (if necessary) or merely disabling the keyboard and thus being unable to type anything to be able to get it working again.

Does anyone have a reliable guide to getting the correct drivers installed here?

  • 1
    It is very unlikely this is driver-related. A hardware issue is indeed the most probable cause: Loose connectors, broken cables, a cold solder joint, whatever.
    – Daniel B
    Sep 10 '16 at 16:31
  • The manufacturer and I would have been inclined to agree with you, except that it happened once and then fixed itself. I can't imagine a hardware problem could have gone away like that. Sep 12 '16 at 12:13
  • 1
    “Fixing itself” is what loose connectors usually do. Only to fail again later.
    – Daniel B
    Sep 12 '16 at 12:38

I believe you might have a driver issue. I have been affected by this three times in the last few years when I inadvertently accepted a Windows keyboard update for my msi steelseries gaming laptop (a little bit of an older one - GS60 series running W8.1, but still a nice piece of hardware.) The Windows update installs a driver that is unrecognised by the msi Dragon software. My only solution so far has been to reinstall the msi drivers from cd, update from msi and try to be vigilant in not accepting some driver updates from Windows Update ... which I clearly forget regulary ... ugh

  • PS - I just did it again -WU run on 30 March broke my keyboard again, so I was hunting around to see if anyone else had found a solution yet, and came across this post so thought I would share.
    – wandrlustn
    Apr 19 '17 at 12:47

I had a similar problem. I pushed the function key and the - key on the number keypad several times and the lights came back on. I had tried several other things including a forced shutdown and reinstalling the SteelSeries Engine software.


Open Device Manager and expand Keyboards. Your driver should be in place. Right click on it and choose Update drivers. Your drivers should automatically update themselves. If there was no update available or the backlight didn't light up after the update, it is possible that Windows installed the default universal driver used for all keyboard. Look up on MSI's website to find the correct driver. After that, you should be able to install it by double clicking the .exe file. This shouldn't require messing with the OS in anyway shape or form. I had this problem once. My fn key shortcuts weren't working and it turned out windows had installed the default drivers after updating to windows 10. I downloaded the driver from HP's site and everything is now in order.

PS: Keep a spare backup usb mouse and keyboard combo just in case things go south (even they shouldn't) so that you could revert the driver update and get back control of your keyboard. To revert driver updates, just right click the keyboard driver then choose properties and then choose roll back driver update.


I had the same issue and updating the firmware (EC) fixed mine. The EC that I used was found here under the firmware tab: https://www.msi.com/Laptop/support/GT72-2QD-Dominator-4.html#down-firmware

I know it has an old date, but I used the 'winflash' app that is within the archive by clicking the shutdown box and then the start button. When windows came up, my keyboard backlighting returned!! I was so happy and didnt realized how much I missed the lights..

There is a flash update doc here: https://storage-asset.msi.com/file/pdf/EC_Firmware_Update_SOP_for_Windows_EN.pdf

I hope this helps someone.


I'e also run into the same problem a couple of times. but the solution is to uninstall the keyboard drivers and restart your laptop and then re-install the drivers again. After the installation, restart you laptop one last time and the keyboard backlight will be able to come one after booting

NB: Make sure you have drivers called "dot net 2.0 and 3.0" installed or enabled on windows 10

  • Why exactly is a legacy version of the .NET Framework required to solve this problem? Windows 10 already has .NET Framework 4.8. You can edit your answer to include this vital information
    – Ramhound
    Jan 27 at 20:20

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