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  • chadalderson Level 1 Level 1

    Found the solution on another post but wanted to put it here too. Make sure your 3rd display is also connected via USB to the iMac and the brightness control will come up. Go figure.

  • Alex Zustra Level 1 Level 1

    I have two identical cinema displays, I think 24 inch if it matters. Not sure because it's a work computer. The USB cables from both are plugged in and still zero brightness control via any method.  Whatever model cinema display these are do not even have the physical buttons on the monitor.  They are converted from mini display to DVI, could that be a problem? Please help, they are bright as **** and my eyes are going to explode.



    Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 xeon

    6 g ram

  • bersan Level 1 Level 1

    Had no brightness control on my Apple Cinema Display 23 inch DVI late 2005 1920*1200. Went over this topic. Plugged USB and Firewire cables. Works now.

  • mgstauffer Level 1 Level 1

    >1. Ensure lid of laptop is open

    >2. Plug in power, mini-display, AND USB from the Cinema Display into MBP

    >3. Restart computer (*this was the key step for me)

    >4. When computer comes back up, launch System Preferences > Displays and you should now see the brightness option that was once hidden!


    Thanks this works, BUT you I didn't have to reboot. Plugging in the USB from the cinema display, then briefly closing and reopening the lid worked to then show the brightness slider on the cinemba display.


    BTW, I replied to a particular post but the forum shows my reply at the end of the discussion, and didn't even give me an option to quote to post I was replying too. Seems poorly designed.



  • BoulderJ Level 1 Level 1

    It seems like simply closing the System Preferences window and then opening it again after plugging in the USB may make the restart unnecessary - it did for me.

  • BoulderJ Level 1 Level 1

    It seems like simply closing the System Preferences window and then opening it again after plugging in the USB may make the restart unnecessary - it did for me. (posted same info on reply by mgstauffer)

  • brunofrommapleridge Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same problem. After considerable searching I downloaded an app called Shades and it works beautifully. It can control both monitors separately. Puts an icon for one or both monitors in the menubar. Only thing to watch out for is calibration. It doesn't affect your calibration but you have to turn it off in order to change your calibration. Best of all, it's free.

  • markatos Level 1 Level 1

    gilletty you are the man!



  • Philip Bolton Level 1 Level 1

    I had the same problem with a 23" HD, the upgrage of the MacBook Pro 4,1 to Lion seems to have fixed the problems


    now have brightness (and all other screen adjustments) control AND the usb connectors in the back of the screen work so it looks like the usb communication problem is gone


    it does look like this was a bug in 10.6.x

  • ronfab1 Level 1 Level 1


    I'm new here but now chiming in as I have a new 6 core Mac Pro running Lion 10.7.2.  And I bought the standard 27" Cinema Display which I love a lot just getting used to everything over past several days.  EXCEPT  as the member says over a year ago earlier below, it gets too dim at night and there is no slider in Preferences or any way to turn the stupid auto dimming off.  If you don't want it on. 




    "I had exactly the same problem in hooking up my new 27" Apple Cinema Display to my new iMac 27" brightness slider and no check box to disable automatic ambient control. Plus which, the screen was too dim to see much. Using the keyboard to make it lighter (or darker) produced no results at all. After a lengthy consultation with two Apple tech support people, they diagnosed it as a hardware problem and suggested that I return it for a new one.
    My son brought his MacBook Air over, hooked it up to the monitor, and both the brightness control slider and the ambient light control box appeared. He corrected the brightness and unchecked the ambient control, re-attacheded it to my computer and all is well. Plus which, the brightness slider and the ambient control box now appear on my iMac system preferences."


    iMac 27", Mac OS X (10.6.5), external led Cinema Display



    I called a local specialty shop, Melrose Mac this morning, where I bought the monitor and asked them.  He got back to me a couple hours later after checking with everyone, techs & all, and they just confirmed no way to override or adjust manually. 


    How freaking stupid is this???   14 months later and a whole new OS Lion and still the same problem.  My old two legged 20" Mac Monitor had the controls right on it flush with a subtle button on lower front.  If they didn't want to put any buttons then put the darn controls in Preferences.  I don't get this at all and am really irked at this.


    I tried the Shades software but so far it just shows it is at the brightest part of the slider, and doesn't even dim down if I check it.


    Why has Apple not given the most rudimentary controls on this $1,000 display that is magnificent in every other respect?


    Anyone have any other advice for a Mac Pro user?  Equally puzzling is that some persons earlier in this thread posted they had two of the 27" with one having the needed "OPTIONS" show in Display Preferences and the other not having them show.


    Really Apple??  Seriously??


    Help!!!  I need more brightness at night.  Daytime is fabulous.


    Any ideas much appreciated.


    Thanks much


    edit....  None of the keyboard functions do anything either.... 

  • ronfab1 Level 1 Level 1

    Not sure why it wasn't posted in this long thread as well but I found further down an answer to a more recent question same issue, if I have linked it correctly below, a software update for the 27" Display.  Also says the USB cable coming off of the monitor has to be plugged into the Mac Pro or Macbook.  So before I can test it will have to see if I can find around the house an extension for the short USB from monitor or go buy one.  Keeping fingers crossed.


  • ronfab1 Level 1 Level 1

    ^^^  Woohoo!!  The update in the link above coupled with connecting a USB to the mac pro fixed everything.  Now there's the option to turn off the auto dimming and a slider for brightness in Preferences.  But as well the f1 and f2 buttons on the keyboard are also now manually lowering and raising it.  The monitor needs to be connected with the USB port.

  • fredndee Level 1 Level 1

    I am using Lion 10.7.3. on a Mac Book Pro with an older Apple Cinema HD 27" display.


    Downloaded the Cinema Display Software Update, but on launch it said 10.6 was required, so install canceled itself. Assumption is that Lion fixed the problem. IT DID NOT!


    My Cinema HD Display has increasingly been dimming down. At first it was only happening shortly after I launched my XP partition. Then, when running on the Mac OS partition, it also started happening.


    Symptoms are 1) Cinema Display Preference Panel brightness slider disappears, 2) even though Display USB is now plugged directly into MacBookPro, the two USB inputs on the back of the Display are not operational, 3) Display Pref "Detect Displays" does not work, but "Gather Windows" does, and 4) the brightness button on left side of the Display itself lights when touched, but does nothing.


    For a while, it was correctible by shutting down and restarting on the MacOS side, but no more.


    Would appreciate any new info on how to deal with this. I do not think it is the Cinema Display failing.


    Your friend, Dee

  • lou in idaho Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you, ronfab1!  I logged on because my second display was so bright and the only display getting dimmer was my laptop when I tried to dim.  I had the small cord connected, but thanks to your post I added the USB cord and was able to adjust the brightness on the cinema display as well.  Thank you.

  • swashley3 Level 1 Level 1

    I had originally sucessfully followed the step-by-step given earlier in this thread by gilletty on Jan 31, 2011 4:13 AM to get the brightness control for my 2011 Apple LED 27" Cinema (mini-disply port) connected to my 17-inch MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (late 2007) via the Gefen Dual Link DVI to Mini DP Converter.


    The brightness control remained functional with slider present until upgrading from OSX 10.6.6 to 10.6.8. The slider can no longer be persuaded to appear after the upgrade. The driver is up to date and the 27-inch LED Cinema Display Software Update 1.0 returns 'Your computer does not need this update.'


    No amount of rebooting, plugging and unplugging seems to bring the slider back after the upgrade.

    Has anyone else experienced this?