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How to adjust the screen brightness with the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover

Beginners' Tips Series!

Do you have the Type Cover for Surface Pro 3? If you said yes, we have a very quick tip for you. There's no dedicated screen brightness button, but you can still adjust the brightness with a couple of keyboard shortcuts. Simply press Fn + Del or the Fn + Backspace buttons. A screen brightness indicator pops up on the top left corner of the screen. You can play with the slider to continue adjusting the screen brightness.

The Surface Pro Type Cover is available in 5 colors with bright, backlit keys. It functions as a classic laptop keyboard and a screen protector. You can find the Type Cover on Amazon (opens in new tab) for $129.99.

Of course, you can change the screen brightness directly on the Surface Pro 3. Simply swipe from the right edge of the display, tap Settings, and then Screen. Use the slider to adjust the brightness.

And in case you missed it, make sure to watch our Surface Pro 3 review.

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

36 Comments
  • Wow, I wasn't aware of that actually. Are there any more shortcuts like this on the type cover 3 that aren't indicated?
  • Fn + Caps to switch the default nature of the specialty buttons on the top row. Lets you chose whether they work as F1-F12 keys or as specialty keys.
  • Dude! I have no words to thank you properly for this tip! My SP3 is awesome now.
  • No problem! And don't forget: No matter which one is currently the default (I.E: Pushing F1 adjusts the keyboard brightness instead of entering F1), you can always hold down the function key to select the other option. The Fn + Caps lock just switches their default behavior. ;)
  • And it actually saves the Fn+Caps setting to the keyboard itself. It will still be this way if you connect this cover to any other Surface.
  • Is that it? I'd rather make a type cover pro full keyboard.
  • Can someone use that keyboard in others Windows devices? Ex: Dell venue 8 pro!
  • Type Covers work exclusively with the Surface series. They use their own proprietary connector.
  • Thank you!
  • Didn't MS release an accessory, so that the type cover could be used over Bluetooth? I wonder if that would work.
  • I bet it definitely works, can't see why not.
  • Yeah, but I think they discontinued it.
  • Would love otg/Bluetooth support for keyboard, controller, etc for the 1520. They make some small keyboards that fold up and would work wonders with the phone in landscape position and a decent office like android and ios have. God, that sucks to think about....MS crapping on us. The 1520 is oh so close to perfect. Just a few tweaks.
  • Been dreaming of Bluetooth keyboards for Windows Phone since WP7 came out.
  • Found this a few months ago. But alas: No keyboard shortcuts for changing the volume and/or skipping backwards or forwards for media control.
  • That's awesome!  Thanks!  I just bought one this weekend!
  • All these work on any Surface Model as far as I can tell.
  • What do F1 and F2 do, then? Those look like brightness controls to me...
  • Brightness for keyboard backlighting.
  • Ah ha! Well I feel stupid. Thanks.
  • You can use the f1 and f2 keys to change the brightness of the keyboard. If you have them in the default config then just press the keys, otherwise press the fn+f1 or f2.
  • Coool
  • YES! Where has this trick been this whole time?? It worked on my Surface 2 and I am so happy!! :D
    Thank you!
  • Off topic, has anyone actually gotten use to the keyboard yet because in the beginning it was hard for me to grasp the lightness of the keys. Fast forward to now and im a pro. Use it as my main for research and essays.
  • Awesome. Works with Surface 2 and Type Cover 2 as well! Had no idea this was a thing. Sweet tip!
  • thanks!   it works on my SP1   another gem is to use FN & Caps Lock to swap the F* keys.   eg: to share usually you press the share button and to rename you press FN + Volume Down/F2   the fn + caps lock swaps this function so to refresh you simply press F5, rename F2, etc, instead of FN+ F2.
  • Wow I did not know that thanks.
  • The title should say all Touch/Type Covers. It works with my Type Cover 2 and even the original Touch Cover on the Surface RT.
  • Wow this is awesome!! I had no idea! As a photographer, I have been struggling with accurate brightness. I need to set the screen to around 110cd/m^2 for accurate photo editing, but its almost impossible to do with a touch slider. With keyboard taps though, I can do it accurately just like how i used to on my Lenovo laptops!
  • You can also change the screen brightness by opening the charms (swipe in from right side) and then tapping 'Settings' and then tap the 'Screen' button. From here you can also lock the screen to stay in the position it's currently in. (landscape or portrait) Locking the screen is useful in bed when reading stuff. Another trick I stumbled across today is if you hold down the sleep/awake button (Surface Pro 3) like half of a lock screen comes down and you cam Shut your surfaçe down like that. I wonder what other nifty things there are... :D
  • Where is The , or what is the sleep button?
  • It's really the on button. (on the top left hand corner) ... if held in landscape with the windows button on the right.
  • Oh thanks, also did not know that
  • Wish I could afford a SP3 :'(
  • Thank you :)
  • Hi, is anybody know how to right click when writing a text with the use if the type cover but not the touchpad?   What key combination.