MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR are able to maintain 500 nit brightness under normal conditions. Although they are also capable of easily reaching 1000 nits in HDR content. However, some applications may double he screen brightness of macbook pro unlocked this brightness level when using the desktop with standard SDR content.

Double the brightness of the MacBook screen

Double the screen brightness is possible on a 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch or later (they must have an M1 Pro, M1 Max, or later chip). It is even possible to get it on Apple’s Pro Display XDR.

Unfortunately, what we’ll discuss in this article won’t work with the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, or Apple Studio Display, at least for now. It may be that in some future updates, Apple will add a display that is capable of operating at a higher brightness. It is possible to know which Mac we have from Apple> About this Mac.

This is a kind of trick that works by enabling HDR mode on the screen, so Mac will output standard SDR content with HDR brightness. This can be quite interesting for some situations, especially when we work outside and we have too much sunlight, something that undoubtedly limits the display of the screen quite a bit.

Increase brightness levels

When we hold down the F2 button, we will be able to improve the brightness levels. But as we mentioned earlier, the maximum we are going to achieve is 500 nits. Luckily, we can use any of the applications mentioned below to duplicate it. The only negative is that the mentioned apps are premium.

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Increase screen brightness

Vivid is very useful for doubling the brightness capacity on the screen. After installing it, we can enable Vivid from the menu bar or with a simple keyboard shortcut. Next, we control the brightness using the brightness controls we usually use. In case of enabling the Eclipse mode, we can do the opposite, put our screen below the minimum brightness level.

The “free version” and we put it in quotes because it is a test of what it can do since it only puts half of the screen at maximum or minimum brightness. A standard license costs around $21. Although it also has a version for iPhone called Vivid Browser.

This app can be obtained from its official website by following this link.


BetterDisplay for MacBook Pro

In the case of BetterDisplay, we find an application that allows you to override the screen brightness setting. Although it is not limited to this, it also offers the possibility to manage the scaling and attenuation options, create and manage virtual screens, use the Image to Image mode and has several other options. The first time we use it, we will have to give it access to manage accessibility settings from System settings > Privacy and security > Accessibility.

After enabling it, the app will remain in the menu bar at the top right corner of the screen. As long as we keep the app running, we can use the normal brightness controls to increase it.

However, BetterDisplay does not allow us to use the XDR and HDR brightness level unless we checkout. At the beginning, we are going to have 14 days of free trial. However, the app costs $16.50 to be able to use all its features.

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We can get the application by following this link.

Can the screen brightness be increased safely?

In reality, Apple displays are designed to achieve and maintain brightness levels for HDR content, which means we shouldn’t worry too much about maintaining 100-nit brightness.

As the developers of Vivid rightly mention: “The application does not do anything that the screen is not capable of doing out of the box. Vivid takes care of enabling the extra brightness that is generally intended for HDR content.”

Manzana it states which in the case of Pro DIsplay HDR is capable of supporting 1000 nits of brightness on the entire screen. This means that a professional can edit an HDR photo or video with the entire frame at 1000 nits of brightness, indefinitely.

However, if we find one thing that we are going to have to consider and it is the battery life. By doubling the screen brightness, obviously the battery is going to suffer a lot and it will last much less than it usually does. There are many things that we do on a daily basis that are killing the batteries of the devices we use, so we recommend that you stop doing them and find a way to optimize battery life.

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