Daily computer use with improperly configured brightness settings can be very unpleasant in many different aspects. That is why in most cases, the first thing users adjust on a monitor before using it is the brightness.
Unfortunately, there are situations when the brightness control option on Windows does not work as intended.
If you’ve recently faced this issue and are looking for a possible solution, keep reading, as this guide has multiple solutions that could help you fix the problem quickly and efficiently.
Let’s get right into it.
Table of ContentsShow
The Problem Explained
Users reporting the problem with the brightness level not changing often mention that besides the slider, the keyboard shortcuts for brightness control don’t work either, meaning the problem does not exclusively happen on desktop computers but laptops too.
The issue, at least in most cases, is OS-related and not directly linked to the device.
Sometimes it’s a Windows bug, but it could also be a problem caused by a limiting power plan or a display driver issue.
Either way, there are multiple approaches available to fix it, so check the following sections for more information on what you could do to address this issue.
Fix 1: Adjust Your Computer’s Power Settings
As it’s already well-known, the brighter the display, the more power it requires to maintain that rate. So, it’s a common scenario to navigate to your computer’s power settings only to find out the active mode is power-saving or “eco,” meaning the power it consumes is limited.
In such a case, the monitor will not be at its brightest, making it difficult to see, especially during the daytime.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix, but if you don’t know how to switch your computer’s power settings, look at the step-by-step tutorial below to get it done quickly and efficiently.
- Press the Windows + S button simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Windows search bar function. In it, type in Power & Sleep Settings, then press Enter on your keyboard to open the panel.
- In the Power & Sleep panel that just opened, click on the Additional power settings option in the far-right corner.
- Choose the High performance plan to ensure your computer doesn’t save energy at the cost of providing much lower brightness from your monitor.
If you want to tweak specific settings within the high performance power plan, click on Change plan settings. In this panel, you can set the display to always remain on and the device to never go into sleep mode.
To go into even further detail, you can click on Change advanced power settings to modify things such as when the hard disk turns off, processor power management, and more.
Important: Some laptops have “display brightness,” “dimmed display brightness,” and “adaptive brightness” settings in the advanced settings power options panel shown in the image above. You can modify them directly from there. Mind that the screenshot above is from a desktop computer, which is why those options are missing.
Now that you’ve changed your computer’s power plan, the display should no longer be “forced” to be on a lower brightness setting as its power is not limited anymore.
For most users, this fixes the problem immediately unless its cause is different, such as using the wrong shortcuts or having a faulty display driver.
Keep on reading if you still haven’t fixed the issue.
Fix 2: Ensure You’re Using The Correct Key Shortcuts
Note: If you tried moving the Windows brightness slider with your mouse and it moved, but there wasn’t a change in the display light, the problem is likely not related to the keyboard shortcuts. In that case, skip this method.
Some laptops require a specific key combination to adjust various settings. It’s common to need to use the Fn (Function) button combined with other keys to adjust the brightness, for example, but it could be possible that your device is different, and that rule doesn’t apply to it.
You should look up your device on the internet to see if a different key combination is required to change the brightness on your monitor. Some laptops require one button, while others force the user to use two or more for the command to work.
We also recommend checking if the Fn button on your device works. You can do this by trying to make any other change using it, such as turning the volume up or switching between windows. You can also use KeyboardTester to ensure all other buttons on your keyboard work.
Fix 3: Disable Adaptive Brightness & Night Light Scheduling
Adaptive brightness is a handy feature on some laptops, but it could be a problem when manually adjusting the brightness on your display.
The adaptive brightness feature changes the display light automatically based on your environment. For example, if the laptop detects you’re in a darker room, it will decrease the monitor’s brightness.
Although useful in many cases, this feature does not always work as intended and will prevent you from manually changing the display brightness unless you turn it off.
Here’s how you can turn off adaptive brightness control on Windows 10
- Press Windows + S on your keyboard to open the Windows search bar.
- Type in Settings and press Enter on your keyboard.
- Open the System category by clicking on it, and then navigate to the Display section.
- Under “Brightness,” clear the “Help improve battery by optimizing the content shown and brightness” check box. That will disable adaptive brightness control.
With this change, you’ve successfully disabled adaptive brightness control. Now, when you move your display brightness slider on Windows, the change should happen in real time and shouldn’t revert on its own.
Please note that the adaptive brightness control setting is available only on laptops.
Next, we recommend disabling “night light scheduling,” an automated feature changing specific settings on your display based on your local time. It could conflict with your attempts to change your display’s brightness settings, so here’s how to turn it off:
- Open the Windows search box by pressing Windows + S on your keyboard.
- Type in Settings and press Enter on your keyboard.
- Open the System category by clicking on it, then navigate to the Display section.
- The first option under the “Colour” section should be Night light. Toggle the switch off to disable it, as shown in the image below.
- Then, click on Night light settings, and switch off the Schedule night light option.
Your display’s appearance should no longer change automatically based on what time of the day you’re using your computer.
Disabling adaptive brightness control and night light should fix the problem. After making these changes, you should be able to manually adjust your monitor’s brightness settings using either the slider in the Windows settings panel or the button combination shortcut on your keyboard.
Fix 4: Perform A Clean Display Driver Uninstall & Update To The Latest Drivers
It’s often possible for this issue to occur due to a faulty or outdated driver that’s incompatible with your GPU.
If you’ve recently upgraded your GPU, but the old display driver remained installed on your computer, it could be why some display-related functions don’t work. Even if that isn’t the case, we recommend trying this method to fix the brightness control problem on Windows.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Download Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU). It’s safe and proven software that will ensure you don’t have any leftover display driver files after uninstalling.
- Create a folder on your desktop, and extract the archived Display Driver Uninstaller files you just downloaded within it.
- Enter Windows Safe Mode by pressing Windows + I, selecting Update & Security, Recovery, and under the Advanced Start-Up section, Restart Now.
- Now your PC will restart. Afterward, you’ll see a blue screen with options, from which you need to choose Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, Startup Settings, and then Restart.
- Your PC will restart again, and you’ll see a list of options on your screen. Press the number 4 button on your keyboard to choose the Enable Safe Mode option. Your PC will now reboot into Safe Mode.
- Open the desktop folder where you previously extracted the Display Driver Uninstaller tool. Right-click the executable file and choose Run as Administrator.
- When DDU opens on your screen, choose GPU from the right side and then click on the Clean and Restart option, as shown in the image below.
Wait for the process to finish. When it does, your computer will reboot.
Now, you should download the latest display driver from the manufacturer’s website based on the type of GPU you have. It could be NVIDIA, AMD, or a different manufacturer.
Once you install the latest stable driver for your GPU, restart your PC and try using the brightness control slider. It should now work, and hopefully, the problem no longer occurs.
Fix 5: Download The Latest Windows Update
Last but not least, we recommend downloading and installing the latest Windows update on your PC. This problem can sometimes be an interface-related bug that’s unfixable in any other way other than with an update.
Besides, we recommend always having the latest Windows update for security and performance reasons.
If you have any issues while installing Windows updates, look at our helpful guide covering more on this topic.
With that said, you should now be able to fix the Windows bug causing dysfunctionality to your screen brightness control.
Hopefully, the methods listed in this guide allowed you to overcome the problem and continue using your PC with the settings you prefer.