Fix: Can’t Adjust Brightness On Windows 10/11

It can be annoying when you can't adjust the brightness on your Windows 10 or 11 PC. Check out this easy guide on how to fix that quickly.

Being able to adjust the brightness on your screen can be the difference between comfortably working on your computer and straining your eyes.  

When it comes to Windows functionalities, screen brightness control is one of the most, if not the most widely used feature, and something we tinker with on a daily.

With that said, when a user is unable to adjust the brightness due to a bug or an error, things can get frustrating very quickly, as this can severely impact work performance and more.

Luckily, we’ll show you how to fix any known issues related to the brightness adjusting feature on Windows 10 and 11.

Let’s get started.

The Problem Explained

Problem

The reason your computer brightness won’t change can vary depending on numerous factors. If you’re using a laptop, the problem can be something as simple as not having enough battery. However, users often report cases where the issue is caused by a bug and doesn’t have a logical reason behind it.

When this happens, the user can experience anything from a non-responding keyboard shortcut for adjusting brightness, all the way to a missing or completely frozen slider function.

Not finding an efficient solution for this issue can cause your battery to drain a lot quicker (laptop users), which then chain reacts to other complications as well.

Luckily, this isn’t a permanent problem and nothing to stress about. Albeit frustrating and potentially harmful for your sight, it can be resolved by applying simple solutions which you can find in the guide below.

Is “Why won’t my screen brightness change windows 10” a recent search in your browser’s history? Let’s change that for good.

Fix 1: Disable Gaming Mode On Your Keyboard

Disable Gaming Mode On Your Keyboard

Many of us use our computers for entertainment aside from work, so having a gaming keyboard is not uncommon.

Gaming keyboards tend to have a “Gaming Mode” feature which prevents the user from minimizing their game by disabling all buttons which aren’t considered “essential” for gaming. This specifically targets the Windows button, but other similar function buttons as well.

Even without having a gaming keyboard plugged into your computer, gaming mode can be enabled by specific programs.

So, to ensure this isn’t preventing you from changing the brightness on your computer, make sure to disable gaming mode and that all buttons on your keyboard work as intended (aren’t disabled).

This happens to be the case very often.

Fix 2: Plug Your Laptop

Plug Your Laptop

One of the reasons the laptop screen brightness won’t adjust windows 10 problem can be low battery power, and it can easily be solved by plugging your laptop into electricity.

Even if the battery is full, sometimes your laptop settings can be adjusted for power-saving, and therefore your screen brightness can be limited until the OS detects that your computer is plugged in.

Also, you might not be experiencing a bug or a problem at all, and it could just be your laptop decreasing screen brightness automatically after your battery “drops” below a specific threshold, as many are configured to do so.

You can adjust these settings in the Windows Power Options panel and prevent the “auto-dimming” from happening again in the future, but this will result in lower battery uptimes and it may not be worth doing it.

The problem can instead be easily fixed by plugging in your laptop.

If you do want to change your power options though, you can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run Command Box.
  2. Type in “powercfg.cpl” and press Enter on your keyboard to open Power Options.
    Type in powercfg.cpl and press Enter on your keyboard to open Power Options
  3. Inside the panel, click Change plan settings for the plan you’re currently using.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings and expand the Display category.
  5. Adjust the percentage value for both when your laptop is plugged and unplugged.

Note: If you wish your laptop’s screen to be at maximum brightness even when your battery is low and the device is unplugged, set the “On Battery (%)” value to 100%.

Fix 3: Disable Adaptive Brightening

Disable Adaptive Brightening

Some GPUs come with drivers that have built-in features such as Adaptive Brightening which can be useful at times, but also problematic when we need more manual control over our systems, or in this specific case, our screens.

The can’t change brightness windows 10 issue can be caused exactly by such features, as reported by Reddit users in this particular thread.

The example included above mentioned the Intel GPU driver, but this can also be the case with other programs and drivers.

It’s best to disable features such as Adaptive Brightening if you notice your computer constantly changes the screen brightness when it’s not required or without your permission.

computer constantly changes the screen brightness when it’s not required or without your permission

Usually, these settings are found within the driver’s panel under the power options or power settings tab.

Some users also suggests that specific computers have this option available in the BIOS, mostly seen in DELL laptops.

Also, some laptops require the user to adjust the brightness strictly through the Media Control Panel, so make sure to get familiar with all the settings in it. Most of the time, you can access this control panel by right-clicking an empty area on your desktop and choosing it from the list of options in the menu.

Fix 4: Ensure You Have The Latest Display Drivers

Display

The can’t adjust brightness windows 10 problem can sometimes be caused by outdated display drivers. Also, outdated display drivers can cause many other issues, such as poor performance and visual artifacts (especially if it’s an unstable version of the driver).

If you can’t adjust screen brightness, maybe you have an old version of the driver that doesn’t come with the visual control panel where the settings are located.

You can easily fix this by downloading the latest version, and we explain exactly how to do this in one of the sections of this helpful guide covering the topic in detail.

If you’ve purchased a laptop with a pre-installed OS, it might come with a very outdated display driver, so this issue is more common than you think. Ensure you always have the latest display drivers installed.

Fix 5: Update Windows

Update Windows

Windows 10 and 11 updates are frequent, but sometimes they are shipped with a few bugs. Most of the time, these updates are supposed to fix issues with the current OS version, but we all know how complex things are, so bugs are not uncommon and are to be expected every once in a while.

With that said, two Reddit users complained about their computers randomly changing brightness after a recent windows 10 update in this specific thread.

two Reddit users complained about their computers randomly changing brightness

So, if you’ve encountered something similar, know that you’re not the first person dealing with this problem.

Most of the time, updating Windows should solve the problem, or if you believe the screen brightness won’t adjust Windows 10 issue is caused by the latest update, reverting to a previous version may fix it until Microsoft releases a new patch.

Because of this, we always ensure having the latest Windows 10 update installed.

Note: If you’re having problems updating Windows 10, our detailed guide can help you find a solution and get the latest patch for your OS.

Conclusion

Now you know what needs to be done when you’re unable to change the brightness on Windows 10. Luckily, all the fixes listed above are easy to apply and don’t require any advanced knowledge.

Note that this is a common bug and there’s most likely nothing wrong with your computer or laptop if you’re experiencing this issue.

Related Reads

How To Increase Dedicated VRAM On Windows 10
How To Increase Dedicated VRAM On Windows 10/11
Bojan Veselinovikj
LinkedIn

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.