Microsoft has made it pretty easy to change the brightness setting in Windows. However, the function often breaks down due to faulty software updates, graphics drivers, or hardware issues.
Luckily, if there are no hardware issues, fixing the brightness setting only takes a few minutes.
Let’s see what causes brightness issues in Windows 10 and how to fix them.
Why is the Windows 10 brightness setting not working?
Often the brightness adjustment in Windows 10 stops working due to a software error. These can result from faulty Windows 10 updates, faulty display drivers and/or incorrect power management settings.
Hardware issues can also affect the brightness setting on Windows 10, especially on desktop computers with dedicated GPUs. Unlike laptops with integrated GPUs, most desktop PCs handle the display output with discrete graphics cards. Any flaw in the discrete hardware can directly affect display output, including brightness levels.
In short, to fix the brightness setting on Windows, you need to find out whether the problem is due to faulty hardware or faulty software.
How to fix Windows brightness setting
There are several things you can try to fix a corrupt Windows brightness setting, including updating your graphics drivers. The first thing everyone should do when encountering a new problem is make sure Windows is up to date.
1. Update Windows
To perform a Windows update:
- Beat those Win press , type “update” and click Check for updates.
- Once the Windows Update page appears, select Check for updates. If updates are available, Windows will begin downloading them.
- After Windows finishes installing updates, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.
2. Update your graphics drivers
If updating Windows didn’t solve the problem and Windows brightness control still doesn’t work, try updating the graphics drivers.
To update graphics drivers:
- Beat those Win Type “Device Manager” and select the appropriate result.
- Scroll down the list of available devices display adapter and click to expand the list.
- Right click on the GPU name and select update driversand choose Search for drivers automatically. If newer drivers are available, they will be displayed and you can install them.
If Windows didn’t find the drivers automatically, you can try to manually install another driver. If you have a discrete GPU, you can follow our guide on how to update Nvidia graphics card drivers on Windows. We also have tips for updating an AMD graphics card on Windows.
If nothing has worked so far, it’s time to try a generic display driver:
- Choose Browse my computer for drivers instead of the option you previously selected. Select in the next pane Let me choose from a list of available drivers on my computer.
- Choose Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and click Next.
After installing the drivers, restart your computer and check if the brightness is working properly now.
You should only use the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter if your GPU manufacturer’s graphics drivers are not working. The Microsoft Basic Display Adapter is a simple, built-in solution, so it doesn’t provide the optimal experience that the GPU was designed for. Microsoft also recommends installing the drivers provided by the hardware manufacturer instead of the Basic Display Adapter.
What to do when your computer screen is too dark, even at full brightness?
If your computer screen is too dark at full brightness, check your monitor settings if you’re on a desktop PC and Windows power settings if you’re on a laptop.
How to fix a low brightness problem on a PC
On a desktop computer, ensure that your monitor’s brightness setting is properly adjusted using the buttons provided on the monitor. If the monitor brightness is set perfectly but is still too low, change the settings to the defaults and see if the screen gets brighter.
If this doesn’t work, the problem may be caused by a faulty dedicated GPU. Try removing and reinserting the card to see if your PC display brightens.
Sometimes the problem lies with the video cable connecting the GPU to the monitor. You can also try swapping the cable if re-plugging the graphics card doesn’t work.
Finally, you may need to swap out your GPU for another to determine if the graphics card is the culprit.
How to fix a low brightness problem on a laptop
On a laptop, the power plan you run can also have a big impact on the overall brightness of your system. To check if your power saving mode is causing the issue:
- Beat those Win button, type “Battery” and click Energy saving settings.
- Make sure, that Automatically turn on power saving mode is not set Always.
- If it’s set to Always and you want to keep it that way, uncheck that Lower the screen brightness in sleep mode. In this way, the brightness does not decrease even if your laptop is in sleep mode.
The different ways to adjust the brightness of Windows 10
Windows often has different ways of adjusting one thing, and system brightness is no exception. So if one method to adjust the brightness in Windows 10 doesn’t work, you can try another way to adjust it.
The easiest way to change the brightness level in Windows is to use a laptop’s dedicated keys. Almost all laptop manufacturers assign dedicated keys or a combination of keys to change the brightness. Use these buttons to decrease or increase the brightness.
You can also change the brightness from the Windows Action Center. Click on that speech bubble icon in the lower-right corner of your desktop to bring up the Action Center. In the Action Center, you can slide the brightness slider to adjust the brightness.
If you can’t find the brightness slider in the Action Center, the Windows Settings app also offers an option to change the brightness level.
- Beat those Win button, type “brightness” and select Change brightness level.
- Use the slider under Brightness and Color to change the display brightness.
Get your brightness back on Windows 10
There are many reasons why Windows 10 won’t let you adjust the brightness, from hardware issues to faulty Windows updates. Hopefully these tips have helped you set your brightness to the perfect level.
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