How to Adjust Your PC’s Screen Brightness

You should probably adjust the brightness of your screen on a frequent basis. You want to turn it up when it’s bright outside so you can see. When you’re in a dark room, you’ll want it to be dim so your eyes don’t suffer. Reduce the brightness of your screen to save energy and extend the life of your laptop’s battery.

You may have Windows modify the screen brightness automatically in a variety of ways, in addition, to manually setting it.

Windows can adjust it depending on whether you’re plugged in, how much battery capacity you have left, or whether you’re utilizing an ambient light sensor, which is incorporated into many modern devices.

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How to Manually Adjust the Brightness on a Laptop or Tablet

How to Adjust Your PC's Screen Brightness, Manually and Automatically

You’ll find shortcut keys on most laptop keyboards that allow you to easily increase and reduce your brightness. These keys are frequently found among the F-keys (F1 through F12) that appear above the number row on your keyboard.

Look for an icon that correlates to brightness–often a sun emblem or something similar–and press the keys to adjust the screen brightness. These are frequently function keys, which means you may need to hit and hold the Fn key on your keyboard (usually around the bottom-left corner) while pressing them.

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You may also change the brightness of your display from within Windows. This is especially useful if you don’t have these keys on your keyboard or if you’re using a tablet and need to do it in software. In Windows 10, the Action Center contains a quick brightness slider.

To get to it, go to the taskbar and click or press the notification bubble icon to the right of the clock. If the slider isn’t visible, click the “Expand” option above the tile grid. To alter the brightness of your screen, click (or touch) and drag the slider. On a touchscreen, you may also open the Action Center by swiping in from the right side of the screen.

On Windows 10, you’ll also find this option in the Settings app. Select “System,” then “Display” from the Settings app on your Start menu or Start screen.

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To adjust the brightness level, click or tap and drag the “Adjust brightness level” slider. This option is available in the Control Panel if you’re running Windows 7 or 8 and don’t have a Settings app. Select “Hardware and Sound” from the Control Panel, then “Power Options.”

At the bottom of the Power Plans panel is a “Screen brightness” slider. This option is also available in the Windows Mobility Center. On Windows 10 and 8.1, right-click the Start button and select “Mobility Center,” or hit the Windows key + X on Windows 7. In the pop-up box, adjust the “Display brightness” slider.

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The majority of the techniques in this article are intended for use with laptops, tablets, and all-in-one computers.

If you’re using a desktop PC with an external monitor–or even attach an external display to a laptop or tablet–you’ll need to alter this setting on the external display itself, which isn’t always possible. Look for “brightness” buttons on the display and adjust the brightness with them.

Before you can access an on-screen display that allows you to increase or decrease the brightness, you may need to press a “Menu” or “Options” button.

These buttons are frequently seen near the power button on a computer monitor. You might be able to modify the brightness of your monitor with an app like ScreenBright or Display Tuner, though they won’t work with all monitors.

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How to Change the Brightness of Your Computer When It’s Plugged In

Depending on whether you’re plugged in or not, you can set different display brightness levels on your laptop or tablet.

When you’re plugged in, for example, you may have it set to a high brightness level, and a lesser one when you’re on battery power. The brightness of your screen would then be automatically adjusted by Windows.

To make changes, go to the Control Panel. Select “Hardware and Sound,” then “Power Options.” Next to the power plan you’re using, click the “Change plan options” link. Most likely, you’re utilizing the Balanced power plan.

Under “Adjust plan brightness,” choose various screen brightness levels for “On battery” and “Plugged in.” This option is linked to your energy plan. If you like, you may set multiple screen brightness levels for different power plans and switch between them (though we don’t think they’re required).


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You may also set your display’s backlight to adapt automatically based on how much battery power your laptop or tablet has remaining. You may do this in Windows 10 by using the Battery Saver option. Select “System” and then “Battery” in the Settings app.

Make sure “Lower screen brightness while in battery saver” is turned on, and then select the percentage at which Battery Saver should kick in. When Battery Saver is activated at that setting, your backlight is dimmed, saving you electricity. Battery Saver is on by default when the battery is less than 20% charged.

Unfortunately, there is no method to control the brightness setting that Battery Saver selects. The battery symbol can also be used to manually enable this feature.


How to Adjust Brightness Automatically Based on Ambient Light

An ambient brightness sensor is featured on many modern laptops and tablets, and it operates similarly to the one found on smartphones and tablets.

When you’re in a bright location, Windows may use the sensor to automatically increase the brightness of your display, and when you’re in a dark space, it can automatically decrease the brightness.

This is convenient, but it can also be inconvenient for some people. It may automatically dim or brighten your display when you don’t want it to, and you may want to control brightness manually using the options above. It’s a good idea to try it on and off to see which you prefer.

On Windows 10, visit the Settings app, pick “System,” and then “Display” to enable or disable this capability. Activate or deactivate the “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes” feature.

If your smartphone has an ambient brightness sensor, you’ll see this choice. You can also alter this setting in the Control Panel. Select “Hardware and Sound,” then “Power Options,” then “Change plan settings” next to the power plan you’re using, then “Change advanced power settings.”

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Expand the “Display” area first, and then the “Enable adaptive brightness” section after that. You can choose whether adaptive brightness is used when you’re on battery or plugged in with these choices. You could, for example, turn it off when you’re plugged in and leave it on when you’re running on battery power.

You may adjust the brightness of your screen both automatically and manually, and each has its own time and place. Enabling automatic brightness won’t stop you from adjusting your brightness using hotkeys or Windows preferences whenever you choose, so you have nothing to lose by testing out all of the following alternatives.

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