How to Adjust Brightness on Windows 10 and Fix Related Problems

One of the easiest ways to adjust screen brightness in Windows 10 is using the monitor hardware controls.

Most of the display units are now LCD, LED or Smart Monitors.

In good olden days of XP and Windows 7, CRT monitors had big buttons for desktop brightness control.

In 2019, screens are being shared by multiple devices and operating systems. Windows 10 is one such OS.

It was released in 2015 and was made popular by some good marketing practices of Satya Nadella.

You can now even share your Android screen on a Windows 10 PC.

There are different kind of Windows 10 desktop and laptop devices.

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Status about 2019 Monitors

Previously the monitor was external.

Now we have 2-in-1, 360 degree rotatable PC screens, ultra-thin laptops, All-in-One desktops and many others.

So the hardware controls have become thinner in size and are very difficult to operate.

In such cases, brightness control software are very useful.

Instead of playing with display devices and spoiling the already fragile and thin buttons, we can make use of these programs that use graphics driver control panels.

Little about Windows 10 Brightness Controls

Since its inception Windows 10 has undergone many changes. We had different updates like 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809 etc.

The latest version is called May 2019 update which is termed as “1903” update.

Microsoft is able to understand user’s feedback and take appropriate action in the form of new features.

Since the desktop and laptop brands like Samsung, Acer, ThinkPad etc have different keyboard controls, Windows 10 has a new feature in 1903 version for its brightness control.

We have “Brightness Slider” to adjust screen brightness.

To find and know how this feature works, you can read the article below.

But there is a catch!

It will not work with all laptops and desktops.

The following are the conditions –

  • It works with internal monitors only. If your CPU is connected to the monitor using cables or wires, it may come under external monitor. In another sense, the screen should be in-built with the PC.
  • Action Center displays the “Brightness Slider”. In Windows 10 version 1903, you can go to – Settings> System > Display, and then use the Change brightness slider to adjust the screen brightness.
  • If the slider is not visible or doesn’t work, try updating your graphics adapter driver. This can be done from “Device Manager” or using GPU control panel.
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How to Change Screen Brightness using GPU Control

If you are using a graphics card like NVIDIA, you are likely to have a separate control panel for it.

You can find it in the Control Panel. For example, I’m using the NVIDIA GeForce 210 graphics driver.

  • In the NVIDIA control panel, under “Display”, there is an option called “Adjust desktop color settings”.
  • On the right-hand side, you can “choose how color is set”.
  • Then you can select the option that says “Use NVIDIA settings”.
  • Under this there are “Brightness” and “Contrast” settings.

You can move the slider up or down to increase or decrease the screen brightness.

Then click the “Apply” button.

Note: This works only if your screen or monitor is connected to the graphics card. It will work for external monitors or any kind of monitors. So if you have a desktop or PC, where the Windows 10 brightness slider is not visible, and then you can use this option.

Adjust Brightness on Windows 10 Using Function (Fn) Keys on KeyBoard

If you are using a laptop keyboard you can control screen brightness using the function keys.

Depending upon the model and brand of your computer, keys like F1 and F2 should increase or decrease brightness. Since we have keys from F1 to F12, the order may be different for Samsung, ThinkPad, Acer computers.

You can see a half-sun kind of symbol on the function key to indicate it’s a brightness control.

Windows 10 Settings to Change Screen Brightness

Follow these steps.

Step 1 : Press Win + I key to open Windows Settings. This is a new interface to control settings in Windows 10.

Step 2: Go to System > Display.

Step 3: On the right-hand side, you can see “Brightness and Color” setting.

Step 4: Move the slider forward or backward to adjust your screen brightness.

Step 5: You can also tick the option that says “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes”.

Step 6: This will trigger the adaptive brightness feature which will automatically adjust to the surrounding light.

Control Screen Brightness in Windows 10 using Control Panel

The following are the steps:

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Step 1 : Press the Win key and enter “Control” or a few letters.

Step 2: Click the Control Panel option.

Step 3: Navigate through Hardware and Sound > Power Options.

Step 4: Screen brightness slider is available at the bottom on the right hand side.

Note: All the above methods will work only if you have a monitor connected to your CPU. If you have any external monitor, then the “Brightness slider” will not be visible. This feature is available in new desktop monitors and laptops.

How to Adjust Windows 10 Screen Brightness when on Battery and Plugged In

As we know that more the brightness, it will take up more battery life.

In laptops, the important aspect is the amount of charging left over.

If you are away from power supply, sitting in a garden, then it is difficult to find a power source.

You have to rely on the battery power itself. In such cases, you need to save battery life.

So when you are plugged into the power outlet, you might like to have high brightness and when on battery less brightness.

Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options

Select the power plan you are using now and click on “Change Plan Settings”.

Different options are available for “On Battery” and “Plugged In”.

The option “Adjust plan brightness” is also available.

Move the slider up or down to adjust the laptop brightness when on battery or plugged into power source.

Battery Saver when Remaining Battery life is low

When your battery power becomes very low, you might forget to monitor it.

Immersed in your work, you continue to use the same brightness level.

What if your battery brightness automatically decreases, when your battery power is low ?

Windows Settings > System > Battery

On the right-hand side, you can see the Battery Saver.

  • Click on “Battery saver settings” link.
  • You can check the option that says “Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below
  • Then you can move the slider to adjust the “battery life” percentage like 20%, 15% etc.
  • Check also the option that says “Battery saver status until next charge”.
  • Check the below option “Lower screen brightness while in battery saver”.

How to Change Brightness Settings using Power Options

Follow these steps.

  1. Open Control Panel in Windows 10 ( Hint: Press the Win key and type “control”).
  2. Select Power Options.
  3. Click on “Change plan settings” link next to the plan you are using.
  4. Then click “Change advanced power settings”.
  5. In the pop-up window, toggle the “Display” switch.
  6. There are three options. a. Display brightness b. Dimmed Display brightness c. Enable adaptive brightness.
  7. For the first two options, you have further settings. a. On battery b. Plugged In.
  8. Change each setting to your liking that suits your display needs.
  9. Click the “OK” button.
Note : Some Windows 10 users have said that “Turn Off Adaptive Brightness” option from Power Options helps them to adjust the screen brightness. You can try this option, if it works for you.

How to Fix Screen Brightness Problem in Windows 10

If your NVIDIA graphics driver is not working, then you can use the default “Generic PnP Monitor” adapter.

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  • Type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run box and press Enter.
  • Under “Monitors” find the display device.
  • Right-click it and “Update driver”. Then “Browse my computer for driver software”.
  • Click on “Let me pick from a list of available drives on my computer”.
  • The present monitor drivers are listed on this screen.
  • Select the “Generic PnP Monitor” and click “Next”.
  • The default driver will be installed.
Note: Don’t worry, your other monitor drivers will not be uninstalled. If you want, you again select and change to your branded monitor driver again.
How to Use CMD to Fix Monitor Brightness Problem

Using command-line utility you can fix screen brightness problem in Windows 10. Open the Command Prompt window in Adminstrator mode. Press the Win key and type “CMD”. Then right-click and “Run as Administrator”. Then enter the command – sfc /scannow. This should fix the corrupted files.

How to Fix Windows 10 Brightness not working

Different solutions work for different brands and models. Update the original GPU driver to install the latest graphics card driver. Know the model and brand of your GPU and visit the manufacturer website. Download the Windows 10 driver and install it. Another solution is to activate the the “Generic PnP Monitor”.

How to Update all your GPU Drivers Automatically.

Select the Device Manager either from Control Panel or pressing the Win key and typing it. Under “Display Adapters” you can find your GPU unit. Right-click it and select “Update Driver”. Then you can choose the option “Search automatically for updated driver software”. It should install the driver searching the internet.

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