Is Your Windows 10 Brightness Not Working? Here’s What to Do

Microsoft has made it quite easy to change the brightness setting in Windows. But the feature often breaks owing to faulty software updates, graphics drivers, or hardware issues.

Fortunately, fixing the brightness setting only takes a couple of minutes if there are no hardware issues involved.

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 setting in Windows 10 stops working due to a software bug. These can result from faulty Windows 10 updates, buggy display drivers, and/or wrong 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, the display output is handled by discreet graphics cards on most desktop PCs. Any fault in the discreet hardware can directly affect the display output, including the brightness levels.

In short, to correct the brightness setting on Windows, you need to figure out whether the issue is the result of faulty hardware or buggy software.

How to Fix the Windows Brightness Setting

There are multiple things that you can attempt to fix a faulty Windows brightness setting, including updating your graphics drivers. That said, the first thing everybody should do whenever a new issue arises is to make sure that Windows is up-to-date.

1. Update Windows

To perform a Windows Update:

  1. Hit the Win key, type “Update”, and click Check for updates.
  2. Once the Windows Update page pops up, select Check for Updates. If there are updates available, Windows will start downloading them.
  3. After Windows is done installing updates, restart your PC and see if the issue has been fixed.

2. Update Your Graphics Drivers

If updating Windows hasn’t solved the problem and the Windows brightness setting is still not working, try updating the graphics drivers.

To update graphics drivers:

  1. Hit the Win key, type “Device Manager”, and choose the relevant result.
  2. Scroll down the list of available devices to Display adapters and click to expand the list.
  3. Right-click the GPU name, select Update driver, and select Search automatically for drivers. If there are newer drivers available, they will show up, and you can install them.

If Windows didn’t find drivers automatically, you can try manually installing a different driver. If you have a standalone GPU, you can follow our guide on how to update Nvidia graphics card drivers on Windows. We also have tips on how to update an AMD graphics card on Windows, too.

If nothing has worked up until now, it’s time to try a general display driver:

  • Choose Browse my computer for drivers rather than the option that you chose previously. In the next panel, select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
  • Select Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and click Next.

After installing the drivers, restart your computer and see if the brightness now works properly.

You should only use the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter when the graphics drivers from your GPU’s manufacturer aren’t working. The Microsoft Basic Display Adapter is a bare-bones, built-in solution and as such won’t provide the optimal experience for which the GPU has been designed. Microsoft also recommends installing drivers provided by the hardware maker instead of the Basic Display Adapter.

What to Do if Your Computer Screen Is Too Dark, Even on Full Brightness

If your computer screen is too dark on full brightness, check your monitor settings if you are on a desktop PC and the Windows power settings if you are on a laptop.

How to Fix a Low Brightness Problem on a PC

On a desktop computer, make sure the brightness setting of your monitor is tuned properly by using the buttons provided on the monitor. If monitor brightness is set perfectly, but it is still too low, change the settings to default and see if the screen gets brighter.

If this doesn’t work, the issue may be caused by a faulty dedicated GPU. Try unplugging and then re-plugging the card to see if your PC display brightens up.

Sometimes the issue lies with the video cable connecting the GPU to the monitor. You can also try changing the cable if re-plugging the graphics card doesn’t work.

Finally, you may need to replace your GPU with another to see if the graphics card is the culprit.

How to Fix a Low Brightness Problem on a Laptop

On a laptop, the battery saver plan you are running can also have a big impact on the overall brightness of your system. To see if your battery saver is causing the issue:

  • Hit the Win key, type “Battery”, and click on Battery saver settings.
  • Make sure the Turn battery saver on automatically at isn’t set to Always.
  • If it is set to Always and you want to keep it that way, uncheck the Lower screen brightness while in battery saver. This way the brightness won’t lower even while your laptop is in battery saver mode.

The Different Ways to Adjust Windows 10’s Brightness

Windows often has different ways to adjust one thing, and the system’s brightness is no exception. As such, if one method of adjusting the brightness isn’t working on Windows 10, you can try adjusting it using a different route.

The easiest way to change the brightness level on Windows is to use a laptop’s dedicated buttons. Almost all laptop manufacturers assign dedicated buttons or a combination of buttons for changing the brightness. You can use those buttons to reduce or increase the brightness.

You can also change the brightness through Windows Action Center. Click on the speech bubble icon present in the bottom right corner of your desktop to bring up the Action Center. In the Action Center, you can move the brightness slider to set the brightness.

Finally, if you can’t find the brightness slider in the Action Center, the Windows Settings app also has an option for changing the brightness level.

  • Hit the Win key, type “Brightness”, and choose Change brightness level.
  • Use the slider present under Brightness and color to change the display brightness.

Getting Your Brightness Back on Windows 10

There are many reasons why Windows 10 won’t let you adjust the brightness, from hardware problems to faulty Windows updates. Hopefully, these tips have helped you adjust your brightness level to the perfect level.

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