How to Fix It When Brightness Is Not Changing on Windows 10

Find out why you can't adjust brightness on your computer

Here's how to fix things when Windows 10 screen brightness is not changing and what to do next.  

Why Can't I Change Brightness on Windows 10?

When you're unable to change the brightness on your Windows 10 desktop PC or laptop, the problem can be down to a number of different issues. These can be either software or hardware-based so it's important to know where the problem actually lies. 

Many of the issues can be fixed at home, but there are certain cases where if the hardware is at fault, you may need to arrange for the system to be professionally repaired or for replacement components to be purchased. 

Before reaching that stage, it's worth narrowing down where the issue lies:

  • PC won't respond to brightness adjustment. If you're following the commands to adjust brightness correctly, you may be dealing with either a software or hardware issue stopping the change from taking effect. 
  • PC recently won't change brightness. If your PC used to adjust the brightness correctly but won't any more, it may be down to a software upgrade issue.
  • Brightness no longer auto-adjusts. If the brightness on your device used to automatically adjust but doesn't any more, it's important to check if it's still possible to manually adjust the brightness. 

Why Is the Brightness Not Changing on My Laptop?

If the brightness isn't working on your laptop, this can be for a number of different reasons. Here's a look at some of the reasons why this might be the case.

  • Your display has a problem. If your laptop has suffered a few knocks or is simply aging, the display may have a problem with switching brightness. 
  • Your software is out of date. If Windows 10 or your graphics drivers haven't been updated in a while, this may cause a problem with adjusting brightness. 
  • Keyboard issues. If you're using keyboard commands to adjust the brightness on your laptop and it's not working, it may be an issue with the keyboard rather than your display. 

What to Do if Brightness Is Not Working in Windows 10

If you can't change the brightness on your Windows 10 machine, there are a number of different ways to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Here's a look at the key methods in order of difficulty. 

  1. Check you're using the correct command. On a laptop, it's often possible to change brightness levels by holding the Fn button along with a function key. Check you're using the correct keys to do so.

  2. Change the brightness via the Action Center. Use Windows 10's Action Center to toggle brightness rather than keyboard commands. It can sometimes fix the issue. 

  3. Check Power Options. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options and check that your power options aren't affecting the brightness on your screen. While there, check that the brightness isn't automatically adjusted by your PC or laptop.

  4. Update your display drivers. Update your display drivers. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes and often fixes common problems. It also often makes your system run more responsively.

  5. Update Windows. Check for Windows updates and make sure your operating system is fully up-to-date.

  6. Use a different monitor. Try using a different external monitor or screen to see if the problem is solely an issue with your existing screen.

  7. Switch graphics cards. Either try installing a separate graphics cards or switch from your dedicated graphics card to your integrated graphics card to see if the issue lies with one of the GPUs. This option is usually found alongside the screen resolution settings.

  8. Contact your PC/laptop manufacturer. If the problem persists and you can't fix it, contact the manufacturer of your device to see if they can help or to send it off for repair.

How Can I Adjust Brightness in Windows 10?

Changing the brightness on Windows 10 is a fairly simple process, but you have multiple ways of doing so. Here's a quick overview of the methods.

  • Keyboard commands. On a laptop, you can often change the brightness via keyboard commands. Hold down the Fn key then look for any icons next to letters that could represent brightness. 
  • Via the Action Center. Change brightness via Windows 10's Action Center and sliding the brightness slider left or right.
  • Automatically. If you'd prefer your computer to adjust brightness automatically, go to Control Panel > Display and change the settings to automatic here to leave your computer to decide what's best based around the time of day you're using it.
  • Why is the brightness not changing on my Lenovo Thinkpad with Windows 10?

    You might need to update the display driver from the Lenovo support site. Once you locate your product, select Drivers & Software > Windows 10 Display and Video Graphics. If the problem occurred after a recent display driver update, you might want to roll back a driver from Control Center > Device Manager > Properties > Roll Back Driver.

  • Why is the brightness not changing on my Windows 10 computer when it's plugged in?

    Check to see if you have adaptive or automatic brightness enabled from Power Options. On some devices running Windows 10, you can turn off auto brightness from Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > Display > Enable adaptive brightness.

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