How to Adjust Brightness on Windows 10 Computers

Dial settings up or down to reach the light level you need

A woman with an open laptop in front of a bright window
Changing the brightness levels on your Windows 10 laptop, tablet, or computer can make all the difference.

 Ezra Bailey/Taxi

Windows 10 provides users with a variety of different ways to adjust the screen brightness levels on their laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

Here's everything you need to know to quickly increase and decrease your screen brightness on your Windows 10 device, fine-tune the brightness levels exactly to your liking, enable dynamic lighting, and reduce the blue light levels before you go to bed.

How to Change Brightness on Windows 10

Adjusting the brightness on your Windows 10 machine is fairly easy and can be replicated quickly should you need to change these settings again.

Windows 10 Brightness Settings
Have greater control over Windows 10 brightness in the Settings app.
  1. Select the Notifications icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen on your Windows 10 computer or tablet to open the Action Center.
    1. Tip: If you own a Windows 10 device with a touchscreen, such as a Surface Book or Surface Laptop, you can also open the Action Center by swiping in from the right side of the screen with your finger.
  2. In the Action Center, you should see a square box with a sun icon in it. This is the button for increasing and decreasing brightness in Windows 10. Select the icon to cycle through five pre-set screen brightness levels; 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. 0% is the lowest possible brightness setting, while 100% is the highest. If you're happy with any of these pre-set brightness selections, then you're good to go. If you want to make finer adjustments to the screen brightness, read on.
  3. Right-click the brightness button in Action Center with your mouse. A link called Go to Settings will pop up. Select it with your left mouse button.
    1. Note: Alternatively, on a touch device, you can perform a long press on the button with your finger. The Go to Settings option will appear when you release your finger from the button.
  1. After you select Go to Settings, you'll be taken directly to the advanced Windows 10 brightness settings within the main Settings app. Here you'll see a horizontal bar with a line on it which indicates the current brightness level. Drag the line left or right on the bar with your mouse or finger to choose a specific brightness level outside of the five presets. The screen brightness will turn up or down in real-time as you move the line on the bar.

What is Windows 10's Dynamic Brightness Setting?

Underneath the bar in the brightness settings will be a box with "Change brightness automatically when lighting changes" written next to it. Select this box to enable the Windows 10 dynamic lighting feature. This feature uses the Windows 10 device's webcam to detect the light levels where you are and adjusts the screen brightness to match it.

Windows 10 brightness settings
This setting lets your webcam control how bright your screen is on a Windows 10 device.

If you're in a dark room, for example, your device's screen would dim if this option is enabled so its light wouldn't hurt your eyes. Similarly, if you take your Windows 10 device outside on a sunny day, the setting would brighten the screen so you can see what's on it.

You can still change your screen brightness with this setting enabled and you can turn it off at any time by unchecking the box if the changing of the brightness levels becomes annoying.

How to Use Windows 10's Night Light Settings

Beneath the dynamic brightness setting within the Settings app is a switch for the Windows 10 night light feature. This feature reduces the amount of blue light emitted from your device's screen, making everything appear more orange. It's commonly believed blue light can keep you awake at night so you should reduce your exposure to it in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Windows 10 night light settings
Windows 10's night light setting reduces blue light levels.

Here's what to do with the night light feature in Windows 10.

  1. Select the Night light switch to enable it, then select Night light settings underneath it.
  2. On the next screen, you'll see a Turn on now button. Select this to have the night light enabled 24 hours a day.
  3. Below this button will be a colored bar. Drag the line on this bar left and right to select the level of orange and blue you want in your screen whenever the night light feature is active.
  4. The final options are for the night light schedule. Enable Schedule night light for the feature to activate and deactivate at the same time every day. Select Sunrise to sunset to have the night light feature change in real-time with the sunrise and sunset times in your current location or select Set hours to manually select the on and off times.