8 ways to adjust the screen brightness in Windows (all versions)

If you use a laptop, a tablet or some other mobile device, you need to adjust the brightness of the display, so that you can see better, depending on whether you are indoors or outdoors. Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, offer many ways of changing the screen brightness and most users do not know even half of them. If you are looking for the fastest way to change the display’s brightness, read our tutorial:

1. How to change the screen brightness using a keyboard shortcut (all versions of Windows)

Some laptops keyboards, or type covers for Windows tablets, come with keys that can be used to change the screen brightness with ease. For example, on an HP Spectre 13t laptop, you can use the F2 and F3 keys to lower or increase the screen brightness.

On Surface Pro devices with type covers, you can press Fn + DEL to increase the brightness, and Fn + BACKSPACE to decrease it.

On our Lenovo Legion Y520 laptop with Windows 10, you can press F+F11 to lower the brightness and Fn+F12 to increase it. Look for similar keys on your laptop.

Such keyboard shortcuts are usually found on Windows laptops and tablets with mobile keyboards. On keyboards for desktop computers, such keys are missing because, on desktop computers, Windows does not allow users to change the level of brightness. Desktop PC displays have manual controls for controlling the brightness. This is not done from Windows.

2. Adjust the screen brightness using the battery icon from the system tray (Windows 10 only)

If you are using Windows 10 on a tablet or laptop, a quick way to change the brightness is to click or tap the battery icon in the system tray (the corner on the right side of the taskbar). Then, in the menu that is shown, click or tap the brightness icon until you get to the desired level.

On some Windows 10 laptops and tablets, the brightness is expressed in percentages, and it goes from 0% to 100%. On some devices like the Surface Pro, the brightness is expressed levels like Darkest, Darker, Suggested, Brighter, and Brightest. They stand for 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% brightness.

3. Change the screen brightness using the quick actions from the Action Center (Windows 10 only)

Windows 10 users can also use the Action Center to change the brightness. You can click or tap the Action Center icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen, press Windows + A on your keyboard, or swipe inwards from the right side of the screen (when using a touchscreen). In the Action Center, click or tap the brightness icon, until you get to the desired level of brightness.

Do remember that on some Windows 10 laptops and tablets, the brightness is expressed in percentages while on others in words like Darkest, Darker, Suggested, Brighter, and Brightest. They stand for 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% brightness.

4. Adjust the screen brightness from the Control Panel (all Windows versions)

Another way to change the brightness is to use the Control Panel. Either open the Control Panel and go to “Hardware and Sound -> Power Options,” or right-click the battery icon from the taskbar and choose “Adjust screen brightness.”

Both methods take you to the Power Options window. On the bottom of this window, look for the Screen brightness slider. Use it to lower or increase the brightness of the display.

NOTE: This option is not shown on desktop computers, only on laptops, tablets, and convertibles with Windows.

5. Change the brightness of the display using the Settings app (Windows 10 only)

Windows 10 users can also use the Settings app to change the brightness level. Open Settings (Windows + I), and go to System.

On the column on the left, choose Display. On the right, look for the Change brightness slider, beneath Brightness and color.

Use this slider to set the brightness of the display, as you wish.

6. Use the Windows Mobility Center to change the display brightness (all Windows versions)

Windows laptop users can also use the Windows Mobility Center to adjust the brightness. Start the Windows Mobility Center app, and use the Display brightness slider to set it as you wish.

7. Change the screen brightness using the Settings charm (Windows 8.1 only)

If you use Windows 8.1, bring up the charms. One quick way to do that is to press Windows + C on your keyboard, or swipe from the right edge of the screen towards the center (if you are using a tablet). Then, click or tap Settings.

On the bottom of the Settings charm, there are several buttons. Look for the one named Screen and click or tap on it.

Move the brightness slider up or down, depending on how you want to set the brightness. When done, click or tap somewhere outside the Settings charm to make it disappear from the screen.

8. Adjust the screen brightness by changing the active power plan (all Windows versions)

Different Windows devices have different power plans. Some of them come with different settings for the brightness because lowering the screen’s brightness decreases the energy consumption and increases the autonomy of your device.

Therefore, if you want to lower the brightness, change the plan to the one that offers the best battery life. If you want to increase the brightness, change the plan to one that offers more performance and less battery time. To learn more about power plans, and how to change them, read this tutorial: What Power Plans Are & How To Switch Between Them In Windows.

What is your preferred method of changing the screen brightness, in Windows?

These are all the methods we know for changing the screen brightness in Windows. Try them out and see which ones are more comfortable for you. Before closing this tutorial, share with us which methods work best. Also, if you know other methods, do not hesitate to share them in a comment. Other readers will surely appreciate them.