How to Manually or Automatically Adjust Screen Brightness on Windows

Ambient Laptop Screen

Whether you’re working in a low-light environment or trying to save battery life, knowing how to adjust screen brightness can come in handy. This tutorial discusses how to manually or automatically adjust screen brightness on Windows, including some tips and tricks to make the process easier.

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From the Action Center

Windows Action Center is a centralized hub that enables you to manage notifications and access quick settings, including screen brightness. Follow these steps to adjust screen brightness from the Action Center:

  1. Click on any of the system tray icons or press Win + A.
Clicking on any of the system tray icons in Windows.
  1. Drag the top slider left or right to adjust the screen brightness.
Dragging top slider to adjust brightness in Windows.

From the Keyboard

Keyboard shortcuts are the quickest way to change screen brightness on Windows. These steps show how to use them to adjust the brightness level.

  1. If you’re using a laptop, look for the key labeled Fn, usually located near the bottom-left corner. If you’re dealing with keyboard issues on your laptop, you may find the fix you need.
Keyboard showcasing "Fn" key.
  1. Check the function keys (from F1 to F12) for the one with a sun icon on it. Press and hold the Fn key, then press the brightness up key (in our case F11) or brightness down (F12) key to adjust the screen brightness accordingly.
Sun icon on F11/F12 keys on laptop keyboard
  1. If you’re using a PC with an independent keyboard attached, look for the dedicated brightness control keys on your keyboard and use them to adjust the screen brightness. (Not all keyboards have them, but some do.)

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From the Windows Mobility Center

The Windows Mobility Center provides quick access to commonly used system settings for your devices, including screen brightness settings.

  1. Click the Windows Start button and type “Mobility Center” in the search bar. Click on the best match.
Searching for "Mobility Center" via Start button.
  1. Locate the “Display brightness” slider. Drag the slider left or right to adjust the screen brightness.
Adjusting brightness slider from Windows Mobility Center.
  1. Alternatively, press Win + R on your keyboard to open the Run box.
  1. Type mblctr in the Run box and hit Enter to open the Windows Mobility Center.
Type "mblctr" in Run box in Windows.
  1. As before, adjust your screen brightness using the brightness slider.

From the Windows Settings Menu

You can also use the Windows Settings Menu to adjust the screen brightness on your Windows laptop or PC. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Start button and select “Settings” (the gear icon).
Clicking on the Settings app in Windows.
  1. Click “System -> Display.”
Go to "Display" in Windows Settings.
  1. Use the “Brightness” slider to adjust the screen brightness to your desired level.
Brightness slider in Windows Settings view.

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Using the Battery Saver Mode

Battery Saver mode extends the battery life of your Windows laptop or tablet by reducing its power consumption. Use the Battery Saver mode to automatically adjust the screen brightness of your Windows device and conserve battery life at the same time.

  1. Bring up the Action Center and select the battery icon.
  1. Locate “Battery saver” and turn it on.
Turning on "Battery Saver" option from Action Center.

Using the Night Light Mode

Night light mode allows you to adjust your screen brightness by lowering the levels of the blue light spectrum. Customize the intensity of the Night light mode to find the optimal brightness level for your screen.

  1. Go to “Settings -> System -> Display” as shown above.
  1. Select “Night light.”
Clicking on "Night light" option via Settings.
  1. Click “Turn on now.”
Click "Turn on now" button under Night Light.
  1. Use the “Strength” slider to adjust the intensity of the Night light mode.
"Strength" slider under Night Light option.
  1. Use the “Schedule night light” option to set a specific time for the Night Light mode to turn on and off automatically.
Scheduling options for Night Time.

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Using Windows PowerShell

If you’re a more experienced user looking to adjust screen brightness on a Windows device, you can use Windows PowerShell.

  1. Open the Start menu and search for “Windows PowerShell.”
Searching for "Powershell" via Windows Search.
  1. Right-click on Windows PowerShell and select “Run as administrator.”
Click on "Run as administrator" option for PowerShell.
  1. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter:
(Get-WmiObject -Namespace root/WMI -Class WmiMonitorBrightnessMethods).WmiSetBrightness(1,YOUR_DESIRED_BRIGHTNESS_LEVEL)
  1. Replace “YOUR_DESIRED_BRIGHTNESS_LEVEL” with a value between 1 and 100. For example:
(Get-WmiObject -Namespace root/WMI -Class WmiMonitorBrightnessMethods).WmiSetBrightness(1,100)
Setting brightness from PowerShell.

Using Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in options for adjusting screen brightness on Windows devices, various third-party apps provide additional customization options and features. These apps are quite useful if you want more control over your display settings.

  • F.lux – a free app that adjusts the color temperature of your screen based on the time of day. F.lux helps reduce eye strain and improve sleep quality by reducing the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.
Flux interface overview.
  • Dimmer – also free, Dimmer allows you to adjust the brightness of your screen beyond the normal range of your device. It can be particularly useful if you work in low-light conditions or want more control over your screen brightness levels.
Dimmer interface overview.

Good to know: if you’re looking to upgrade your monitor, check out our monitor buying guide to ensure you pick the best possible option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my PC keep adjusting screen brightness automatically?

Your PC may keep adjusting screen brightness automatically if the “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes” feature is enabled in the Windows settings. This feature uses the ambient light sensor to adjust the screen brightness based on the lighting conditions in your environment. To disable this feature, go to “Settings -> System -> Display” and toggle off “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes.”

What is the best brightness level for a computer screen?

A recommended brightness level for your computer screen is 50 to 75 percent of maximum brightness or until the white background on your screen looks like a white piece of paper. In totality, the best brightness level for your screen depends on the total nits of screen brightness, the lighting conditions in your environment, and your personal preferences.

What triggers automatic screen brightness in Windows?

The ambient light sensor determines the automatic screen brightness in Windows. This sensor measures the amount of light in the environment and adjusts the screen’s brightness accordingly. Keep in mind that not all computer screens have ambient light sensors, though they’re quite common in laptops.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Khizer Kaleem.

Khizer Kaleem
Khizer Kaleem

Khizer Kaleem is a content writer at MTE. Having more than 15 years of experience with Windows OS, he has been showing his subject expertise by writing on various technical problems that users face. The content that Khizer produces helps readers resolve their Windows-related issues.

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