Windows 10 change brightness
Screen adjustment

How to change brightness on Windows 10

Windows 10 offers many easy ways to adjust the screen brightness, and in this guide, you'll learn how to complete this task, including on an external monitor.

Depending on the lighting around you, at times, you’ll need to increase or reduce the screen brightness on Windows 10 to make everything more visible or more comfortable so it doesn’t hurt your eyes. In addition, reducing brightness can always save battery when you’re on the go.

On Windows 10, you can change brightness settings of your display manually, automatically depending whether your PC is plugged in or unplugged, or through an ambient sensor.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to increase or reduce brightness manually on your PC’s display using Windows 10.

Change brightness using Action Center

To change the brightness through Action Center, use the steps:

  1. Open Action Center on Windows 10.

    Quick tip: You can use the Windows key + A keyboard shortcut, or you can click the Action Center button in the notification area.
  2. Use the brightness slider to increase or decrease the brightness intensity. 

    Action Center change brightness option
    Action Center change brightness option

Alternatively, on many laptops and desktops, you can simply increase or decrease the brightness directly from the keyboard. Usually, you can do this using one of the functions keys. For example, using the Function key + F11 to reduce or the Function key + F12 keyboard shortcut to increase the brightness.

Change brightness using Settings

To change the brightness intercity from Settings, use these steps: 

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Display.

  4. Under the “Brightness and color” section, use the slider to change the brightness level of the display.

    Windows 10 Settings change brightness option
    Windows 10 Settings change brightness option

Also, note that if your laptop or monitor includes a light sensor, you can also check the Change brightness automatically when light changes option, but this will override the manual configuration.

Lower brightness during battery saver

The device can conserve battery by letting Windows 10 lower the brightness automatically while battery saver is enabled.

To lower brightness automatically during battery saver, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Battery.

  4. Check the Lower the screen brightness while in battery saver option.

    Lower brightness when battery saver
    Lower brightness when battery saver

However, it’s important to note that you can only turn on or off the option, as there is no way to adjust the brightness level in battery saver mode.

Change brightness using Control Panel

You can also use Control Panel to manually reduce the screen brightness when your laptop is plugged in or running in battery. (On a desktop PC, you’ll only see the controls to adjust the settings when the device is plugged in.)

To change the screen brightness on Windows 10 with Control Panel, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on Hardware and Sound.

  3. Click on Power Options.

  4. Click the Change plan settings link of the current power plan that you’re using.

    Power Options settings in Control Panel
    Power Options settings in Control Panel
  5. Use the sliders to adjust the plan brightness when your laptop is running on battery or is plugged in.

    Adjust plan brightness settings in Control Panel
    Adjust plan brightness settings in Control Panel
  6. Click the Save changes button.

After you complete the steps, you only need to remember to adjust these settings again if you ever change the power plan.

Change brightness on external monitor

The above instructions will only work for a laptop desktops with a single monitor. If you have an external monitor, unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t provide a way to adjust brightness for secondary displays.

In the case you have more than one monitor, you’ll need to use the controls available in the display itself to change the brightness settings.

Usually, you’ll find these controls next to the power button of the display, or you’ll need to access the main menu to adjust the brightness, similar to how you would change this setting on a television.