Windows 10 brightness settings

How to change brightness on Windows 10

Windows 10 offers many easy ways to adjust the screen brightness, and in this guide, you will learn how.

  • To change the brightness on Windows 10, open “Action Center” and use the slider to adjust the settings.
  • You can also adjust the brightness from System > Settings > Display using the brightness slider.
  • It’s also possible to change the brightness levels using a battery saver, the controls located on the monitor, and the Control Panel.

UPDATED 1/12/2024: On Windows 10, you can change the brightness levels in at least five different ways, and in this guide, I will show you how. Sometimes, depending on the lighting, you may have to increase or reduce the screen brightness on Windows 10 to make everything more visible or comfortable. In addition, reducing brightness can always save battery.

If you have to change the brightness settings on your display manually, automatically when the device is plugged in or unplugged or through an ambient sensor, on Windows 10, you can adjust the settings through Action Center, Settings app, Control Panel, and through features like battery saver or using the monitor settings.

In this guide, I will outline the steps to increase or reduce brightness manually on your computer’s display on Windows 10.

Change brightness on Windows 10 from Action Center

To change the brightness on Windows 10 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 click the “Action Center” button in the notification area.
  2. Increase or decrease the brightness intensity using the brightness slider. 

    Action Center change brightness

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

Change brightness on Windows 10 from Settings

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

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Display.

  4. Use the slider to change the display’s brightness level using the “Brightness and color” settings.

    Windows 10 Settings change brightness

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

Lower brightness on Windows 10 from 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 the screen brightness while in battery saver

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

Change brightness on Windows 10 from Control Panel

You can also use the Control Panel to manually reduce the screen brightness when your laptop is plugged in or running on battery. However, this option may or may not be available on every device.

To change the screen brightness on Windows 10 through 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” option of the active power plan.

    Power Options settings in Control Panel

  5. Use the sliders to adjust the plan brightness when your laptop runs on battery or is plugged in.

    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 Windows 10 from external monitor

The above instructions will only work for laptops and 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.

If you have multiple monitors, 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 display’s power button, or you’ll need to access the main menu to adjust the brightness, similar to how you would change this setting on your TV.

Update January 12, 2024: This content has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the configuration process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].