Brightness settings on Windows 10
Screen adjustment

How to increase or reduce screen brightness on Windows 10

Windows 10 offers many easy ways to adjust the screen brightness, and in this guide show you how, 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 adjust brightness settings of your display manually, automatically depending whether your PC is plugged in or unplugged, using 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.

How to increase or reduce brightness using Action Center

The easiest way to change the brightness on your device is to use the Quick action button available in Action Center or battery flyout.

To change the brightness through Action Center, do the following:

  1. Use the Windows key + A keyboard shortcut to open Action Center. (Or click the Action Center button in the notification area.)

  2. Click the brightness Quick action button repeatedly to cycle through the levels of intensity until you find the desire brightness level that is more comfortable to you.

    Action Center brightness button
    Action Center brightness button

To change the brightness using the battery flyout, do the following:

  1. Click the battery icon in the notification area.

  2. Click the brightness Quick action button repeatedly to cycle through the levels of intensity until you find the desire brightness level that is more comfortable to you.

    Battery flyout brightness button
    Battery flyout brightness button

Alternatively, on many laptops and desktop PCs 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.

How to increase or reduce brightness using Settings

The caveat using the Action Center or the battery flyout is that you can only select from one of the pre-defined brightness levels (0, 25, 50, 75, 100), and you can’t be precise in the intensity you want to use. However, you can also change brightness using the Settings app.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Display.

  4. Under “Brightness and color,” use the slider to reduce or increase the brightness level on your screen.

    Brightness settings on Windows 10
    Brightness settings on Windows 10

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

How to lower the screen brightness during battery saver

In order to save battery, you can have Windows 10 to lower the brightness automatically while battery saver is enabled.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Battery.

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

    Lower screen brightness while in battery saver option
    Lower screen brightness while in battery saver option

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.

How to increase or reduce 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.)

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

How to increase or reduce brightness on external monitor

The above instructions will only work for a laptop, tablet, or a desktop PC 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, similarly to how you would change this setting on your TV.