- Screen brightness is an important factor when using your Windows 10 PC, since it allows you to better asses details in the things you are analyzing.
- OS settings and hardware issues can cause your PC's screen to become dimmer than it should, so follow the steps written below in case that happens to you.
- This articles is part of a much larger dedicated hub for troubleshooting PC screen issues, so make sure you bookmark it in case you notice anything similar again.
- For more great troubleshooting guides, make sure you visit our dedicated Fix page.
It’s not every day you switch on your computer or laptop and everything is fine. Sometimes the startup process may not resume, other times especially after a power outage it may refuse to boot.
You could also get moments when your screen brightness is too low even at 100%, or your laptop screen is faint, or too dark at full brightness.
If you just installed Windows 10 and the screen isn’t at the brightness level you want, sometimes the issue could be an outdated graphics driver or adaptive brightness feature is not working right.
When your computer screen is faint or brightness is too low at 100 percent or full brightness, and you’ve probably tried to restart your computer or install all updates and nothing changes, you can try other solutions described in this article.
How do I fix a computer screen that is too dark at full brightness?
- Uninstall and reinstall the display driver
- Disable adaptive brightness
- Replace the LCD Inverter
- Roll back the display driver
- Update the BIOS
- Perform a hard reset
- Check the display before Windows opens
1. Uninstall and reinstall the display driver
- Right click Start
- Select Device Manager
- Click Display driver/adapter
- Select the name of your display driver e.g. NVidia
- Click Uninstall
- Confirm that you wish to continue with the uninstall
- Once driver files have uninstalled, restart your computer to automatically install the generic display driver
Driver files should be uninstalled before you update to newer drivers, or when removing an older graphics card and replacing with a new one.
Keep in mind that updating your drivers can be a risky procedure. If you’re not careful you can cause permanent damage to your system by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.
In order to prevent that, we strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.
Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.
2. Disable adaptive brightness
- Click Start and type Calibrate display color in the search box
- Click on Calibrate display color from the search results
- On Display Color Calibration, click Next to open the Set basic color settings screen, then click Next again
- A new window “How to adjust gamma” will open, click Next. Adjust gamma window opens.
- Set the color settings to your preference.
- Sliding up increases brightness, while sliding down decreases it.
- Press next when done.
- The Find the brightness and contrast controls for your display window opens.
- Click Skip brightness and contrast adjustment if you don’t want to adjust brightness and contrast.
- If you want to adjust brightness and contrast, click Next to open How to adjust brightness window, then click next again.
- Use your display controls to adjust the brightness until you can see clearly, then click Next twice and adjust your contrast settings.
- Click Next again to open the How to adjust color balance window, and click Next to proceed.
- A new window called Adjust color balance will open so you can slide to adjust primary colors like red, blue or green accordingly. Click Next to proceed.
- Click Finish to save your settings
If Windows won’t allow you to change your screen brightness, we’ve got the ideal solutions for you.
3. Replace the LCD Inverter
Sometimes when your computer screen is faint, or the screen brightness is too low even at 100% and/or the laptop screen is too dark at full brightness, it is most likely caused by low voltage at the LCD inverter.
This component is responsible for producing your computer screen backlight. In such cases, then, you may have to replace the inverter.
4. Roll back the display driver
- Right click Start
- Select Device Manager
- Select Display adapters and click to expand the list then choose the NVidia card.
- Right click the on the card, and then select Properties.
- In Properties, select the Driver tab
- Select Roll Back Driver, then follow the prompts
Note: If the roll back button is greyed out or unavailable, that means there’s no driver to roll back to. Visit your computer manufacturer’s website to download the latest driver.
If you’re sure that the problem is the latest driver and you manage to roll it back, to avoid future problems, check out this step-by step guide that will help you block Windows 10 from auto-updating certain drivers.
5. Update the BIOS
- Find your current BIOS version number by clicking Start then typing msinfo32.exe in the search box. Click msinfo32.exe from the list of results
- In the System Information window, look for BIOS Version/Date (your current BIOS version) and write it down on the paper
- Click Start then type exe in the search box.
- Click msinfo32.exe from the list of results
- In the System Information window, look for Processor entry and write it down on the paper.
- Ensure that the BIOS you are about to install is meant for use with your computer’s specific processor.
- Find and download BIOS updates by going to your computer manufacturer’s website and find the product page for your computer’s model. Select the OS and click Submit. If a BIOS category is listed, select BIOS then choose the correct one for your processor and follow the screen prompts
Note: make sure to read the overview and system requirements to confirm the BIOS update is for your computer, then click Download and save it to your desired location. Don’t select Run BIOS update over the network.
- Install the BIOS update, which will take a few minutes during which time the computer may beep or display goes blank, cooling fans will turn on and off, and the power button will flash – this is normal and expected. Do NOT shut down or restart until the update is complete.
- Close any open programs prior and disable your antivirus (enable after installation).
- Find the BIOS file and double-click on it to start installation then follow on-screen prompts.
- Wait for the installation to complete and restart your computer.
There are cases where an outdated BIOS causes your computer screen is faint, or the screen brightness is too low even at 100% and/or the laptop screen is too dark at full brightness.
Before you begin updating the BIOS note the product number of your computer, have an internet connection ready, and a pencil and paper.
6. Perform a hard reset
For removable battery computer, switch off the computer and remove any plugged devices, disconnecting all external connected peripherals, and then unplug the power adapter from the computer.
- Remove the battery from its compartment, and then press and hold the power button on your computer for about 15 seconds to drain any residual electrical charge from its capacitors.
- Insert the battery and power adapter back to the computer but don’t connect any other devices just yet
- Press the Power button to turn on your computer. You’ll see the startup menu opening, so use the arrow keys to select Start Windows Normally and press Enter
- You can now reconnect the devices one at a time, and you’re good to go. Remember to run Windows Update and update all device drivers.
For a computer with a sealed or non-removable battery, don’t try to remove it as this can void your warranty. Do the following instead:
- Turn off the computer and remove any plugged devices or peripherals, and unplug the power adapter from the computer.
- Most laptops can be reset by pressing and holding the Power button for 15 seconds. So do this, then plug back the power adapter but not any other devices.
- Press the Power button and start your computer, then select Start Windows Normally and press Enter
- Reconnect other devices and peripherals, one at a time, and run Windows Update as well as updating all device drivers after the reset.
7. Check the display before Windows opens
- Shut down your computer and press the power button again to start it.
- Immediately press Esc repeatedly until the Startup Menu displays.
- Select F10 BIOS Setup and press Enter.
- When the BIOS menu opens, check the display brightness
If your computer screen is faint, or the screen brightness is too low even at 100% and/or the laptop screen is too dark at full brightness before Windows opens, it could indicate a hardware failure.
FAQ: Learn more about dimming PC screens
- Why is my screen so dimmed even at full brightness?
Your issues could be caused by a low voltage at the LCD inverter, which is a component that regulates your screen’s backlight. Consider replacing your monitor if that cannot be fixed.
- Why does my laptop screen dim when I am on battery?
Laptops will usually go into a power-saving mode when disconnected from the AC current, but also from general battery issues. To see if your battery is healthy, try using dedicated third-party tools.
- Why does my screen dim by itself between certain time intervals?
Windows 10 comes with eye protection features that involve dimming and applying colour filters to your screen between certain time intervals (usually during evening and night hours).
Let us know in the comments section below whether any of these solutions fixed the problem. Also, leave there any other question you may have and we’ll be sure to take a look.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.