Why is my screen so dark on full brightness? [Full Guide]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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  • If the computer screen is faint, it might be connected to the auto-dimming options in Windows 10.
  • You should also check in the GPU drivers if the laptop screen is too dark.
  • Replacing the LCD inverter of the display might also fix this problem right away.
  • Try to update your BIOS because some users found a connection to this issue.
how to fix a computer screen that is faint and too dark at full brightness

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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If you just installed Windows 10 and the screen isn’t at the brightness level you want, sometimes the issue could be an outdated graphics driver or the adaptive brightness feature is not working right.

How do I brighten my computer screen using the keyboard?

Before we dig into more complex (not complicated, though) maneuvres, let’s take a look at the tools that are in plain sight and at hand.

Now, many laptop users complained about their screens being too dark, dim, or faint, but this seems to affect HP and Lenovo owners more than others. So, here goes.

If you’re using Lenovo, here’s how to adjust screen brightness with the keyboard.

  • Press Fn + Home to increase brightness)/End to decrease brightness. You can also you the keys F6 and F5 (to increase or decrease brightness).

If you’re using HP, here’s how to adjust screen brightness with the keyboard.

  • Press Fn key + F10 Key to increase the brightness
Tip icon
How do I adjust the brightness on my computer without the Fn key?

If for whatever reason you would rather avoid the Fn key, you can still use the keyboard to adjust the brightness of your laptop screen as per your needs.

To do so, use the Windows + A keyboard shortcut. This will open the Action Center (on the right side) and you will be able to use the slider situated towards the bottom of the window to set the brightness of your display according to your needs.

When your computer screen is faint or the brightness is too low at 100 percent or full brightness, you’ve probably tried to restart your computer or install all updates.

If you did all that and you’re still asking why is my laptop screen so dark you can try all the other solutions described in this article to fix the problem.

How do I fix a screen that is too dark at full brightness?

  1. Disable adaptive brightness
  2. Uninstall and reinstall the display driver
  3. Replace the LCD Inverter
  4. Roll back the display driver
  5. Update the BIOS
  6. Perform a hard reset
  7. Check the display before Windows opens

1. Disable adaptive brightness

  1. Click Start and type calibrate in the search box.
  2. Click on Calibrate display color from the search results.
  3. Click Next to open the Set basic color settings screen, then click Next again.
  4. A new window How to adjust gamma will open, click Next. The Adjust gamma window will open.
  5. Set the color settings to your preference.
  6. Sliding up increases the brightness, while sliding down decreases it.
  7. Press next when done.
  8. The Find the brightness and contrast controls for your display window opens.
  9. Click Skip brightness and contrast adjustment if you don’t want to adjust brightness and contrast.
  10. If you want to adjust brightness and contrast, click Next to open How to adjust brightness window, then click Next again.
  11. Use your display controls to adjust the brightness until you can see clearly, then click Next twice and adjust your contrast settings.
  12. Click Next again to open the How to adjust color balance window, and click Next to proceed.
  13. 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.
  14. Click Finish to save your settings.

2. Uninstall and reinstall the display driver

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list.
  3. Click on the Display driver/adapter.
  4. Select the name of your display driver e.g. NVIDIA.
  5. Right-click it and select Uninstall device.
  6. Confirm that you wish to continue with the uninstall.
  7. 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 it with a new one.

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3. Replace the LCD Inverter

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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 the 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

  1. Right-click Start and select Device Manager.
  2. Select Display adapters and click to expand the list then choose the NVIDIA card.
  3. Right-click the on the card, and select Properties.
  4. In Properties, select the Driver tab.
  5. Select Roll Back Driver, then follow the prompts.

Note: If the rollback 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.

Sometimes the issue may be caused by the latest drivers that come with your OS updates. If that is the case, you can block Windows 10 driver updates to prevent them from installing again.

5. Update the BIOS

5.1 Identify the BIOS version and processor data

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type msinfo32.exe, and press Enter.
  2. In the System Information window, look for BIOS Version/Date (your current BIOS version) and write it down on a document or a piece of paper.
  3. Now look for the Processor entry and copy the data for later use.
  4. Ensure that the BIOS you are about to install is meant for use with your computer’s specific processor.
  5. Find and download the BIOS update 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 icon
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.

5.2 Update the BIOS

  1. Install the BIOS update, which will take a few minutes during which time the computer may beep or the display may turn blank, the 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.
  2. Close any open programs prior and disable your antivirus (enable after installation).
  3. Find the BIOS file and double-click on it to start installation then follow on-screen prompts.
  4. Wait for the installation to complete and restart your computer.

There are cases where an outdated BIOS causes your computer screen to become faint, or the screen brightness becomes too low even at 100%, and/or the laptop screen becomes 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

6.1 For a removable battery computer

  1. 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.
  2. Insert the battery and power adapter back to the computer but don’t connect any other devices just yet
  3. 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
  4. 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 removable battery computer, switch off the computer and remove any plugged devices, disconnect all externally connected peripherals, and then unplug the power adapter from the computer.

6.2 For computers with sealed or non-removable battery

  1. Turn off the computer and remove any plugged devices or peripherals, and unplug the power adapter from the computer.
  2. 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.
  3. Press the Power button and start your computer, then select Start Windows Normally and press Enter.
  4. Reconnect other devices and peripherals, one at a time, and run Windows Update as well as update all device drivers after the reset.

For a computer with a sealed or non-removable battery, don’t try to remove it as this can void your warranty. Perform the steps above.

7. Check the display before Windows opens

  1. Shut down your computer and press the power button again to start it.
  2. Immediately press Esc repeatedly until the Startup Menu displays.
  3. Select F10 BIOS Setup and press Enter.
  4. 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.

Let us know in the comments section below whether any of these solutions fixed the laptop brightness too low issue. Also, leave there any other questions you may have, and we’ll be sure to take a look.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Windows 10 comes with eye protection features that involve dimming and applying color filters to your screen between certain time intervals to protect your eyesight. Learn what to do if your screen is too faint.

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