Fix: Windows 10 brightness not working [Complete 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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  • Adjusting the brightness of your computer is not working in Windows 10 if there is an issue with the display driver.
  • When the Windows brightness is not changing, check the power options settings.
  • If you have issues with the display settings for your system, you can try to modify a registry.
  • When your laptop brightness can't be adjusted, make sure to have your drivers up to date.
Fix Windows 10 brightness slider missing

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Brightness issues on your computer are usually associated with display drivers, and other power settings, which you may or may not be aware of.

If Windows won’t let you adjust brightness on your PC or laptop, these are the first two areas to check for besides trying the usual common fixes such as restarting your computer or updating Windows.

While updating Windows will work to install the latest drivers that could be pending on the updates tray, there are other solutions you can try that are listed below.

But first, let’s quickly review some common scenarios that usually accompany issues related to Windows 10 brightness not working.

Why is my screen brightness not changing?

  • Windows 10 brightness not working after update (While keeping your OS up to date is always a good idea, it’s not uncommon for updates to trigger malfunctions and system errors. If problematic updates are causing display issues, you might want to revert them.)
  • Windows 10 brightness not working after sleep
  • Laptop brightness is not working (You can apply the below solutions for any type of laptop, such as Asus VivoBook/ZenBook, HP, Lenovo or Dell when the brightness is not working. However, keep in mind that every model of laptop is different.)
  • Brightness option may not be available at all

Many complain about the Windows 10 brightness slider not working, but there is more to it.

While the Windows brightness slider can be missing or behave erratically, you can just as well deal with brightness keys, buttons, or even display settings that won’t allow you to adjust the brightness level on your screen.

How do I fix Windows brightness not working?

1. Update the display adapter drivers

  1. Right-click Start and click Device Manager.
  2. Expand Display Adapters.
    display drivers Windows won’t let me adjust screen brightness
  3. Right-click on the Display Adapter listed and click on Update Driver Software.
  4. Select the option to automatically search for the updated driver software.
  5. Restart the computer after it’s updated and verified.

You can also try and get the latest drivers from your computer’s manufacturer website and download and install the latest display and chipset drivers.

Install the appropriate drivers missing from your laptop that can cause the brightness adjustment problem. If this does not work, we recommend trying a 3rd party driver updater.

DriverFix is one of our top recommendations when it comes to updater software. It is very lightweight and easy to use.

The tool will show exactly what drivers need updating. You’ll have both the option to update several drivers at once, if needed, or choose the Update button next to each driver.

It is designed to do the whole driver downloading and installing job instead of you. This is the best way to avoid permanent damage to your PC by getting the right driver versions.

Along with updating, DriverFix can also detect whether you have damaged drivers on your PC and automatically fix them.

2. Enable adaptive brightness

  1. Go to the Windows search bar and type Control Panel.
  2. Select Power Options.
    power options control panel Windows won’t let me adjust screen brightness
  3. Click the Change plan settings link next to your current power plan.
    balanced power plan screen brightness not working windows 8
  4. Click Change advance power settings.
    change advanced power settings how to adjust brightness in windows 7 pc
  5. In the new window click Display to open up the listings under it.
  6. Find and click each of the following: Display brightness, Dimmed display brightness, and Enable adaptive brightness.
  7. Change each of these to the desired settings.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.

A feature of the Windows operating system, adaptive brightness uses an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust a display’s brightness to the surroundings. 

On the contrary, if this option is already enabled and you wish to get rid of it, we have a few tricks for when the Adaptive Brightness won’t turn off.

3. Enable the PnP Monitor driver

  1. Right-click on Start and select Device Manager.
  2. Click Monitors.
    device manager monitors Windows won’t let me adjust screen brightness
  3. Right-click on Generic PnP monitor to see if it is enabled.
    generic pnp monitor screen brightness not working windows 8
  4. If not enabled, click Enabled device. If it is enabled, disable it.
  5. Click on the Action tab at the top menu of Devices Manager.
    action menu device manager how to adjust brightness in windows 7 pc
  6. Select Scan for Hardware Changes.
    scan for hardware changes can't adjust screen brightness
  7. Run the scan.

PnP stands for plug-and-play hardware devices, that work without having to install a driver. You consider it the generic driver for the display that will automatically get installed by Windows.

4. Update the registry

  1. Right-click on Start icon and type RegEdit.Windows 10 can't sign in with Microsoft account something went wrong
  2. Click on it to open.
  3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  4. Select System.
  5. Go to ControlSet001.
  6. Click Control.
  7. Select the below registry and set FeatureTestControl DWORD’s value data to 0000ffff: Class{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}000

If you’re still unable to adjust the brightness on your laptop, try updating the registry. Back up the registry before you modify it, then restore it if a problem occurs.

This solution contains steps that are part of modifying the registry. Please note that serious problems may occur if you do this incorrectly. Ensure you follow these steps correctly, and carefully.

If your screen is faulty, updating your drivers won’t solve the problem.

However, you should be able to solve the Windows 10 brightness not working issue if there is no hardware failure involved. Make sure to try out our tips and let us know if your screen is ready to shine again.

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