How to Adjust Screen Brightness in Windows

by C. Taylor

Although you can increase the brightness of your laptop LCD screen using the keyboard hot-keys, you may prefer to use the brightness controls within Windows 7. One advantage of these controls is the ability to adjust brightness when the computer is plugged in or operating under battery power. This is possible with the keyboard hot-keys, but you have to change your power source and adjust them separately. Another advantage is using numeric adjustments for precise control using smaller increments than are offered with the hot-keys. Desktop monitors don't have equivalent controls.

Click "Start | Control Panel | Hardware and Sound | Power Options" to open the Power Options window.

Click and drag the bottom "Screen Brightness" slider to the right to increase screen brightness and to the left to decrease it. Making this adjustment changes the brightness level only for the current power source; if you change power sources, the screen brightness may change again.

Click "Change Plan Settings" on whichever power plan is currently selected.

Click and drag the "Adjust Plan Brightness" slider to the right to increase brightness for each of the power sources, such as "On Battery" or "Plugged In." If you want high-precision numeric control, you need to access the advanced settings.

Click "Change Advanced Power Settings."

Click "+" next to "Display" and then "Display Brightness" to expand these options.

Click "On Battery" and enter a percentage in the field provided. Choosing "100" will set the screen to maximum brightness; any other brightness will be a percentage of the maximum brightness. To increase the brightness, make sure the number you enter is higher than the current value.

Click "Plugged In" and set its brightness percentage.

Click "Apply" and then "OK" to close the Advanced Settings window.

Click "Save Changes" to save any changes you made on the Edit Plan Settings page. If you only make changes in the Advanced Settings page, the Save Changes button will be grayed out. If that's the case, just click "Cancel."

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