Why Is My Laptop Brightness Not Changing? How To Fix

If the brightness on your laptop screen and the natural lighting of your surrounding do not match, you might get eyestrain. However, you may face difficulties while trying to adjust the screen brightness to your surroundings. This can be due to various bugs and glitches on Windows.

Now, let’s discuss a few reasons for this issue along with the solutions.

Why Can’t I Adjust My Screen Brightness?

Following are some reasons you cannot change your brightness.

  • If the laptop is constantly in sleep mode
  • Your laptop is idle for a long time
  • Your laptop is in power-saving mode
  • Issue with the keyboard
  • An outdated graphics/monitor driver
  • A damaged display ribbon cable

Note: A display ribbon cable is a set of flexible cables on your laptop that connects your screen with the motherboard.

How to Fix “Laptop Brightness Not Changing”?

If you cannot adjust the brightness level on your laptop, here are a few solutions that might work for you.

Change the Adaptive Brightness

Adaptive brightness is an effective tool in Windows that allows the laptop screen to adjust to the surrounding brightness level automatically. This tool adjusts your brightness so that you have longer battery life. We cannot change the brightness unless we turn this setting off. 

If the laptop you are using does not have an Ambient Light Sensor, it cannot adjust the brightness according to the surrounding.

For Windows 10:

Please note that you can only find the adaptive brightness feature in Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise editions of Windows 10.

  1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security, then choose Power Options.
  2. Under “Choose or customize a power plan”, click on “Change plan settings”.Change plan Settings
  3. Click on “change advanced power settings”. A dialog box will open with a list of the item inside it.change advanced power settings
  4. Scroll to “display” and press the “+” icon
  5. You can see the option “Enable adaptive brightness”. Click on the “+” signEnable adaptive brightness
  6. You can enable or disable it.
  7. Press Apply and OK.

For Windows 11:

To enable or disable the adaptive brightness, please follow these steps.

  1. Press the Windows + X key. 
  2. Then go to Settings > System > Display. Under “Brightness & color” click on Brightness. 
  3. Uncheck the checkbox that says “Help improve battery by optimizing the content shown and brightness

Another way you can disable the adaptive brightness is from Services. Follow these steps disable it.

  1. Press the Windows + R key.
  2. Type “services.msc” and press enter.
  3. Search for Sensor Monitoring Service and double click on it.
  4. Click on Stop.
  5. Press Apply then Ok.

Computer on Power-Saving Mode

In some laptops, you cannot change the brightness if it is in power-saving mode. You can change this setting following these steps.

  1. Press the Windows + X key. 
  2. Then go to Settings > System > Battery
  3. Under Battery, click on Battery saver. A drop-down menu will appear.
  4. For windows 10: Adjust the percentage (5% to 100%).
    For windows 11: Click on “Turn off now”.
  5. If you want to choose the percentage at which the battery saver turns on click “Turn battery saver automatically on at.” Adjust the percentage.

If you have “Lower screen brightness when using battery saver” turned on, you cannot change the brightness level when in power-saving mode.Lower Screen Brightness while in battery saver

Clean the Monitor Ribbon Cable

Monitor Ribbon Cable
Credits: Instructables

If the wire that handles the brightness gets damaged or is dusty, the default settings will set it to 100%. If this is the case, we cannot change the brightness level. 

You can try to clean the ribbon wire with rubbing alcohol and cotton, or you can use an eraser to clean the tips of the cable. If it does not work, you can replace this wire with any electronics repair shop. 

Update Your Windows, Graphics and Monitor Drivers

If the version of windows/driver is outdated, it can have some compatibility issues with some drivers/windows. Updating your drivers and windows will make them perform better.

Sometimes, you cannot adjust your brightness slider. this is a graphic issue. So, try updating your graphics driver to fix the problem.

Update Windows

Update Windows driver

Press the Windows + X key and click on Settings. Go to Windows Update and Security > Windows Update. Click on Check for Updates. Your update will automatically download. You will need to restart your computer to install the updates.

Update Graphic Driver

Press the Windows + X key and click on Device Manager. Expand Display Adapters and right-click your graphic driver. Click on Update driver. Now click on Search automatically for a driver update. Wait for the update to complete 

Update Monitor Drivers

Go to Device Manager, click on Monitors. Update Generic PnP Monitors.

Delete Hidden Monitors

Because of some unknown reasons, you will have hidden drivers for some devices, including a monitor. Two drivers controlling one device can cause some irregularities like the problem with brightness level. To remove these hidden drivers, you can follow these steps.

  1. Go to Device Manager (Follow above steps from the solutions)
  2. Click on View, then select “Show hidden devicesshow hidden device
  3. Click on Monitors to expand it. If you have any hidden devices, they will appear under Generic PnP Monitors.
  4. Right-click and uninstall all these drivers. (Icons on these drivers are slightly faded.)

Take out the battery

Since the battery is attached to your laptop, there will always be some current running inside it, even when you shut it down. This small amount of charge holds some data in the capacitors inside your laptops. These small data can be the stopping you from adjusting the brightness. Removing the battery will discharge the capacitors.

We can easily remove the battery from some laptops, as the batteries are accessible without opening the insides. Press the power button four to five times before installing the battery to discharge all the capacitors. For these laptops, you can remove the battery for five to ten minutes to fix your brightness issue.

Restart Your Laptop

Sometimes, just restarting your laptop can solve the issue with the brightness. However, depending on the issue, you might have to restart your laptop multiple times for the problem to fix.

Check Your Keyboard

If you are trying to change your brightness and nothing works, check if the keyboard works properly. You can try to change the brightness from the taskbar if your keyboard doesn’t work. 

Browser Extensions

If you use extensions that help change the brightness level, check if the night mode is turned on. This mode dims the overall brightness and gives your screen a warm tone. So, make sure you have disabled the extension to increase the brightness.

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