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Disable Windows 8.x’s Adaptive Brightness to Fix Dark Screen Problems

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If you just installed Windows 8 on your laptop and the screen won’t stay at the brightness level you want, it’s probably because the adaptive brightness feature isn’t working right on your system. Here’s how to disable it.

Naturally, it would be best to have the feature actually work, so you could make sure to update your drivers. If you still want to disable, here’s how to do it.

Adjusting the Brightness in Windows 8

Just so we’re clear, here’s how to change the brightness on your Windows 8 laptop… hit the Win+I shortcut key combination (that’s a capital i), and then you’ll see the brightness control right there.

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On my MacBook Air, this setting kept fluxuating up and down.

Disabling Adaptive Brightness in Windows 8

Open up the Windows desktop with Win+D, click the power management icon in the tray, and then choose More power options from the menu.

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Note that you could also use the Metro search screen to get to the Power Options panel.

Once here, click the “Change plan settings” link on the selected plan.

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Then click the “Change advanced power settings” link.

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And now, browse down to Display –> Enable adaptive brightness, and change the settings there to Off.

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Changing this setting fixed my brightness problems on my MacBook Air running Windows 8 through Boot Camp.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/1/12

Comments (13)

  1. William Knight

    That all sounds great, but I can’t even figure out how to shut the machine down from within windows8, looks good but nothing has that intuitive feel to it, right now I am stuck on the desktop screen and have not been able to get back to screen with the boxes.

  2. Razvan Vlad

    Works great. Thank You !

  3. Dana Ross

    Great. I never knew that existed.

  4. Barry Bakunowicz

    YEAH!!! This was pissing me off so much, and that did the trick! Thank you!!!! :D

  5. Anon

    They really should have kept this strictly for mobile phones, tablets, pads.

    MS should have named it Windows Mobile Operation System 1.

  6. Chefgon

    This REALLY needs to be built into the regular brightness control, especially if it comes enabled by default and doesn’t appear to work correctly on any hardware out there. I’m running the Consumer Preview on Microsoft’s own Windows 8 Developer Tablet from the Build conference and this setting doesn’t work correctly at all. The brightness just randomly jumps around every ten seconds even though the light in the room is unchanged and the tablet hasn’t moved.

  7. Anurag

    thank you for the post. Helped me fix the problem.

    Seems like Microsoft got it wrong again

    Btw, William – You can shut down from desktop screeen by pressing Alt-F4. Like any other Microsoft feature, this is not intuitive.

  8. Adrian

    Did not work for me. Any other options? Thank you

  9. Deepaksr

    to shutdown you need to press Windows Key and capital i, that wil bring up the setting options. In the setting options you have Power button.

  10. Derek

    Thank you that was driving me fucking crazy, the whole time I thought it was a driver issue

  11. Petra

    thanksssss… it works in my macbookpro 15″ too..

  12. altazon

    I have the opposite problem, the brightness is always at 100%. Even in the bootcamp menu, changing the brightness level does not work.

    Any idea ?

  13. Camden

    THis is exactly whats happening to me on my computer… but mines a desktop…..

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