Windows 8 – Screen Brightness Problem

A lot of peoples including myself can’t wait to try out the latest version of Windows which is the Windows 8 Release Preview. Everything work like a charm expect the screen brightness issue which cause a lot of trouble to me since the Consumer Preview version. Every time after my computer resume from sleep, hibernate or boot up after a shutdown, the screen’s brightness will automatically adjust to the lowest. No matter how hard I punch on the brightness increase button, it will automatically go down to zero again.

After some research and try-error, I finally able to fix this troublesome problem. If you are facing the same problem, you might want to go through the list one by one. Some might work for you, some might not, depending on your computers.

Possible Solution #1 – Restart (Temporary Fix Only)

A temporary solution which I use previously is do a complete restart. Complete restart mean boot up your computer, then click on restart power option. This will cause Windows kernel completely restart (Shutdown and boot up again won’t cause the kernel to restart. If you want to know why, here is the technical explanation). Windows kernel restart which also mean the driver that control screen brightness also get restarted and hopefully it go back to normal and stop torturing your eyes.


Possible Solution #2 –  Disable Adaptive Brightness in Power Option

Some user reported that disabled the adaptive brightness in power option help fix this problem, although it didn’t work for me but here is how you can disable the adaptive brightness in step by step:

Step 1: Right-click on the power icon in the notification area then click Power Options to bring up the Power Options. Optionally you can open Power Options from Control Panel if you want.


Step 2: Depend on which power plans you are using now (default is Balanced), click on the Change plan settings on the right hand-side of the plan which you are using now. For example, I’m using Energy Star power plan, so I click on the Change plan settings beside Energy Star.


Step 3: Click on the Change advanced power settings on the bottom


Step 4:  Look for Display then Enable adaptive brightness. Change to Off for both On battery and Plugged in. Then  click OK.


Step 5: You may want to restart your computer to see if the problem go away or not. Optionally you might want to turn off the adaptive brightness for all power plans you have just in case you switch power plan later on.


Possible Solution #3 – Install / Update Driver

If disable the adaptive brightness in power option didn’t work for you, you might want to update or install the driver for windows manually like me. Driver from Windows Vista or Windows 7 will work on Windows 8 since they all using the Windows NT kernel. You need to search for your respective vendor website to download the driver, install and configure the screen brightness / adaptive brightness control (some have their own power option software to control or disable the adaptive brightness)

I’m currently using Lenovo Ideapad U460, so I went ahead to download the Lenovo Energy Management from the driver list. After installing the driver, the problem still remain. Then I realize Lenovo have their own software to control the brightness. Changing the brightness through the software still fail for me, but I found the Ambient Light Sensor Control in the software by luck. After I disable the Ambient Light Sensor Control, the problem go away! Yeah, bingo!


That is all the solutions I found and tested. Hopefully it can provide you some help in solving the screen brightness problem in your Windows 8 computer. Leave me a comment if you think the solution is helpful.

by Ooi Keng Siang via Ooiks’s Blog

31 thoughts on “Windows 8 – Screen Brightness Problem

  1. I just purchased a Dell XPS with factory installed Windows 8. Upon receiving the unit, I went thru and updated all of my drivers. This morning, to my dismay, I was experiencing the issue indicated here. I had updated my display driver from the device manager, to the most current version, but this was clearly not the right version. I went back to my Dell support and pulled up the recommended drivers, selected the display driver, and clicked install. It advised that I had newer drivers in place and asked if I really wanted to install. I clicked yes, and during the few seconds it was installing, voila, my brightness issue disappeared. I tend to lean toward the newer is better theory, but clearly it is not always the case! Hopefully this helps some of you!


  2. Hi ,
    I had the same problem with my Lenovo G580 and Windows 8. I purchased the CD and installed a fresh copy. But when I tried to Activate the same, it was rejecting the PIN number. Also the brightness control was not working.

    Just re-installed the OS and everything is fine now.



  3. sorry, none of those worked for me 😦 got a new sony vaio with widows 8 (which I knew would disappoint
    me and it massively did!!) after altering the brightness of my screen within control panel, the display within a few seconds turns back to 30%.


  4. hi,
    i just purchased a lenovo ideapad z500 with windows 8 and my brightness will not turn up no matter what i do. would anybody have any options of what i could do to fix this?



    1. Hi, I had the same problem with the ideapad z500. Just go to Device Manager – Display adapters, select the Intel driver, and roll back to the previous driver. Hope that helps you to.


      1. I used to do that and it actually fixed until i accidentally pressed the brightness down button. Now, no matter how many times I roll back, update or reinstall the Intel HD graphics adapter, im stuck in the minimum brightnes setting… please help


    2. I can turn up/down brightness between its boot (show windows logo) after I update Intel Graphic Driver and Energy management.


  5. Hi, I’m having the same problem as Rebecca; I tried to increase my screen brightness and it went down to the lowest and it won’t turn up. I’ve tried everything, olling back the driver didn’t help either


  6. I also reinstalled my display drivers. I opened SW Update and exported the set up files for the Graphics Driver to my desktop. I reinstalled the older version and now I can adjust my brightness. I have a Samsung ATIV 700.


    1. Hi, thnx for very clear instructions. Mine ( Ideapad z500 ) didn’t recover trying all of previous solutions, it was another type of problem, a Driver Update one. I resolved by Backrolling the ” HD Graphics 4000 ” .


      1. Hi..I also have this problem at my Ideapad z400. When I try to backrolling the Intel Display, the button is disable. So, I Uninstall the Intel and NVIDIA driver from Device Manager. After that, I re-install the Intel driver from CD and while the process installation, the brightness problem get back to normal. After that, I also re-install the NVIDIA driver.

        After restart, I change the brightness to low, and then restart. After restart, the brightness still can get back to normal. I doing this a few times, trying with restart or doing shutdown.

        And I think, the problem is already solved.

        Thank you Khalil. 🙂


  7. Thank you for your effort. I am running a vaio pro 13. In solution 2, the only place I can turn automatic brightness control off is in the vaio control center. I cannot find the setting you mentioned in ‘Display’. I`ve tried other methods you mentioned but the problem still exist. Do you know any other place to turn this setting off?


  8. Hi thanks for all the tips, but it didn’t work for my Lenovo Z500, so what I did was: when you go to power options, advanced settings, it gives you a dim display brightness option, i set it to a 100% basically not allowing it to dim at all. Its not the best option, but it does work.


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