After recently upgrading my old Lenovo laptop to Windows 10, I ran into a very annoying issue. For some reason, the ability to adjust the brightness stopped working. Pressing the brightness keys on the keyboard will show that the brightness level is increasing or decreasing, but nothing has changed on the screen! It was the strangest thing I have ever seen.
The first thing I thought was maybe there is a hardware problem and Windows 10 is not recognizing the key press properly. I decided to try changing the brightness level in the OS itself. I opened Action Center and clicked Expand and then tried adjusting the brightness there, but again nothing happened! Now I’m really confused.
I also tried going to Power Options and changing the brightness there, but again, this didn’t affect the actual display. A second thought occurred to me that this is a driver problem. I went to Lenovo’s website and downloaded the latest driver I could find for the machine. I was hoping this would fix the problem, but it didn’t help!
At this point, I thought that maybe the latest driver does not yet support Windows 8.1 properly, and so I need to try out the standard or basic Windows graphics driver instead. In the end, that fixed the problem. Now I just need to wait for Lenovo to release an updated driver for my old Lenovo laptop. Here’s how to temporarily fix this problem.
First, open Control Panel and click Device Manager:
Then expand Display Adapters, then right-click the graphics card installed on your system and select Properties. It could be something like Intel HD Graphics, etc. It will depend on which graphics card you have installed, but in reality there should only be one or two listed.
Now go to the Driver tab and click the Update Driver button.
Next, you will have two options. You want to select the option “Search my computer for drivers”.
We’re almost done, so keep going! Now go ahead and click on the “Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer” button at the bottom.
Now you want to select a different driver for your video card. You could play around and pick another and see which one works for you, but the most secure will always be the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter.
Depending on your system, you may see multiple drivers listed, even the same driver is listed multiple times. You can try others as well, but if nothing works, just use the base driver. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to run the OS at the highest resolution or frame rate if you’re using the base driver, but at least you can adjust the brightness.
In my case, I just switched to the main driver, adjusted the brightness to the desired value, and then reverted to the original manufacturer driver. The brightness level stayed at the level I set, so that’s good. Then just check from time to time to see if there is a new driver and install it when it becomes available.
However, sometimes an older driver works better. I had the same problem with a Lenovo IdeaPad P400 and had to install an older driver to make the screen brighter. Otherwise, the screen was always dim, even at maximum brightness.
If you’re still having trouble adjusting brightness on your Windows 10 PC, please leave a comment here and let us know the details. Enjoy!