How to Adjust Display Brightness on Desktop Computers & Laptops

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Display brightness is easy to adjust on most desktop computers and laptops units.
Image Credit: peshkov/iStock/GettyImages

Display brightness is easy to adjust on most desktop computers and laptops units. Three basic procedures exist to make display setting changes on almost any system. Many laptops have shortcuts and some keyboards and monitors are built with adjustable display button settings. Otherwise, changes are made through the operating system where advanced alterations to brightness, resolution and screen size settings are easily executed.

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Laptop Display Shortcuts

On laptop computers, adjusting the display settings is done in a similar manner as desktops. For example, the brightness control on Windows 7 is located in the same display settings panel on desktops and laptops alike. The process for changing settings in any operating system is consistent across devices.

The shortcuts do change for most laptops, however. Before attempting any keystroke shortcuts, take a close look at the laptop keyboard and the monitor for manual brightness controls. Many Chromebooks actually have brightness controls located directly on the keyboard in the top row. The sun or gear-looking buttons control brightness, with the bigger one increasing and the smaller one decreasing brightness.

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Not every laptop is equipped with keyboard controls but adjusting display is still possible through keyboard shortcuts on many models. Try holding the Fn key while pressing the up or down arrow to adjust brightness. If this fails, hold the Fn key and press F4 to decrease and F5 to increase brightness. This works on most Del model laptops.

Desktop Monitors and Keyboards

The shortcut key for brightness in desktop monitors and keyboards is often rather obvious. Look to the keyboard in the same manner as a laptop. The top-level keyboard controls may offer a quick and easy method of adjusting the brightness. Not every keyboard has this option but the controls are not uncommon either.

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Also check the physical monitors for display control buttons. The buttons are not common but they do exist on some models and make it easy to manually control brightness. Search the front and side panels on the monitor to determine if the buttons exist.

In the case that no shortcut controls are present on the monitor or keyboard, the brightness remains easy to adjust through the control panel and display settings. The display settings are also the best place to focus attention when working to achieve a permanent setting for resolution, brightness and screen size.

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Adjust Through Display Settings

To access the display settings, click the Start button and select the Control Panel. Many individuals keep a shortcut to the control panel on the home screen as well. Within the control panel, click on Settings then Display to open a new dialogue box.

Within the Display Settings, controls exist for everything related to the monitor and how it functions. This same area is used to set up and control multiple monitor systems as well. In the case of an existing multiple monitor system, brightness settings are easily adjusted on one or both of the monitors.

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Choose the monitor for the changes if multiple exist or skip this step for laptops and single monitor computers. Choose the drop-down under Resolution to view all of the possible screen options. Choose the best option and click Apply to save the settings. Test the screen and return to make further adjustments if needed.

Also consider adjusting the color depth and the way applications fit the screen in this area. The fit to screen size option is common and it ensures browsers and programs are always within the frame and field of vision.

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