How To Disable Automatic Screen Brightness Adjustments in Windows 10

Key takeaways:

  • Windows 10 has an adaptive brightness feature that automatically adjusts screen brightness based on ambient light
  • Adaptive brightness can be distracting and annoying for some users who prefer to manually control screen brightness
  • You can disable adaptive brightness in Windows 10 through the Power Options settings or Display settings
  • Updating display drivers and turning off related services may also be necessary to fully disable the feature

Windows 10 includes a convenient feature called adaptive brightness that uses ambient light sensors to automatically adjust your screen’s brightness based on your environment. While this can help optimize your display and save battery life on laptops, some users find the constant brightness changes distracting or annoying. Luckily, it’s easy to turn off auto-brightness in Windows 10 so you can manually set your screen to your preferred brightness level.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the different methods to disable automatic screen brightness in Windows 10 step-by-step. Whether you want consistent brightness while working in changing light conditions or just prefer having manual control, follow along to stop Windows from changing your brightness without your input.

Disable Adaptive Brightness in Power Options

The quickest way to disable auto-brightness in Windows 10 is through the Power Options settings. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for “Control Panel”
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound and then Power Options
  3. Next to your selected power plan, click Change plan settings
  4. Click Change advanced power settings
  5. In the Power Options dialog, expand the Display category
  6. Expand Enable adaptive brightness
  7. Change both On battery and Plugged in settings to Off
  8. Click Apply and OK to save the changes

After completing these steps, Windows will no longer automatically adjust your screen brightness based on ambient light. You can now manually change the brightness via your laptop keys or through the Windows Mobility Center.

Turn Off Adaptive Brightness in Display Settings

If your Windows 10 PC has a built-in light sensor, you may also see an option to disable auto-brightness directly in the Display settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Settings
  2. Click on System and then Display
  3. Under “Brightness and color”, toggle off the Change brightness automatically when lighting changes option

This will prevent Windows from using the ambient light sensor to control your screen brightness. However, if you don’t see this setting, your PC likely doesn’t have a compatible light sensor. In that case, the Power Options method above should still work to disable adaptive brightness.

Update Display Drivers

In some cases, you may need to update your display drivers to ensure the auto-brightness setting stays disabled. Outdated or buggy drivers can cause the feature to re-enable itself after a reboot. To update drivers:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Expand the Display adapters category
  3. Right-click on your display adapter and choose Update driver
  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software
  5. Follow the prompts to install any available driver updates
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect

With the latest manufacturer-provided drivers installed, Windows should respect your choice to turn off adaptive brightness. If you still have issues after updating, you can also try rolling back to a previous driver version that worked better.

Disable Related Services

As a last resort, some users have reported needing to disable certain Windows services to prevent auto-brightness from turning itself back on. This includes the Sensor Monitoring service and the Adaptive Brightness service. Here’s how to disable them:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter
  3. Scroll down and double-click on Sensor Monitoring
  4. Click Stop and then set Startup type to Disabled
  5. Click Apply and OK to save
  6. Find the Adaptive Brightness service and repeat steps 4-5 if it exists
  7. Restart your PC

Keep in mind that disabling these services could impact other Windows features that rely on your ambient light sensor. But if you don’t use those features anyway, it’s a reliable way to make sure auto-brightness stays off.

With these methods, you can take back control of your screen brightness in Windows 10 and prevent the OS from making unwanted adjustments. While adaptive brightness has its uses, it’s not for everyone. Stick to manual brightness settings for a consistent, personalized display experience.

FAQ

How do I know if my laptop has an ambient light sensor?

Most modern Windows laptops have ambient light sensors to enable the auto-brightness feature. To check, go to Settings > System > Display and look for a “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes” option. If you see this setting, your laptop has a light sensor. You can also check your laptop’s technical specifications or manual to confirm.

Will disabling auto-brightness improve battery life?

Not necessarily. The adaptive brightness feature is intended to save power by lowering brightness in dark environments. By disabling it, your screen may stay brighter than it needs to be, consuming more battery. However, you can still manually lower the brightness to a comfortable level to extend battery life as needed.

Can I adjust auto-brightness instead of disabling it completely?

Yes, some PCs allow you to customize the adaptive brightness feature rather than turning it off entirely. Look for an “Adaptive brightness” setting in Power Options where you can set how aggressively Windows adjusts the brightness. You may find a balance that reduces distracting brightness changes while still providing some automatic optimization.

What if I don’t have a “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes” option?

If you don’t see this option in Settings, your PC probably doesn’t have an ambient light sensor that supports adaptive brightness. However, Windows may still make some automatic adjustments based on your power plan and battery level. You can disable adaptive brightness through Power Options to prevent this, or adjust your power plan settings to your liking.

Is it possible to disable adaptive brightness on an external monitor?

Most external monitors don’t have built-in ambient light sensors, so they rely on your graphics card to manage brightness. However, some external monitors do have built-in sensors and an auto-brightness feature. In this case, you’ll need to disable the feature through your monitor’s on-screen display settings, as it’s separate from Windows’ adaptive brightness. Consult your monitor’s manual for specific instructions.