Windows 7

Configure or Prevent the Display Dimming or Turning Off

SUMMARY: Prevent Windows 7 from dimming or turning off the display so quickly or at all.

Depending on your configuration, Windows 7 may dim your computer's display after only a couple minutes of inactivity. For example, if you use the "Power Saver" plan, only two minutes of inactivity may cause the display to dim. Also, Windows 7 may turn the display off completely, which it may do in the "Power Saver" plan after 5 minutes.

Screen dimming or turning off can be beneficial for a laptop when on battery power to help extend the time before a charge is required. However, if you are reading a web page, PDF document, or other text, you may not press any keys or move the mouse pointer for a couple of minutes. This will cause the screen to dim while you are reading the text, a definite annoyance. Worse yet, after a couple more minutes of inactivity, the screen will completely turn off.

Note that while you can completely disable these features, think twice before doing so permanently as turning off the display after a few minutes of inactivity does have some benefits, including possibly a smaller electricity bill...

1. Click the "Start" button, selecting "Control Panel".

2. If you are using an expanded Control Panel, select "Power Options".

Otherwise click "Hardware and Sound", then "Power Options".

Accessing Windows 7's Power Options from the Control Panel

3. On the left side of the "Control Panel" - "Power Options" window, click "Choose when to turn off the display".

4. Next to "Dim the display", click the pull-downs to choose when (or if) to dim the display when on battery power or plugged in.

5. Next to "Turn off the display", click the pull-downs to choose when (or if) to turn off the display when on battery power or plugged in.

Note that you can dim and turn off the display simultaneously, but Windows 7 will not let you do something that does not make sense, i.e. turn off the display after only 2 minutes but try to dim it after 10.

Changing when Windows 7 dims and turns off the display when the computer is plugged in

Also note that if you change your power plan, you will have to make your changes again. Or you may want different values for each plan.

6. When done, click "Save changes" to store your settings.

This tip was written for Windows 7 RC. Screenshots and information are subject to change between this and the official release of Windows 7.

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.