Windows 7

Dim a Laptop Screen Even More

SUMMARY: Is your laptop screen too bright, even though you have the settings turned all the way down? Here's a general tip on how to dim your screen even more.

While many people have the opposite problem, not being able to read a laptop screen in the sunlight or a well-lit area, others may find their laptop screen way too bright. If you are in a coffee shop or other area and don't want everyone from all the way across the room read what you are typing*, the following general tip may help for Windows 7 users.

Note that this tip provides general suggestions that may or may not work based on your laptop configuration. Some with the exact same laptop configuration as the author may find that this tip exactly points to where to adjust the brightness; others may need to look around their system settings some.

1. Access your graphics card settings and see if they allow you to override the default brightness, contrast, and/or gamma settings. Many laptops contain integrated graphics and may have an icon similar to the following - just hover over your Windows 7 Notification Area icons to try to find it. You may also need to click the up arrow to the left of these icons to show hidden icons. If you find your graphics card settings this way, double-click the appropriate icon.

Accessing the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Mobile on Windows 7

If you do not find such an icon, you may not be completely out of luck. Perhaps you still have advanced settings available but the icon got removed.

Click the "Start" button, type resolution, and select "Adjust Screen Resolution" when it appears. Click "Advanced Settings" when the "Control Panel" dialog appears. Look for an "Advanced" or "Driver" tab, click it, and then look for a "Properties" or "Graphics Properties" button. See below for an example:

Accessing advanced graphics properties in Windows 7

2. Now that you have accessed your graphics card's advanced settings, look around for a "Color Enhancement" or similar section. You will want to find where the Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma can be set.

3. Now you need to adjust the settings as desired. Most software will have a "Restore Defaults" button so make sure this works before experimenting. You may also want to write down the standard settings and keep them in a safe place.

4. When done, click an "Apply" button if applicable to save your settings, and/or an "OK" button if present. Again, this will depend on your graphics driver.

Adjusting the brightness in the Intel(c) Graphics and Media Control Panel

Read all warnings provided by your graphics card driver settings software. Some settings could cause problems with your machine, up to and including causing your graphics card to fail!

Sample graphics card warning message

* If you are really concerned about security and privacy, you may want to invest in a laptop privacy filter.

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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About MalekTips and the Author

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.