How Do I Dim the Lighting on My Laptop?


Bright lighting on your laptop's display strains your eyes, especially in dark rooms. Laptops normally have buttons on the keyboard that can be used to quickly dim or brighten the display. In addition, Windows and Mac laptops have menus built into their operating systems to allow you to adjust the lighting of your screen.


  • Most Windows-compatible laptops have two buttons with pictures of a sun on them. These buttons typically have other functions written on them in addition to the pictures of the sun. One of the buttons will have an arrow pointing up and the other an arrow pointing down. The former will increase the screen's brightness, while the latter will dim it. To dim the laptop's lighting, hold the Function (Fn) key and press the button with the down arrow. To increase the lighting, hold the Fn key and press the button with the up arrow. Press each button multiple times or hold it to continue decreasing or increasing the display's brightness.

    The keyboard buttons are the fastest way to change your computer's brightness, but you also can use the “Display Color Calibration” tool built into Windows. To open this tool, click the start button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, select “Control Panel,” then "Calibrate Display Color.” This tool allows you to change a variety of options related to your laptop's display, including the screen's brightness. Because this method is more difficult, use it only if you are having trouble using the buttons on your keyboard.


  • Keyboards on Mac-compatible laptops have buttons similar to those on Windows, with pictures of the sun. Instead of having up and down arrows accompanying the pictures, one of the suns will be larger than the other. Unlike a Windows' keyboard, you do not need to hold the Fn key to adjust the brightness. Press the smaller sun to dim your lighting and the larger sun to increase it. You can hold the buttons or press them multiple times for greater changes.

    You also can dim the lighting on a Mac laptop through the display panel in the operating system. Select the apple menu in the top left corner of the screen, then “System Preferences” and “Displays.” This will present you with a sliding bar that you can use to set the laptop's brightness.

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