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My monitor is more than an arm's length away from me, so adjusting its backlight brightness is quite inconvenient.
Is there a way in Windows to adjust the backlight using the keyboard and/or mouse only. If so, how?

share|improve this question
If it is a notebook, you will have a combination to press example FN + F4 - birgher, FN + F3 dimmer. If it is a stand alone monitor.. the only way to change it is via the MENU options on the Monitor.. if its not there.. then there is no other way, but to boost the brightness and/or contrast on the graphics driver. – ppumkin Jan 23 '12 at 13:45
This question has 33,000 views. Strong evidence that it is not off-topic. – Chris Dutrow Dec 17 '13 at 8:35
Yeah, unfortunately common sense seems to have little place in many SE moderation decisions. – Kaypro II Jan 19 at 6:44
@ChrisDutrow Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's a good fit for our system. There are lots of useful questions that we don't accept because this style of Q&A isn't the right format for them. – Ben N Jan 20 at 2:07
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Update - 2015-10-30

ScreenBright seems discontinued, but as @wrongusername suggested, pangobright might be an alternative.

The solution I am using right now

I found enable DDC/CI option in my displays' settings. The ScreenBright program was able to modify it, although I think it's GUI is quite terrible and easy to break you custom settings. My screens also flicker a lot when changing brightness. Nevertheless, it has a commandline interface, which is much better. Especially when you create your own GUI (which is around 5 minutes in C#) or use plain Windows shortcuts.

Old setup

As a side note to the Dell brightness change - I can confirm that it also did work for me. My setup was:

  • Dell Latitude laptop (5520 I believe)
  • Dell Docking station (the extended version)
  • 2xDell u2412m screens, connected via DVI

The laptop itself had a built-in GPU (Intel HD2500). In its software there was a tab called "monitor settings", iirc. It did indeed communicate with the displays and somehow change their built-in brightness settings. I weren't able to do much more (change profiles, for example), and it took quite a while to "initialize". There was also a 2-3 second delay between the setting of the brightness and actual change. I guess it was mostly due to the screens, which changed brightness gradually.

I've updated my PC to the regular workstation, and unfortunately I wasn't able to find similar setting in the NVidia control panel.

EDIT: It seems that my previous setup used DDC.

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Excellent. Finally a tool that does the job. Many Thanks. – GetFree Dec 21 '12 at 0:18
A tip: You can create shortcuts in the Start menu and then edit them to add command line arguments like -set brightness 10 contrast 50 and to assign hot keys to them. (That's a standard Windows shortcut feature.) I'm switching like that between my "profiles" (each is an icon in the Start menu). And yes, it takes a few seconds until it adjusts the screen, but it's still much faster than doing it trough those horrid monitor menus. BTW, never understood why no monitor gives us a few plain physical buttons that can be associated with my custom settings in the monitor's menu... – ddekany Nov 29 '14 at 12:34
The original author has discontinued this too BTW... and if you google for ScreenBright, beware, there are two independent applications with this name. The one with the sun icon is NOT what you want. The one with the gray stripes icon is. – ddekany Nov 29 '14 at 12:40
Indeed, looks like pangobright is a suitable alternative, but I cannot add it as an answer since mods have closed this question – wrongusername Oct 30 '15 at 11:25
@wrongusername I'll edit it into my answer to increase visibility. Hope you don't mind the upvotes you might lose :( – Bartek Banachewicz Oct 30 '15 at 11:28

The application Display Tuner can control the brightness for many different LCD/CRT monitors.
However, if backlight is a separate setting on your monitor, you might be out of luck.

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Although it didn't work for me, I am upvoting the answer. The "ScreenBright" sofware did work – Bartek Banachewicz Oct 6 '12 at 14:23
Display Tuner appears to have been discontinued. The downloadable zip file simply contains a readme.txt file telling the user that it's been retired. – Dan Atkinson Sep 13 '13 at 0:13
I have used this on two computers (on was an Intel IGP other was GeFroce 7600, two different monitors) on Windows XP, and for me setting both back light and contras worked. Also it let's you save profiles and assign global hot keys to them. Sadly, since updating Win7, it doesn't work on either computer (doesn't find the display at all). – ddekany Nov 29 '14 at 12:29
  • If you use an Nvidia Graphics Driver (Resource from here )
  1. Right click on desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel

  2. Click on “Adjust desktop color settings” at the left hand side navigation bar.

alt text

3) Select NVIDIA settings and you can now move the slider for Brightness and Contrast.

Have a look here

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That doen't change the monitor's backlight but the image brightness. – GetFree Sep 11 '10 at 6:31
Hmm, I think you are right, I removed from my answer – subanki Sep 11 '10 at 6:36
please update your answer, as this does not control the backlight, but the drivers based contrast/birghtness/gamme.. it is off topic.. I rather up vote you than down – ppumkin Jan 23 '12 at 13:48

Are you talking about an external monitor or a laptop's built-in display? An external monitor's brightness is almost always controlled externally by the monitor, there just isn't any way to pass brightness settings information over any of the usual display connectors (VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.). A built-in display on a laptop or all-in-one however has its brightness control integrated with the system, and can be controlled from within windows by some software. The actual software to do so will depend on the manufacturer. Windows 7 can do it automatically from the Windows Mobility Center (press Win+X), but in Windows XP you will need the manufactuer's drivers.

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I ask this because I know it IS possible. I use an external monitor with my laptop and in the configuration of my laptop's video card there is a sliding control that let me adjust my EXTERNAL monitor's backlight. Unfortunately, I have to do about ten thousand clicks through the GUI only to reach that sliding control. Simply not practical. – GetFree Sep 11 '10 at 5:51
Interesting. Sounds like it might be specific to the video card's drivers then... I've never seen anything like that before. – nhinkle Sep 11 '10 at 6:04
Me neither. The drivers config dialog box says "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for mobile" and my external monitor is a Dell 2007FP – GetFree Sep 11 '10 at 6:24
@ppumkin, believe me, it's not emulated via color change or gamma reduction. It really does change the backlight brightness. My best guess is that it must be a propietary mecanism from Dell, since both my laptop and external monitor are Dell. – GetFree May 19 '12 at 10:34
This is actually standard since 1998, but nobody seems to know about it :). – crazy2be Feb 10 '15 at 23:02

Use Desktop Lighter. It's freeware. After installation you can simply use shortcut keys to increase or decrease brightness. Your monitor's brightness control is at your fingertips. Shortcut keys can be customized. It's a small tool but very useful.

share|improve this answer
I've tried this tool before. It just changes the color brightness, not the backlight intensity. – GetFree Dec 21 '12 at 0:21
Don't use this tool, it changes your gamma permanently, and is difficult to change it back, if possible at all. It doesn't change Backlight intensity, just changes the gamma and colours. – Anton8000 May 19 '13 at 16:42

protected by Mokubai Jan 23 at 8:18

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