Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So this is a minor issue that is bugging me slightly. I have a Sony Vaio SVS151190X laptop with Windows 7. I have it set so that after it's been idle for a few minutes the screen dims automatically. The problem is that it would go from bright straight to dim (most of the time). I'd like it to go from bright to dim smoothly, like I've seen happen on Macs. Like a lamp with a nob that you can turn to smoothly go from bright to dim. I know my laptop is capable of this because I've seen it happen, usually after it's been off and I turn it on, but now always. After a while it just stops working.

I was thinking maybe this is has something to do with the priority for the process, like maybe it's not always getting as many cycles as it needs to or something like that. So I figured if I find the service that's responsible for dimming the screen and give it a higher priority or something it might work. That's my guess anyway.

So I'd like to know what exactly is responsible for this screen dimming feature. Is it the monitor driver or the video card driver or Windows or some Sony service? And is there a way to manipulate it?

Thanks in advance!

share|improve this question
This happens when you change between dark and bright apps? – Rosenthal Aug 24 '14 at 0:45
No, it happens when I'm idle for a while. But it turns out the screen dim/fade out thing is a sony feature, and sony doesn't provide a way to configure it. – maus Aug 26 '14 at 15:46

The dimming of the screen is a Windows feature, but it does not include the fade in/out option that you mentioned. To change the settings on this, you just need to adjust the power plan settings from Control Panel:

enter image description here

Depending on your setup, you may need to go into the advanced options to access the Dim the display setting. If your computer has in fact done the fading when dimming the screen, then that's something specific to your model, as I have never seen it before. What I have seen, and what happens on all my Dell and Lenovo laptops, is that when pressing the sleep button, it does fade out the screen (and to a lesser extent, fades it in when resuming). My guess is that you have seen the fading on Sleep with your computer, and on dim with a Mac, and assumed that it happened that way on dimming for your computer.

share|improve this answer
No, I've definitely seen it happen. The fade on sleep happens as well (doesn't fade in on wake thought). It makes sense that it's not a Windows feature. And if there's no such feature on Dells and Lenovos then it must be a Vaio thing. I don't know how to access it though. Oh well. – maus Mar 21 '13 at 15:49

It doesn't sound windows specific. Reading through the above solutions others gave the only other thing I could think of is that there MIGHT be a setting in your BIOS settings. Also, if you have any specific software for settings that only exist for that machine. Sometimes if Dell or ASUS puts out hardware that is very specific to that machine software often comes with it in order to tweak the settings on it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.