I usually just use Fn + Left or Fn + Right to adjust my screen's brightness but the minimum settings are still too bright for me (especially when I'm working at night). I tried going through the Power Options in the Control Panel (plan brightness already at the lowest settings). Is there a way to dim my laptop's screen beyond the minimum?

I'm already using Fl.ux. I was wondering if there was a utility similar to it that adjusts my screen's brightness/contrast instead of its color temperature.

  • Can you still buy filters for screens? They were around in the old CRT days. I suppose sunglasses would make it difficult to see the keys at night.
    – pavium
    Jul 9, 2011 at 9:43
  • 2
    I have considered buying filters. And I do have my sunglasses on standby. I was hoping for something similar to Flux.
    – Ellesa
    Jul 9, 2011 at 9:46
  • 1
    Mentioning the used software will help out the answers not to be redundant.
    – avirk
    Jun 21, 2012 at 4:48
  • 4
    Sunglasses might be a solution. I wonder if you could get one of those old glare screens and cover it with something that reduces transmitted light as well. Might help to state, desktop or laptop, and if its the former, the model of the screen in the question.Some things i can think of deal with things specific to monitor and software
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 21, 2012 at 5:17
  • 1
    sunglasses can't do it for me coz I already wear glass to correct my sight
    – shashwat
    Aug 4, 2013 at 15:01

20 Answers 20


Flux doesn't really dim the screen, just changes the color temperature (I like it, but you have to be careful with photoediting etc).

Dimmer does dim (by the looks of it it's very similar to the above mentioned DimScreen) and it's free.

From the site:


Dimmer is a very small and free piece of software designed to provide brightness reduction on LCD screens, TFT screens and LED screens when it either don't have, or lack proper brightness control. A must have if you work on your computer at night with very low ambient light. The reason I mention LCD's, TFT's or LED's is because these are the flat panels we all have on our laptops or notebooks and usually are limited and can't be dimmed very low. The desktop versions and the old CRT type monitors did not suffer from this limitation.

  • 6
    Dimmer is nice and clever, except it's just a black box that overlays your desktop. I'd really like a solution that lets me actually dim the backlight further than the OS allows, but it sounds like that's a limitation of the LCD backlight technology. Nov 2, 2014 at 1:05
  • 2
    On multiple monitors, both Dimmer and DimScreen only dim one of them :(
    – Aximili
    Apr 3, 2015 at 10:49
  • 25
    Flux actually can dim the monitor. On windows the hotkey Alt + Page Down will dim the screen until the next sunrise. Alt + Page Up to brighten. Oct 15, 2015 at 13:38
  • 5
    @HighlandRat Indeed, I never thought Flux is capable of controlling brightness, but why the devs didn't promote this feature enough ? Flux works great for me.
    – Rockr90
    Apr 24, 2016 at 15:34
  • 3
    @HighlandRat Your response works 100% and doesn't require installation of additional software. On top of that, it works on both monitors! Currently experimenting with circadian darkness settings (I suppose ~0-2% daylight). I'm using a Windows 7 PC, if that helps.
    – Paul T.
    Aug 11, 2017 at 4:00

You can get more control over the display colors when using the Display color calibration utility :

( from the run box, type: dccw.exe )

enter image description here

the problem is there is no shortcut to toggle between different profiles.

I just come up with this little utility dispcalGUI, (with endless options) pretty neat !enter image description here

it can be the solution.

  • +1 Wow, thanks for sharing the utility! I'm going to download it and play with the settings.
    – Ellesa
    Jul 9, 2011 at 17:59
  • I didn't succeed to make it work on my machine (port thing), however there is complete instruction on how to deploy it, tell me it you get something
    – user8228
    Jul 9, 2011 at 19:19
  • lower the gamma, red, green and blue to the minimum level did a great job I think +1
    – shashwat
    Aug 4, 2013 at 15:06

Took me a while but I found this portable app called DimScreen through this site, which does exactly what I need.

After launching it, it shows an icon on the System Tray that gives "dimness" levels for me to choose from. The higher the value I pick, the darker my screen gets (beyond the minimum that Fn + Left gives me).

enter image description here

  • Hmm just downloaded this and when I tried to install the screen dimmed but no installer started up... Aug 1, 2011 at 10:00
  • 5
    That's why it's called a portable app. It doesn't install.
    – Ellesa
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:31
  • Hmm good point put it certainly looked exactly like the dimming an installer does (90% ish) and I couldn't find anything in the system tray to control it. PS in my day all apps were portable d-; Aug 1, 2011 at 14:56
  • 1
    It turns out not to solve my problem, which is probably at the driver or firmware or OS level. It can only dim from the hard brightness setting but cannot go brighter than it. Aug 21, 2011 at 8:34
  • 1
    Dims most of the screen, but popups in firefox end up higher in the z order, so occasionally I get these bright white boxes on a dimmed screen. Nov 18, 2014 at 23:24

I know this is an old question, but I figured I'd put my two cents in. I actually use f.lux, and it's a great piece of software. It supports (though I don't know since when) screen contrast dimming with use of the Alt+PgDn and Alt+PgUp hotkeys (Down for dimmer, up for brighter) and it's an eyesaver.


I've heard good things about f.lux. It's a piece of software that dims your computer screen according to the time of day, to help simulate natural light. That sounds like it's exactly what you're after, as it'll keep things dim at night, while having considerably less of an effect during the day.

Alternatively, use it as my (exceedingly photosensitive) partner does on her laptop: crank up all the settings to their extremes, disable the timer, and just use it as a global setting for dropping the brightness on your monitor

  • 1
    I tried f.lux, but I didn't like the weird colors it used.
    – cutrightjm
    Jun 22, 2012 at 0:37

I suggest DimScreen (different to one already mentioned) created by Robert Gentry.

It's free and open source so I've created a fork of the project to support multiple-monitors.

enter image description here

Note: requires .NET 4


Have you tried Dimscreen from the donation coder? http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/index.html#DimScreen

  • Can you explain what this program does?
    – bwDraco
    Oct 3, 2015 at 0:03

I have extremely sensitive eyes, hence I developed DimScreen. It will appear as a black box in the notification area and you can adjust dimness far beyond the allowed minimum set by your function keys. Its features are the following:

  • Change the brightness by selecting a `% in the tray menu.
  • Or use the hotkeys Ctrl++ and Ctrl+-.
  • Change hotkeys using Settings in the tray menu.
  • Doesn't work properly with video windows.

Could be used for nighttime map reading if your laptop is missing dimming controls.

  • This is AWESOME I can't believe I never knew this exists!
    – JREAM
    Dec 16, 2015 at 15:46

You can get the biggest possible dim range with Iris.

Here is a normal screen with Brightness on 100% enter image description here

If you set Iris to 50% brightness the screen will look like this

enter image description here

You can go as low as 10% if you enable Extended values, but this is really dark screen

enter image description here

Aside from going down you can also go up to 150% brightness. Here is how brightness on 110% looks like

enter image description here

This over the maximum brightness is really useful when watching movies for me

enter image description here

Looking at the other answers most programs lower the brightness by placing a transparent overlay filter.

This method reduces contrast quite a bit and may cause eye problems.

Iris and f.lux should work fine because they change the white point of the screen which is better.

One plus of Iris over f.lux is that you automate the brightness reduction based on day and night just like most blue light filter programs do with the color temperature and blue light.

Iris can do this also but this is not related to the question.

One thing to note is that I don't recommend changing the brightness via monitor buttons if the monitor is LED. Most LED monitors change the brightness via a process called Pulse-width modulation which is really bad for the eyes.

I have some explanation about PWM here: https://iristech.co/pwm-flicker/

Technically you can also lower the brightness by wearing sunglasses in front of the PC.

This will also block some UV and blue light if you don't want to use software or use some strange Linux on which no software works at all :)

  • This really is best solution for me .. I was looking for an app where I could take screenshots without ruining the screenshot original colors. This is possible with Iris by activating the "low-level Color API" from settings.
    – Omar
    May 31, 2020 at 5:46
  • Shareware - be aware
    – Fusseldieb
    Jun 15, 2020 at 0:26

I looked quickly and didn't find any info if your monitor is a led based one or not. Some older monitors have fluorescent tube for lights (I think) and those probably have a pretty high lowest brightness setting. So if you have that type of monitor you are probably not going to have any luck making it darker through settings.

So you alternative is probably a privacy filter. I have one for my computer at work. It made the screen quite noticeably darker. Although those filters will make the screen harder to read from certain angles, it might still be what you need.


there is a program PowerStrip that let's you set many visual configuration profiles and you can add shortcuts to them. I find it very useful in games or movies. The program does more than that so it's very useful.


PangoBright works for multiple monitors

  • Yes, it allows you to select which monitor you want to dim - a too often missing feature. Thanks a lot Sep 19, 2016 at 8:41

Since you have already installed f.lux which have function to Dim the screen using key combinations

Alt + Page Down - Dim the screen

Alt + Page Up - Brighten the screen


Assuming that it is not a limitation of the hardware and/or driver, then you can use Nirsoft’s NirCmd to adjust the screen brightness up or down to whatever the video-adapter is capable of.


I have sensitive eyes as well and do a lot of work at night so looked into getting a screen protector like the kind used on the old CRTS, but they were too bulky, somewhat costly, and did not work well on my 17.3" laptop. What I finally came up with that works great is getting a roll of tinted privacy window film from Home Depot and cut out a section to fit my exact screen dimensions. The result is fantastic as it filters out the rays causing eye strain, can be peeled on or off in seconds, and reused as many times as you like (it clings to the screen and doesn't need adhesives or hardware to work. I simply place it on the back of the screen where it clings until you need to use it again! The roll I bought was enough to cover two large windows, so would be enough for 25-35 laptop screens, and I think I paid $15 for the whole thing! Some friends of mine liked it so much they have it on their TV's that were too bright in their house, their car windows, and one guy used it to darken his prescription eyeglasses and loves it! Its so simple it borders on stupid, but I love it and will put it against the "Pet Rock" and Chia Pets" on QVC any day!

  • This is great! Can you tell us the specific name of the privacy stuff so we can find it easily at Home Depot?
    – user390935
    Nov 18, 2014 at 9:13

If you have intel graphics, open up the graphics properties and set the brightness lower. My default was set at 0, and went to -60. I also use f.lux and dimmer.


I'd suggest you try to change your system's color metrics now, since you're already using it at lowest brightness possible. I used to have this trouble too, but then I moved on to working in evening time(from 4 to 12).

Otherwise, as StampedeXV mentioned, buy a newer screen(maybe even a LED TV which may perform as per your needs?).


I suggest DimScreen Skrommel 1-Hour software.

But if you run Desktop Lighter 1.4 first and choose lowest bright, exit and then run DimScreen you get even better results. Much less brightness.

It´s AutoHotkey script program and you can access to source and modify it.


I think the best program for this purpose for Windows is Gapa. I downloaded it somewhere long time ago and now I can't find any download link or web page. The Publisher is Tomasz Porosinski.

Anyway, I can share my Dropbox link with you.


Function key bottom left of my keyboard Fn and press F5 at the same time dims the screen. To brighten press Fn and F6 at the same time.

  • 2
    But how does that answer getting the brightness below the minimum (which you get when pressing Fn+F5 multiple times)?
    – Arjan
    Jun 28, 2014 at 14:03

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