I recently upgraded my Dell M17xR3 to Windows 8. After install, I noticed that my screen brightness had been reduced to almost half of the original brightness, although brightness control seems to be at 100%. I have disabled auto brightness, and I have tried several different video card drivers (microsoft's own, AMD mobility latest, Dell's recommended AMD driver). I also installed the latest version of Alienware tools. My Dell has an AMD HD 6870 card.

Using different drivers, I also noticed that the brightness slider would not change the brightness at all steps - with one driver it would not do anything during the first three steps, with another it would alter brightness once every two steps.

The bottom line is that my "max" brightness is not really max - it's about 50-60% of the max brightness that I had before.

  • You know, I noticed the opposite on my laptop. The min brightness is a lot brighter than it used to be. Or so it seems, anyhow. – nhinkle Nov 4 '12 at 6:57
  • Try to configure it in battery usege plans. It might help – Searush Nov 4 '12 at 7:01
  • I have already configured battery usage plans to both 100% brigtness for battery and plugged-in configurations. Nothing has changed. – sotirisf Nov 4 '12 at 7:33

I had the same problem. I found a General setting had been set to allow screen brightness to be adjusted automatically. I disabled it and the full brightness has been restored.

Settings-> PC settings -> General -> Screen
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  • 1
    I can't find any "screen" section there.... – sotirisf Nov 19 '12 at 17:41

For windows 8, go to PC Settings > PC and Devices > Power and Sleep > Turn off "Adjust my screen brightness automatically" and you should have your full brightness on

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To be more specific, go to:

Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings:

Choose display, and then turn off: "enable adaptive brightness" for "on battery", "plugged in" or both.


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I found that by going to the top right corner (bringing up the side bar with Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings), choose Settings and on that new side bar there should be a bunch of icons near the bottom. 1 of those should be Brightness, when clicked on it'll look like its at 100% but shifting that bar should immediately brighten the screen.

This was tested with just the battery in, and made the screen as bright as if I had the charger plugged in with 100% brightness.

This will undoubtedly make the battery drain faster, but that should've been expected.

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