I recently got a ThinkPad x240 with Windows 8.1. I have a problem regarding screen brightness, but it's nothing that seems to have been discussed here, yet. It's not one of the common brightness problems.

What is absolutely fine

  • Brightness stays the same regardless of OUTSIDE light levels. This is fine.
  • Brightness keys work
  • Other user interfaces for brightness work fine
  • Dimming on battery works fine
  • Brightness overall is fine on ubuntu. My problem is limited to Windows 8.1

My actual Problem

The Screen Brightness changes automatically, when the SCREEN CONTENT changes. That is, if i change from a bright thing (like my desktop background) to a dark thing (like the default theme of Sublime Text), the screen will get dimmed gradually to be darker overall. You can notice, because it does so in little increments every half second.

I do absolutely not want that. I have not found any way to turn that off.

What I tried

Re-Installing, only adding the software and drivers I need. There is virtually no Lenovo Software on my system besides their Update Manager and the Fingerprint Management Software. Everything else is just the mandatory drivers.

I checked every config screen of the intel-software (it's an intel graphics chip), but this does not offer a setting for what i'm searching.

I checked the Systems Advanced Energy Settings (the screen where you can set all kinds of things, like PCIe energy levels and battery thresholds). It does list something called "Screen" > "Adaptive Brightness" and i set it to be OFF both on battery and when plugged in. This did not change the problem, either.

Edit: similar Questions

After doing even more research i found a few similar questions, but those went unanswered, too:

  • Here's the same answer for the x250 superuser.com/questions/994443/…
    – amenthes
    Nov 10, 2016 at 7:55
  • +1 This is an incredibly annoying "feature" of Intel's Graphics driver which I don't understand why they still don't remove up to now. It even works the opposite of how I would expect it to. When there is a lot of white on the screen the brightness increases making it harder on the eyes. When the screen has more dark colors, the brightness goes down. DOH! What sort of n00b coded this feature and why does it plague majority of Windows devices today?
    – andz
    Oct 3, 2018 at 5:51

2 Answers 2


One of the similar questions actually solved my problem: It is a feature of the intel graphics driver and it's well hidden.

It has been solved by this answer by @zeel but i'm adding it here in case anyone comes our way from a search engine.


Intel system tray icon > Graphics Properties > Power > On Battery > Display Power Saving Technology -> turn it off.

  • 1
    just meant to let you know, that this setting sometimes seems to be reset (maybe by a driver update?) and the setting will then read "off" when it's actually on. Turning it on and off again resolves this.
    – amenthes
    Apr 30, 2014 at 20:24
  • "Turning it on and off again"... God!
    – Deqing
    Jul 8, 2014 at 7:10
  • 1
    I have a Dell Precision laptop, and when I disable the Intel HD adapter and enable the NVidia Quadro adapter, this problem happens. It seems that this is a "feature" of NVidia cards too, but I have no idea how to disable it. :(
    – axel22
    Jan 2, 2015 at 12:37
  • I have seen similar Questions here on nvidia hardware (for example second link of initial question, which is sadly unanswered). I have to admin that i didn't really read into those. I hope you can find a solution!
    – amenthes
    Jan 3, 2015 at 12:55
  • For AMD cards it's called VarBright and can be found under the Power options in Catalyst.
    – Lukas
    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:11

I have a Samsung Ativ Book 8 that I am running Windows 8.1 on. Its screen brightness was stuck on bright. The problem was that Microsoft changed the programming behind how the display drivers worked and did not include the driver update in any part of Windows 8.1.

However, when I logged into the AMD website and downloaded the new driver manually, after changing the AMD catalyst control center settings, everything works beautifully with changing brightness and is universal across all applications/programs. Therefore, with anyone having problems like this, I recommend going to AMD, Intel or NVidia websites, depending upon your hardware and manually installing new driver updates.

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