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HP Notebook PCs - Display Is Dim or Difficult to Read (Windows 10, 8, 7)

This document pertains to HP notebook computers with Windows 10, 8, or 7.
Perform the steps in this document to adjust the screen brightness of a notebook that is too dark or hard to see.

Video overview

The instructions in this video are for Windows 8 and Windows 7, but will also work for computers with Windows 10.

Step 1: Adjust the display brightness using the function keys

Use the function keys to adjust the brightness of the display. Follow the steps below to adjust the brightness of the screen.
The brightness function key numbers (f9 or f10) might vary depending on the notebook model. However, the icons on the keys should be similar.
On some notebook models you can adjust the brightness without pressing the function (fn) key. For instance, on certain notebook models, press f2 or f3 to control the brightness.
If you restart the computer after adjusting the display brightness, the brightness level might return to the default setting based on the power source (battery or AC). This is not an error; the notebook is functioning as designed. Use the function keys to change the brightness back to the desired setting, or change the default settings in Control Panel.
  • To make the display brighter, hold the fn key on the keyboard and press the f10 key repeatedly, or this key .
  • To make the display dimmer, hold the fn key on the keyboard and press the f9 key repeatedly, or this key .
If the display is still dim, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Adjust the display brightness in Windows

Step 3: Adjust the display brightness in the battery settings

This section applies to Windows 10 and Windows 8.
To adjust the brightness of the display using the battery setting, connect the computer to AC power while the notebook is turned on and using the battery. The battery itself has brightness settings that can be customized. This may explain why it is brighter when AC power is attached.
If the display is brighter when plugged into the AC power, unplug the AC power to check the battery brightness settings.
If the display is still dim after adjusting the brightness in the battery settings, proceed with the next step.

Step 4: Update the BIOS and graphics driver

In some cases, a dim display might be caused by an outdated BIOS or graphics driver. Select from the following options below to update the BIOS and graphics driver on your computer:
If the display is still dim after updating the BIOS and graphics driver, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Perform a hard reset

To perform a hard reset on a computer with a removable battery, perform the following steps:
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Remove the computer from any port replicator or docking station.
  3. Disconnect all external connected peripheral devices such as USB storage devices, external displays, and printers.
  4. Unplug the AC adapter from the computer.
  5. Remove the battery from the battery compartment.
  6. Press and hold down the Power button for about 15 seconds to drain any residual electrical charge from the capacitors that protect the memory.
  7. Insert the battery and plug the AC adapter back into the notebook computer, but do not connect any of the peripheral devices.
  8. Press the Power button to turn on the computer.
  9. If a startup menu opens, use the arrow keys to select Start Windows Normally, and then press the Enter key.
If your notebook has a sealed or non-removable battery, see the HP support document, HP Notebook PCs - Performing a Hard Reset or Forced Reset.

Step 6: Check the display before Windows opens

Follow the steps below to see if the display is dim before Windows opens, which could indicate a hardware failure.
  1. Close Windows and shut down the computer.
  2. Press the power button again to start the computer, and immediately press Esc repeatedly until the Startup Menu displays.
    Figure : Startup Menu
    Startup menu
  3. Use the down arrow key to select F10 BIOS Setup, and then press Enter.
  4. When the BIOS menu opens, check the brightness of the display.






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