The mystery of the disappearing laptop screen brightness slider (Windows 7)

I noticed this problem in the last 2 weeks or so, but searching around the ‘net returned no results.

So I noticed that if the power plug turned off during bootup, I would be unable to adjust my screen brightness. To resolve the problem, a restart — with the power plugged in — was required.

Right-clicking the Power system icon — located on the bottom right of the task bar, clicking Power Options -> High Performance -> Change plan settings showed just two options: “Turn off the display”, “Put the computer to sleep”. “Adjust plan brightness” had disappeared!

The solution is:

Start -> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager.

In the Device Manager window, look for “Monitors”, then right-click your monitor and select “Uninstall”. Be sure to also check the “Remove driver” option. Once removed, click the “Scan for hardware changes” icon.

Voila. “Adjust plan brightness” returns, mystery solved.

References

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprohardware/thread/08a3eb1d-b698-4639-af4b-5278b721fcdc/

154 thoughts on “The mystery of the disappearing laptop screen brightness slider (Windows 7)

  1. At last!!!

    So greatful! I am an IT-consultant with serious issues on my own laptop….
    About 3 hours of googling didnt take me anywhere!

  2. Thanks! It solved the problem like a miracle. I had the slider before and it suddenly disappeared for no particular reason. Thanks again! :)

  3. I’m a total computer idiot and know nothing about this kind of techie stuff, but I was able to follow this easily and I have my screen brightness slider back. Thank you very much! This super-bright screen was giving me a splitting headache.

  4. Finally! This has been a pain in my ass for a week now. The permanent bright screen was a sight for sore eyes, literally. You’re a humanitarian and a wonderful person.

  5. A million thanks, Sahib… I always had brightness adjustment available from the beginning… until … somewhere along the line brightness went to max and all controls disappeared and keyboard Fn controls stopped working. Don’t know when or how it happened, but it drove me nuts for months. All searching and digging through web sites, manufacturer website (Acer), M$, etc. provided no useful results at all… UNTIL … I stumbled over your post. Following your lead, I uninstalled the monitor driver (deleting driver software), had windows rescan for hardware updates; it installed a “generic” monitor driver, and viola!! Everything works! Thank you again for sharing this! PS. I have been a computer operator/technician for over 30 years, since the days of mainframes; before I started working in this field, I had hair! ;-)

  6. Same here. This was driving me crazy for months. Any idea what’s caused the problem to start with in the first place? In my case it happens each time I unplugged the laptop and start running on batteries. Even once I plug the computer back in, the screen stays dimmed and there is no way to increase the brightness other than what you suggested.. a bit of a pain. Thank you.

  7. Hey there, I’m having this problem except I don’t have a Monitors tab in device manager, nor can I see any entries relating to a monitor in Device Manager. I’m using a HP Pavilion dv6 laptop, is there anything I can do to solve this problem? I used to have the sliders and the buttons used to work but now the sliders are gone and the buttons aren’t functioning. Thanks for any help.

  8. i can follow the instruction until the “Remove driver” stage because i cannot find it. can anyone help me? i’m using lenovo g460. the brightness make my head pain.. !

  9. Im not good with this stuff but will that do any damage to my computer if I unistall it? I mean like is it important to have to or thats just… extra?

    1. Hi Cane,
      It doesn’t seem to have had an effect on my laptop, and the good thing is that I can adjust my screen brightness now. I consider it critical to be able to adjust that, since it has an impact on my reading and battery life.

      1. Hello there! Can you help me find where can i check the “remove driver” ?? i can’t find it..

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This has been bugging me for weeks! I think a Windows update must have been the culprit because I didn’t do anything else to the laptop around the time this happened.

    Clevo W76CU

    1. Im on a Clevo P170HM (Sager). It happened to me when I got below 7% battery and it auto-dimmed the screen. When I plugged it back in, I couldnt change it anymore.

  11. thank you for crying out loud, why can’t this be on the “help” menu????????????????????????????? I’ve had to download smart brightness controller 3 times already (free trial). you are truly a genius

  12. I have no idea why the slider vanished in the first place. I recent did an update and I’m guessing that was what caused the problem? In any case this solution worked great and was quick and easy!

  13. Since the windows update in august, this brightness slider was vanished from the control panel. now for this tips, i got it back again, thank you very much..— Kaijer

  14. OMFG!! Thanks SO DAMN MUCH!!! I could not believe that nobody else had this problem when I looked it up.. I was dealing with a super bright laptop for about 5 months now, because I just gave up!! Then I finally googled it one last time today, and bam, your resolution came up and worked!! THANKS!! :D

  15. can anybody help me in finding out remove driver option.. i have toshiba satellite C655D laptop..please hep to find it guys..otherwise i`ll have to continue with my super bright laptop..please,..

  16. Thank you so much – I’ve been searching for an answer to this for at least two weeks, and was about to completely wipe my system when I read your post. Definitely saved a MASSIVE restore job – much appreciated!

  17. I don’t know how, but the monitor driver got replaced by a TeamViewer Monitor Driver. Thanks to these instructions, I was able to finally install the correct monitor driver.

    Many Thanks!!

  18. Thank you sir. 1 month with a screen, dark as night. I don’t know how to thank you. My kindest words. You are a life saver.

    Laptop: MSI GT-70 0NE

  19. Thanks! Woke up this morning, turned on computer, brightness settings were gone and my eyes were being burned out by the max brightness, for which there were no settings. Great fix.

  20. What do u guys mean by “remove driver” option??? i went into device manager and uninstalled my moniter then scanned but there still is no brightness setting option. Please help!!! T.T

  21. The remove driver option did not get displayed in my case, only a warning that I was going to uninstall my driver, I clicked ok and it uninstalled the generic pnp monitor.
    After that I right clicked and scanned for hardware updates and the brightness adjustment bar was there again.. Thanks! :).

  22. i also don’t have a Monitors tab in device manager. Well in my laptop it’s in “devices and printers”, did I make it right? there are only devices, printers and faxes, and unspecified. I tried to look for “Scan for hardware changes” options but can’t find it. I’m using VAIO VPCCW26FG. any help? thanks before

  23. LOL I’m a sys admin at our work but I could resolve this silly problem on my own laptop. After 3 days of google Glad I found this gold.

  24. i can’t believe this. it doesn’t work for me. i only have “generin pnp monitor” at the monitor section. there is no “remove driver” anywhere. i uninstall it, then click on the button to the rightest “scan for hardware changes”. after that i go to control panel, power options, and there is still no slider.

    1. hi. uninstall “Monitors” altogether. then scan for hardware changes from the Action Menu. or the little button below.

  25. holly crap your awesome! I was like all worried it wasn’t going to work but i read the comments and gave me hope. Your wonderful thank yyou

  26. Thank you very much,
    It worked for my HP Touchsmart TM2 2080la Notebook,

    Muchas gracias,
    Me funcionó para mi computador portatil HP Touchsmart TM2 2080la Notebook.

  27. OMG. I never thought I would be able to fix this!!! I figured I must have broken something inside my laptop when I dropped it….thank you so much for posting this! At first I was kind of hesitant on following the directions posted here because I’m not much of a computer person, but your instructions are very simple to follow! Thank you so much once again! Goodbye to super bright screen that hurts my eyes~!!! (:

  28. i have vaio SVE15117FN with windows 8 pro 64 bit.. i don’t have any option like moniters in device manager.. then i uninstalled AMD Radeon HD 7500M/7600M Series (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM v1.20) from Display Adapters and scanned for hardware changes.. then also i didn’t get brightness control in my power options or any where else.. please help me..

  29. Thank you! I just discovered the problem last night. Two days ago I had plugged an external monitor into my Sony Vaio (Windows 7). I think that might have had something to do with the disappearance of the brightness control. Anyway, your solution worked perfectly. cheers.

  30. Have a Acer aspire 7750g W7/64, most recent update was display adapter AMD radeon HD7600M, after that i was unable to change my brightness level. because i have 2 display adapters Inter HD3000chip(integrated) and HD7600 as mentioned above. I use only AMD cause well its better for everything expect for battery life.
    when i switch to HD7600 i am unable to dim the brightness. The function works fine when i swicth it back to the lame Inter HD3000 . Any suggestions would help. your theory for PnP did not work for me so far.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  31. have a Sony VAIO ,the same thing happened to me when i formatted my win7 ,i tried your way and it didn’t work , can you help me please .

  32. Didnt work for me… However! I just uninstalled the driver, didnt scan anymore since it didnt help, but I saw Display Adapters setting and Intel HD Graphics Family was disabled. So I hit enable – and it finally let me set the brightness. So for those who won’t get results with 1st option, try this.

    1. awkward, but are you all running teamviewer?

      I think once someone takes over your desktop, the teamviewer driver takes over and it could be bugged, locking these options.
      Can anyone confirm?

  33. Thank you so much!!! You are my savior – to be clear, “Scan for hardware changes” can be found in the “Action” dropdown menu.

  34. I’ve tried everything and honestly did NOT believe this would work. I uninstalled the monitor+driver, restarted and HOLY CRAP. You’re my savior!!!!!

  35. Wow.. I almost gave up on windows 8.1 that came pre installed in my new laptop and dual booting Ubuntu for this brightness bug..

    This worked and I am hate not finding this post first.

    Thank you so much.

  36. Finally, a fix to this issue! I’ve tried so many different solutions for months on end with no result, but this worked perfectly. Thank you!

  37. This worked for me – had to delete the existing drivers (missed that the first time and it did not help).

    Brilliant.

  38. It did work, but not completely..
    In windows settings, available from charms menu, there is an option for bbrightness control.

    When I slide the brightness to say, 50%, then follow steps mentioned above– > to unistall and rescan hardware-> The brightness of screen becomes 50%.

    However, if i have to change the brightness again, I again have to set the brightess through the settings, and then uninstall and rescan my monitor..

    I don’t know why this might be happening

  39. My Acer Aspire V5 Windows 8 just had the same problem. After 2 days of search and trial in vain, finally I found this solution! Thank you so much!

  40. Thank you so much, I seriously nearly went blind at the brightness level, the strain it was putting on my eyes, started to make them twitch and make the muscles spasm, i was going crazy. Thanks :)

  41. Works for me on Windows 8.1. Previously had a “code 39″ error (windows cannot load the device driver) for the Generic PnP Monitor. Simply clicked Uninstall followed by “Scan for hardware changes”. Boom! Now brightness can be adjusted. No need to do anything else with the drivers. Many thanks.

  42. Great to see so many people were benefitted with this but unfortunately I was not. I have Generic PnP monitor under Monitors in Device manager. I uninstalled it many time but nothing worked. I went to Properties, and uninstall driver as well but still cannot adjust brightness neither through slider nor through function keys. If I am doing anything wrong. I have windows 7 professional 32 bit

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