Dell Laptop Brightness Control Not Working

Did you know that there are five ways to control brightness on a Dell laptop? So, If you are in a situation where your Dell laptop brightness control is not working, you are reading the right article.

controlling brightness on a Dell laptop is straight forward. It’s either you decide to use the F keys which are mostly:

  • F11 and F12
  • F1 and F2
  • F6 and F7

The first F key is usually to increase the brightness while the second F key is to decrease the brightness.

Do you also know that your computer has a way of showing you brightness control errors through Dell blink codes.

An easy way to identify Which key is control you display brightness, look for the key with this icon .

The other way to change your brightness is through windows settings or notification area where you have to toggle left or right.

Toggling left would decrease the brightness while toggling right would increase the brightness.

Without wasting any of your time, let’s get right into it.

Reasons why Dell Laptop Brightness Control is Not Working

These are the reasons:

  1. Faulty Keys.
  2. Fn Lock.
  3. No Driver.
  4. Corrupted OS

1. Faulty keys

Your keyboard could have been the problem after all. There could be a possibility that some of your keys on your keyboard aren’t working. The primary keys to increase your screen brightness are F11 and F12. on some older computers, it could be F1 and F2.

The easiest way to find out is to open a document sheet with Microsoft word or Notepad and then test all your keys in there. Check carefully for the keys that are working and the keys that are not.

2. Fn Lock

The Fn lock is a key on your keyboard that is used in combination with some other keys to turn on a feature on your Dell computer.

There are two possibilities involved with the Fn lock:

  1. The Fn key itself is locked
  1. You are not combining the Fn key with the particular F keys to increase your brightness.

3. No Driver

Drivers are important for each computer components to work properly.


The Flashing Dell Laptop Power Light is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of issues. It usually indicates a problem with the laptop’s power supply, such as a dead battery or a faulty charger.

The same way a graphics card requires it’s graphics driver to be installed, is the same way a keyboard requires its own driver.

Your Keyboard drivers could have been uninstalled by a program on your computer or by you without you noticing.

You can easily download your Dell keyboard driver on the Dell official website.

4. Corrupted OS

Operating systems rarely get corrupted but when it does, it can be frustrating for its user. These happen with windows 7, 8 and 10.

Sometimes your Dell laptop might have a corrupted OS without you even noticing it. You are probably asking how this can happen?

Well, this can happen when you recently reinstall, reset, refresh or format windows and then forget to specifically install all the right drivers needed for your dell laptop to run properly.

A simple windows update and keyboard driver install will bring everything back to normal.

How To Brighten Screen On Dell Laptop

There are 5 ways to increase brightness on your Dell laptop. You should test each of these methods to see which would work for you.

Shall we?

Here’s how to brighten screen on dell laptop:

  1. Use F Keys.
  2. Charm Bar.
  3. Windows Settings.
  4. Windows Mobility Centre.
  5. Ease Of Access.

1. Use F keys

Your F keys are located on the first row of your keyboard. You should see the keys as F1, F2, F3, F4 and so on, you get the idea. The primary F key to increase your Dell laptop brightness depends on your model although I will provide all the possible locations your brightness control could be. Some Dell laptops already provide an Icon that looks like this or this .

These are the possible locations to increase and decrease your screen brightness.

  • F11 and F12
  • F1 and F2
  • F6 and F7

If any of the keys doesn’t work, try holding the Fn key and your brightness F keys simultaneously to change your brightness. If it doesn’t work, proceed to the next step.

2. Charm bar

Among all the methods to increase and decrease your Dell laptop brightness, this is the easiest. All you need to do is perform these two steps:

  1. Click on the notification icon located at the bottom right hand corner on your taskbar.
  1. Move the brightness toggle right and left to increase or decrease your brightness.

Note that this particular method works for only windows 10.

3. Windows settings

  1. Press the following key combination to open settings:
Windows key + I
Windows settings
  1. Click on System.
windows 10 system settings
  1. Make sure you are on the Display tab.
  1. Move the toggle right or left to increase or decrease your brightness in the brightness and colour section.

4. Windows mobility Centre

  1. Search for windows mobility centre in windows search.
  1. Click on it.
  1. Adjust your brightness in the display brightness section.

Another way to access the windows mobility centre is to right click on your battery icon in the taskbar and then select windows mobility centre.

5. Ease of Access

  1. Search for Ease of access brightness in windows search.
  1. Click on it.
  1. Scroll down to the make everything brighter section.
  1. Adjust your brightness.


After trying everything above and nothing seems to work, it’s totally ok. It just means you are missing some key things. These key things will be explained thoroughly below.

Let’s get to it.

1. Download Keyboard Drivers

The easiest and quickest way to download your Dell keyboard driver is to use a software tool called DriverEasy.

Driver Easy updates all your missing drivers with one click. So, you should expect not only your keyboard driver to be installed, but other missing drivers as well.

Driver Easy is an affordable premium tool that’s totally worth it and keeps your computer dell computer drivers updated at all times.

2. Unlock Fn Key

If your keyboard is working correctly and you have tried all the methods above, there’s a high possibility that your Keyboard is locked or your Fn key is locked.

I wrote a very detailed guide to help you unlock your Dell laptop keyboard. Go through it and let me know in the comment box below if your problem is fixed.

To unlock your Fn key, this is what you need to do:

Hold your Fn key and NumLock altogether to unlock your Fn key.


Hold Fn Key while tapping on Esc once and then release your hand.

Once you do that, test your brightness keys to see if they are working. If they don’t work, try holding down your Fn key to and pressing the brightness F keys to change your brightness.


Why can’t I adjust the brightness on my Dell laptop?

These are the reasons:

  • Your Fn key is locked and needs to be unlocked because your brightness F keys requires it
  • You haven’t updated your keyboard drivers
  • The operating system installed on your Dell laptop might be corrupted or not installed properly.
  • Your Keyboard might be faulty. Some keys might work, while others wouldn’t.

Read more here.

How do I turn on my brightness on my Dell laptop?

There are five ways to turn on brightness on a Dell laptop.

It can be turned on through:

  1. F Keys
  2. Charm Bar
  3. Windows Settings
  4. Windows Mobility Centre
  5. Ease of Access

Read more here.

How do I adjust the brightness on my Dell laptop without a key?

To adjust brightness on a Dell laptop, you can achieve that through the charm bar and windows settings.

Click here to learn more.

How do you unlock the Fn key on a Dell laptop?

Here’s how,

Hold down the Fn key while you tab on the NumLock key.

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Solomon Omolabi is a seasoned IT professional with 10 years of industry expertise. As the owner of, he provides meticulously researched and comprehensive articles that effortlessly tackle any technical challenge. Solomon's contributions have earned him recognition on esteemed professional platforms, making him a trusted authority in resolving complex IT issues. Read more.

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