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Gaming Monitor Too Dark or Bright? Here’s How To Fix It

When playing video games, there’s nothing more annoying than having to adjust your monitor’s brightness every time it gets too dark or too bright – especially when you’re in the middle of a game! It’s not uncommon to encounter a gaming monitor with this sort of problem. Displays are known for being notoriously temperamental, but the fix is actually quite simple.

If your gaming monitor is too dark or too bright, it can be fixed by resetting the monitor to factory default settings. If this doesn’t work, try manually adjusting the brightness and contrast settings. Alternatively, you can calibrate the gaming monitor and massively improve image quality. 

The rest of this article will discuss the most common fixes you can apply to a gaming monitor with brightness issues. Be sure to read each step carefully.

8 Ways To Fix Brightness on a Gaming Monitor

The monitor you use can make all the difference when it comes to your gaming experience. If yours is too dark or too bright, the easiest fix is to try resetting your monitor back to its default settings. If that doesn’t work, try to manually adjust the brightness or have your monitor correctly calibrated for best results.

But there are some other possible reasons, while a bit less common, that are just as easy to fix. Here are eight easy ways to fix or adjust your gaming monitor when the screen is either too dark or too bright.

1. Reset Your Monitor

Resetting your monitor to its factory default settings can help alleviate many technical problems. To do this:

  1. Locate the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu button on your monitor. Then bring up the Settings menu.
  2. The settings menu should have an option called “Factory Reset.” Selecting this option will revert any changes you applied to your monitor and return it to its default settings. 
  3. If you can’t find the Factory Reset option, it must be located within some other category. Certain gaming monitors will hide the reset option in the Other Settings menu. Try looking there. 

Resetting your monitor should hopefully fix the issue, but if that’s not the case:

2. Reset Your Graphics Card Settings

Sometimes your graphics card settings can be altered by third-party applications. This might affect your monitor’s brightness levels and your video adapter’s ability to display graphics correctly. To reset your graphics card settings:

How To Reset Graphics Card Settings for NVIDIA 

  1. In Start, search for the NVIDIA Control Panel and open the application.
  2. Click the Manage 3D Settings tab.
  3. Click the Restore button to revert your settings.

How To Reset Graphics Card Settings for AMD 

  1. Open AMD display settings by right-clicking your desktop and selecting AMD Radeon Settings.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Restore Factory Defaults.
  4. Press Yes to confirm changes.

How To Reset Graphics Card Settings for Intel 

  1. Right-click your desktop and select Intel Graphics Properties.
  2. Open the 3D tab.
  3. Click Restore Defaults.

3. Make Sure Your Not Using Night Light

Windows 10 includes a neat feature known as Night Light which reduces the blue light emitted by your screen. When turned on, Night Light automatically dims your monitor’s brightness. This could be the reason why you’re experiencing display issues. 

To ensure Night Light isn’t accidentally turned on:

  1. Open Windows Settings (use the Windows + I shortcut key).
  2. Open System Settings.
  3. In the Display tab, turn off Night Light.
  4. Click the Night Light Settings below and ensure that Schedule Night Light is also off.

4. Manually Adjust Your Brightness and Contrast Settings

Many monitors have dedicated buttons to adjust screen brightness. Your brightness and contrast levels may be set so the screen is darker than it should be for comfortable viewing. This can cause eye strain and fatigue, especially if you work with a computer for long periods of time. 

You can manually adjust the monitor brightness or contrast by using dedicated buttons located somewhere on your gaming monitor. You can also change your screen brightness from the OSD menu. To do this:

  1. Locate the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu button on your monitor and bring up the Settings menu.
  2. Find the Brightness / Contrast slider and adjust values according to your preference.

5. Disable Auto-Dimming

Recently, you may have heard of a new feature called “auto-dimming,” which dims gaming monitors to save power when they’re not in use. It sounds great! However, oftentimes, turning on the auto-dimming feature can make your screen too dim.

To confirm that your gaming monitor comes with an auto-dimming feature, you should check out the user manual or visit the manufacturer’s official website. If your screen boasts this feature, the user manual should include a step-by-step guide to disable it.

If you’re still not sure whether your monitor includes the auto-dimming feature or not, you can swap your monitor for a different one and see if anything changes. If the problem is resolved, your gaming monitor is definitely the culprit. Otherwise, you may need to try some other solution. 

6. Update Your Display Adapter Drivers

It goes without saying, if you’re facing any sort of display issues, you should always check for driver updates – specifically updates for your display adapter.

Many users have confirmed that updating their drivers resolved many of their display issues. An outdated graphics card driver could likely be the reason why you’re getting too much brightness or too little.

There are many ways to update your display adapter drivers:

Perform a Manual Update

  1. Find out what graphics card is installed. If you already know, skip to the next step.
  • To check what graphics card you’re using, type “dxdiag” in the Windows search bar.
  • Run the DirectX Diagnostics tool.
  • In the Display tab, you can read the name of your graphics card under the Devices heading.
  1. Visit the appropriate manufacturer’s website to download the latest updated drivers. For example, if you have an AMD card, you’ll need to visit the official AMD website
  2. Search for the latest graphics card drivers on the manufacturer’s website. Once you’ve found it, download the setup.
  3. Run the setup as administrator and follow the on-screen instructions. When manually updating drivers, take special care to download drivers that are specific to your specifications.

Note: You should never download drivers from unofficial websites as they often contain viruses. Only download drivers from your manufacturer’s official website. 

Run an Automatic Update

To automatically update drivers:

  1. Open the Device Manager by searching for it in the search bar.
  2. Find the Display Adapter dropdown and expand it to view your current graphics card driver.
  3. Highlight the driver and click the Update Driver button.
  4. Select Search Automatically For Updated Drivers when prompted.

Windows should now automatically update your graphics card driver to the latest version. 

Update Using Third-Party Software

You can also use third-party software to automatically update your drivers. Tools such as Driver Fix, AVG Driver Updater, and IObit Driver Booster are great choices. You can also search for a more suitable software yourself. A simple Google search will return tonnes of products, both paid and free.

Enable an Automatic Windows Update

Windows can automatically download the latest recommended drivers for your system. To enable this feature, turn on Windows Update and allow windows to automatically check for updates. 

One of the perks of using this feature is that Windows will retrieve updates as soon as they become available. You won’t have to go out of your way to manually search for updates yourself. 

It’s recommended to keep Windows Update on. This way, your hardware, and software will always be updated to the latest version. Many conflicts and issues can be avoided by simply turning on Windows Update.

7. Update Your BIOS

Updating your BIOS should be a last-resort option. However, some technical issues can be fixed by updating your BIOS to the latest version. First, you need to identify your current BIOS version. To do this:

  1. Open up the System Information app by searching for msinfo in the search bar. 
  2. The System Information app will list your current BIOS version under the processor speed details. 
  3. Note down the version number and compare it with the latest version available on your computer manufacturer’s website. 

If the versions match, you’re already up-to-date. Otherwise, you’ll have to update your BIOS.

You can download the latest BIOS update file from your computer manufacturer’s website. Once the setup is downloaded, be sure to read the update guide thoroughly before proceeding to install. 

An outdated BIOS can cause your gaming monitor to become too faint and can lead to a myriad of different technical problems. Update your BIOS as soon as possible to avoid any mishaps. 

8. Calibrate Your Monitor

It’s easy to get carried away when buying a gaming monitor with 4k ultra-wide resolution and adaptive refresh rate. However, after finally connecting your monitor to your computer, you notice something is out of place. There’s either a problem with the color or the screen’s brightness – why is this happening to something so expensive?

The answer is simple. You haven’t calibrated your gaming monitor to get accurate, crisp colors and the intended brightness levels. It’s why you’re under the impression that your monitor looks a bit too bright (or a bit too dim). 

At its default settings, most gaming monitors won’t provide quality visuals. It doesn’t matter if you have a 4k display or a cheap one; without proper calibration, your monitor won’t be able to deliver visuals as it’s intended to. Calibrating your gaming monitor will significantly improve image quality and increase performance tenfold.

Pre-Calibration Steps

There are multiple ways to calibrate your screen, but before you can begin calibration:

  1. Keep your monitor on for at least thirty minutes. This will help the screen warm-up and hit its usual level of brightness.
  2. Verify the screen’s resolution is set to the native default resolution. If you don’t know what your default native resolution is, just simply change your resolution to the recommended resolution in Windows Display settings.
  3. Make sure your monitor is placed in a room with moderate lighting. Too much glare can affect results. Likewise, a completely dark room won’t provide the best results either. 
  4. Familiarize yourself with your monitor’s buttons and controls.

How To Calibrate With Built-In Tools

Both Windows and macOS provide built-in tools to quickly calibrate your monitor. These tools help adjust gamma settings that affect screen brightness, as well as contrast and color levels. 

This method is fast and free, but since you’re expected to eyeball what the sample image should look like without a calibrated reference, it’s not much better than checking your car speed by sticking your hand out the window.

Here’s how to perform a Windows 10 monitor calibration:

  1. Search for Color Calibration in the Windows search bar and then click the first result.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions and adjust your monitor’s gamma, brightness, contrast, and color levels using the sample image that’s provided. 
  3. Adjust your settings so that your display is similar to the sample image.
  4. Once the calibration process is complete, you can stick with the current calibration or revert back to the previous settings.

How To Do an Online Calibration

If you’re a little more serious about color correction because you’re a graphic designer, home theater enthusiast, or an avid gamer, you might not trust yourself to get the settings right just by fiddling with the monitor settings. 

In this case, you may want to try online calibration, in which a color profile is downloaded for your monitor. Color profiles essentially work to control the actual colors displayed on the screen.

Both standardized profiles and custom profiles are available for specific display models. If you want to find a profile for your monitor, check out the following website

Conclusion

Whatever the reason causing it, you don’t have to put up with a too-dim or too-bright monitor that makes it hard for you to see in-game action clearly. By following the fixes mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to resolve your brightness problems and hopefully have a screen that provides much better quality than before.

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