Screen gets dim as I plug power adapter

The screen on my laptop Compaq nc6120 gets dim as I plug the power adapter and it will be ok as I unplug the power cable. Would there be any idea that can help?

I think there is nothing wrong with your laptop, it’s just settings in the power management software. Usually you can adjust screen brightness separately for AC mode (when laptop runs from the power adapter) and battery mode (when laptop runs from the battery). Apparently, in your case the screen brightness has been reduced for the AC mode.

Go to the power management utility and turn the screen brightness all the way up for the AC mode. On some laptops (some Dells for example) you can change LCD screen brightness in the BIOS setup menu.

35 Responses

  1. i have a hp pavilion dv5000 notebook and i cannot find where to adjust the settings. i looked in the control panel and all i could find was power options. if you can. just tell me where to go and that would help a ton Please help! Thanks alot

  2. John Vickers

    I have a Toshiba Satellite m30, the screen is fading at the top tight hand corner, and some of the horizontal lines are missing making text difficult to read. It did this a few years ago, was fixed under warranty, but I am not sure what they did.
    Any ideas what this could be?

  3. Laptop Freak

    Mark,

    i have a hp pavilion dv5000 notebook and i cannot find where to adjust the settings.

    On my HP Pavilion zv5000 I can adjust the screen brightens using the following key combinations. Fn+F8 to increase the brightness and Fn+F7 to decrease the brightness.
    Press on Fn and hold it down and at the same time press F7 or F8.

  4. Laptop Freak

    John Vickers,

    I have a Toshiba Satellite m30, the screen is fading at the top tight hand corner, and some of the horizontal lines are missing making text difficult to read.

    Test your laptop with an external monitor. If external video works fine and this problem appears only on the laptop screen, most likely the LCD screen is going bad. You’ll have to replace the screen.

  5. thank you very much guys!!! that was sucky to have that happen…

  6. Remington Thiel

    i have a toshiba satellite with blinding brightness late at night, is there any way to turn down/up the brightness?

  7. Laptop Freak

    Remington Thiel,

    i have a toshiba satellite with blinding brightness late at night, is there any way to turn down/up the brightness?

    1. You can adjust screen brightness in the Toshiba power management utility.
    OR
    2. Use the following shortcuts. Fn+F6 to decrease the brightness and Fn+F7 to increase the brightness. Press and hold down the Fn key and then tap on F6 or F7.

  8. I bought a Toshiba Satelite Pro 4300 on E-Bay which arrived with a smashed screen, when switched on showed a blank white screen, changed screen, still lights up white. Changed the screen lead, still lights to a blank white screen. External VGA works fine. Whats left motherboard perhaps?. Am I right in thinking that it cannott be the Inverter as the screen lights up.
    Any help appreciated.
    Tony

  9. pat bolden

    I have a hp pavilion dv5000 the LCD Screen goes dim cannot adjust the settings. Also I attached a flat screen monitor to my laptop and it works fine.

  10. Laptop Freak

    pat bloden,

    I have a hp pavilion dv5000 the LCD Screen goes dim cannot adjust the settings. Also I attached a flat screen monitor to my laptop and it works fine.

    Is the screen completely dim and there is no backlight at all? Can you adjust the screen brightness with Fn+F7 (decrease) or Fn+F8 (increase)?

  11. Laptop Freak

    Tony,
    Yep, sounds like a problem with the motherboard (video card). It’s not related to the inverter because the backlight is working fine.

    I published your question here, just in case if you would like to continue the discussion or tell us the solution.

  12. i have an HP omnibook XE3 with a dim screen. i can’t find a key entitled Fn. any advice? tia

  13. correction: i found the Fn key. using the combo suggested, the screen remains dim. Fn + F7 and/or F8

  14. Laptop Freak

    55mph,

    i found the Fn key. using the combo suggested, the screen remains dim. Fn + F7 and/or F8

    1. Bad screen inverter (most likely). You can find the inverter board inside the display panel, below the LCD screen.
    2. Bad backlight lamp (less likely). The backligh lamp is mounted inside the LCD screen, so you’ll have to replace the whole screen.
    3. Bad motherboard (unlikely, but possible). You’ll have to replace the motherboard.
    4. Bad video cable (rare).

  15. thanks laptop freak. i’ll replace the inverter board and see what happens.

  16. i got a diffrent problem with mine… everytime i plug the laptop out, the screen gets dim… is there anyone here who could help me to solve this problem? i tried to turn on the high performance of the battery but still dim…

  17. by the way, my laptop is dell xps m1330… i will appreciate for ur response guys…

  18. Hello,
    I have a Toshiba Satellite M45 laptop. It’s about three years old. Today when I turned it on, the screen was completely black. Having experienced this before with a previous laptop, I assumed the backlight had gone out. I took it to a very bright spot so I could at least see enough to finish the startup process by choosing a user, and then going through the shutdown process.

    Oddly, as soon as I chose my name and it booted me up as my username, there was the light – the screen was perfect, as though nothing had ever happened.

    Figuring it was just a glitch, I turned it off when finished with my work, but then later when I went to boot it up again, the same problem existed – no backlight at all when the initial “Windows” screen came up that showed the five icons for the five users…. so I had to get it into a bright light so I could see the cursor well enough to find/ click my name…. and then once my screen went through the process of launching, boom- the light came on!

    I did a system restore to a couple of days ago, but the problem persists.

    Any ideas as to what is causing this and how to fix it?

    TIA!

  19. Thanks Laptop Freak, I have a Dell Inspiron 1000 which has been dim whilst on AC power and bright whilst off AC power since I bought it! Reading through these posts pointed me towards the blue Fn key being pressed in conjunction with the F8 or F9 keys. I just hadn’t noticed the Fn key and all the blue functions before!

    For anyone else with a Dell Inspriron..
    Fn+F8 is brightness up
    Fn+F9 is brightness down
    .. and it then holds the brightness setting depending on whichever mode it was in when you set it (ie. AC power in, or no AC power in) for the next time.

  20. Raymundo Baptista

    Hi there,

    I recently had to replace the HD of my toshiba M45 laptop. Since I lost the restoration CD, I am having to install the operating system from scratch. I installed windows XP and all toshiba drivers & software I found ‘in the toshibe site. The only problem is that the Fn+F6/F& keys that control the display brightness do not work. It seems the corresponding software is missing from my reintallation. Any idea of what files/drivers/software do I need to install to have this working again?

    Thanks in advance,

  21. I seem to have the opposite going on with the Dell D600 I just acquired: the screen is noticably LESS bright when the plug is pulled and it’s strictly on batteries. My previous two PCs–neither Dells and on older operating systems–didn’t do this, the seller claims this is common on most laptops (though he’s a total stranger not wanting to look bad, so why simply take his word for it?) I realize there are ways to brighten the screen with function key combinations, but I am more concerned if this is a defect or indeed commonplace, at least with this model.

    Should note one can still see the Word docs, solitaire board, whatever, so it doesn’t become virtually useless, but it is a bit tough on the eyes and I’m under the impression turning the brightness all the way up (as I did from within Control Panel/Power/?) helps but doesn’t really “match” the clarity of the screen while plugged in. Your shared wisdom will be MUCH appreciated. Thank you.

  22. sameer

    Hi there,
    I have a Toshiba Laptop 2 years old. My display was having a vertical 20mm wide lowly illuminated area, so I changed the display. But the new display exhibits weired properties. Whenever I increase the brightness it gets decresed and whenever I reduce the brightness it increases. And the display is a bit dim and pinkish. But I tried my old display and it is working fine with my old display. I tried a new display from another dealer but the same problem persists,I have tried all settings from the Laptop display and configuration, If anyone face this problem or have solution please let me know. Thanks in advance.

  23. jcarson

    I was having trouble with the brightness not being high enough on my HP Pavilion. In the bottom right corner, click on the battery icon (when not plugged in). Then, click on “more power options”…it will open a new window. Click on “Adjust the display brightness” on the left. Now you can adjust the brightness for when it is plugged in and also when it is not.

  24. dtarin

    I changed the bios brightness settings via F2 on restart and it worked like a charm, the laptop lcd is nice and bight now when I plug it in, no longer dim as before.
    thanks so much

  25. I’ve had an HP Pavilion for about a year and a half now. The hardware says it’s a tx 2000, but the software thinks it’s a tx 2500, take your pick. 32 bit Vista, touchscreen.

    I’ve recently (within the last 3 months) experienced backlight issues that display the following symptoms.

    1: at random intervals (many times each minute to once every two weeks) the backlight will dim partially, the computer will stop responding to key strokes or clicks, but the mouse can still move
    2: When I have Windows Mobility Center up and this happens I can see the ‘display brightness’ slider move appropriately to the dimness of the screen.
    3: this ONLY happens when the computer is plugged in. Running on battery power is normal.

    I’ve run virus checks, malware checks, tested the voltage in my wall sockets, and rediscovered books as a form of entertainment. Please help!

  26. my lap top screen will turn black i mean all the way to black , but when i unplug my LT i will not do that and when its on the high performance or i plug the power cord to it, it will turn to black ,,, if you know something about it pls help me , that will help me a lot cause im using my laptop for my school …. :(

  27. I have a question about a toshiba satellite a215 laptop broke the screen and ordered replacementinstalled new screen buthave a problem, brightness control is opposite now, also when i plug in, screen gets dimmer and brighter on battery power I went in to went into display settings and changed to work properly just to use lap top .My question is how do i go into bios to make permenent fix to correct opposite control problem and will my temporary fix harm laptop.thanks for your help

  28. Laptop Freak

    eddie,

    I have a question about a toshiba satellite a215 laptop broke the screen and ordered replacementinstalled new screen buthave a problem, brightness control is opposite now, also when i plug in, screen gets dimmer and brighter on battery power I went in to went into display settings and changed to work properly just to use lap top .

    Not sure what’s going on but maybe you should try reflashing the BIOS?

    when i plug in, screen gets dimmer and brighter on battery power

    Could be just power settings. Go to Toshiba power saver in Control Panel and make sure the LCD brightness is set to 100% when the laptop is plugged into AC.

  29. Siobhan

    I have a samsung R418. every time i switch to battery the screen goes really dim. I don’t know how to change the backlight. using function and F5 doesn’t work. The power saving options don’t have one for backlight. the screen is fine when plugged in so its not a problem with the LCD. help anyone? thanks

  30. shyamalendu dey

    The screen on my laptop dell vostro 1040 gets dim as I plug the power adapter and it will be ok as I unplug the power cable. Would there be any idea that can help?

  31. Hi. i have an hp 540 and my problem is, whenever i plug in the adapter, the lcd backlight turns on, i know that its just the light bec when you look at the lcd closely, you’ll see the windows desktop.. could this be a bad inverter? thanks.. i think my baby sprayed water on the lcd.. not sure though..when this first happened, lcd wont turn on at all even with or without the adapter.. tried it a couple of days later and it just turned on.. :)

  32. Azim Butt

    Go to bios and change your Brightness.

  33. I have an hp g60 and the screen keeps going dim…but when I close and open it it comes back up for a few seconds or so..I’ve tried fn + f8 but it does not help and I’ve tried adjusting the power plan when it gives me more than ten seconds to do so…please help!

  34. Laptop Freak

    Doc,

    I think it’s either bad inverter or failed backlight lamp.
    I posted your question and some detailed suggestions here: http://www.asklaptopfreak.com/laptop-notebook-help/2010/12/11/hp-g60-screen-keeps-going-dim/

  35. Please adjust AC Power light and Battery power light setting from BIOS.