When running Windows on a modern Apple computer, the screen may be very dim and adjusting the brightness doesn’t do anything.

For Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update

  1. Click on Start
  2. Go to Settings (left side of the start menu with a gear)
  3. Click on System
  4. Go to Display on the left hand menu
  5. Disable “Change brightness automatically when lighting changes”

For Windows 7 to Early Versions of Windows 10

  1. Right click on the battery icon in the taskbar (bottom right to the left of the clock)
  2. Click on Power Options
  3. Click “Change Plan Settings”
  4. Go to “Advanced Settings”
  5. In the Advanced Settings window, expand Display, then “Enable Adaptive Brightness”
  6. Change both “On battery” and “Plugged in” to “Off”

Why Does This Happen?

Apple does practically the bare-minimum when it comes to supporting their hardware on Windows. I can’t fully blame them, but some basic things do not work and really leads to a somewhat misleading experience. The driver for the brightness sensor in Macs simply does not work. Turning off adaptive brightness allows you to manually control the brightness of your machine.

I hope this saves someone some hair pulling!