How to Adjust Screen Brightness on Surface Pro

Adjusting your Surface Pro screen brightness can be done by using a combination of keys on your keyboard, in the Settings menu, or even in Windows Quick Actions menu.

There are few things more annoying than turning on your Surface Pro in bed and being greeted by an incredibly bright screen. The same goes for taking the device outside and not being able to see anything because it is so dim.

Thankfully, adjusting your screen brightness on a Surface Pro is incredibly simple, and this guide is going to go through a few different ways that it can be done.

Key Takeaways

  • Using the keyboard allows you to instantly adjust brightness. Your keyboard may have brightness up or down buttons on it, or you may need to press a combination of different buttons.
  • Accessing the Settings menu is a quick and easy way to adjust the brightness slider. Simply click through a few menus to reach your desired destination and slide the brightness wherever you want it.
  • Located in your taskbar, the Windows Quick Actions menu (which also doubles as the notification center for your device) gives you easy access to the brightness slider to make adjustments as needed.

1. Use Your Keyboard

One of the quickest ways to change your brightness is by using buttons on your keyboard. The exact buttons you need to press will differ depending on the Surface Pro Type Cover that you have.

If you have a Surface Pro 8/X Type Cover, the F6 and F7 buttons are used to dim or brighten the screen. On a Surface Pro 5-7, it is the F1 and F2 buttons that do the job. On a Surface Pro 4 or older, press Fn + Delete to increase brightness and Fn + Backspace to decrease it.

These buttons provide a near-instant way to adjust brightness, and are great if you primarily use the device as a laptop.

2. Use the Settings Menu

If you don’t use a keyboard or simply prefer to go about things in a different way, you can change the brightness of your device in the Settings menu. It is incredibly quick, and shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

Whether you are on Windows 10 or 11, the process involves going to Settings > System > Display and then adjust the slider to your desired level of brightness. You can either use your mouse/trackpad, or your finger to slide the brightness to the correct place.

3. Use Windows Quick Actions

Another option you have is to use the Quick Actions menu on your taskbar. It is located on the right edge of the taskbar, and clicking it will bring up plenty of options/features, one of which is a slider for screen brightness. You can then freely slide the brightness wherever you want.

In addition to simply clicking the icon on the taskbar, there are a few other ways that you can open the menu. You can click the Windows button + A to immediately open the menu, or even swipe from the right side of the screen to bring it up.

It is important to know that this menu also doubles as your notification center, so in some cases the icon might have numbers on it, indicating you have notifications waiting.


Here are a few commonly-asked questions about screen brightness on Surface Pro devices, as well as their answers.

Why is my screen brightness changing automatically?

If your brightness seems to be changing automatically without you doing anything, it is likely because of adaptive brightness. This feature adjusts the brightness of your screen depending on the content displayed, as well as the ambient light wherever you are.

If you aren’t a fan of this feature, and would rather always be in control of your brightness, simply turn it off in the Display menu of Settings.

Why am I not able to change my screen brightness?

If you are struggling to change your brightness, there are a couple of reasons why this might be the case. Your software could be out of date, the display drivers might need an update, or there could be an issue with the screen and/or keyboard.

If you still cannot figure out the issue and are unable to change the brightness even after making the proper updates, your device could have sustained some damage or not be working correctly in some way, and should be inspected and potentially repaired by a professional.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are using your Surface Pro before bed and want to dim it, or need to crank the brightness if you are using the device out in the sun, we hope this guide has helped you learn how to easily and quickly adjust the brightness.

How bright do you prefer the screen on your devices to be? Let us know in a comment below!

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