Q&A: Windows is a pale comparison – adjusting Boot Camp brightness

Q I am using Boot Camp to run a Windows application on my MacBook Pro connected to an old Apple 23in HD display. Although this display works fine when running OS X, it dims right down for Windows. How can I avoid this and keep the display looking good?

A This depends on which version of Windows you are running.

For Windows 7, and with Apple Cinema Displays, click on the Boot Camp icon in the system tray, and select the Boot Camp Control Panel. For general Windows 7 use, click Brightness and adjust to your preference. For a Cinema Display, locate the Cinema Display option and click it.

For Windows 8, position the pointer in either of the right corners of the display so that the Charms bar appears. In that bar, click Settings, then click Brightness and adjust.

For Windows 10, search for brightness in the field next to the Start button. There, you should be able to adjust the screen brightness using a slider.

If that does not work, check that your MacBook Pro’s firmware and Boot Camp are fully up to date. You may also need to install Windows support software, and Windows drivers, as detailed here.

Certain displays have had problems with Boot Camp, and it may be worth trying Holst Schumacher’s Brightness Controller for Windows, in case that helps.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 28 issue 02, 2012.