Fix your laptop’s color and brightness with this hidden Windows app

For months, my Lenovo Yoga C940 laptop seemed to be playing tricks on me.

One minute the display would be pleasantly bright, but switching to anything with a dark background caused a gradual drop in contrast, giving the screen an almost grimy appearance. I could even see the change kick in while switching between applications, as if some auto-brightness setting were constantly going awry, yet the Windows Settings menu offered no obvious solutions.

Eventually, though, I found the source of the problem. Tucked away in recent Intel-powered Windows laptops is a program called Intel Graphics Command Center, containing a sprawling array of virtual knobs and dials for adjusting the look of your laptop’s screen. After making some small adjustments within this program, my laptop’s brightness issues were gone.

My Lenovo Yoga isn’t the only Windows laptop with these kinds of problems. As a laptop reviewer for PCWorld, I’ve also experienced auto-brightness issues with several other Lenovo laptops, and with the Razer Book 13. If you’re having auto-brightness issues on your Windows laptop, this might be the solution you seek.

In any case, Intel’s Graphics Command Center app is worth a look. By playing with its various color and contrast options, you can make your laptop’s screen look better than it did out of the box.

How to fix Windows auto-brightness problems

To launch the Intel Graphics Command Center app in Windows 10, just click the Start button and type Intel, which should bring up Graphics Command Center as the first option. Alternatively, you can find it by scrolling down to the ‘I’ section in your alphabetized app list.

intelcommandcenterlaunch Jared Newman / IDG

If you have a recent laptop with Intel inside, the Graphics Command Center app should be pre-loaded.

When you first launch the app, Intel will advertise a couple of gaming-related features. Just ignore these and instead select the System tab on the left sidebar (or, if the app is running in a small window, the icon that looks like four squares). At the top of the screen, select the tab that says Power.

intelcommandcenterchange Jared Newman / IDG

Intel’s Power Efficiency setting can cause drastic contrast changes depending on what’s onscreen.

To stop your laptop from changing contrast levels on its own, look in the Power Settings section and change the Power Efficiency level to 1.

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