How to Fix Brightness Control Function Keys Not Working in Windows 11?


One convenient way to adjust your display brightness in Windows 11 is by using the dedicated function keys on your keyboard. But sometimes, these brightness buttons not working, leaving you unable to change the screen brightness level easily. When the brightness function keys fail to work in Windows 11, don’t panic. In most cases, you can quickly get these important shortcuts working again with a few simple fixes.

Here are the top solutions to try when the brightness control function keys are not working on your Windows 11 computer.

Confirm Keyboard Shortcuts are Enabled

Before troubleshooting other issues, verify that Windows 11 has not disabled your keyboard shortcuts, which would affect the brightness keys.

  • Go to Settings > System > Keyboard.
  • Confirm that the “Use keyboard shortcuts” toggle is switched on.
  • If disabled, turn it on to re-enable shortcuts like brightness controls.

With shortcuts enabled globally, investigate other possible causes of unresponsive brightness keys next.

Check for Function Key Locking

Many laptop keyboards have an Fn lock key that toggles the function keys between their default operations and secondary shortcuts like brightness and volume.

If your Fn lock is on, it likely disables the brightness function, leaving the keys unresponsive.

  • Locate the Fn lock key on your laptop keyboard (often near Ctrl or Esc).
  • Toggle Fn lock off, which should make the brightness keys work again.

Don’t forget to check Fn lock status when brightness and other multimedia keys misbehave.

Update or Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

Outdated, corrupt or missing drivers for your keyboard can prevent brightness function keys from working properly in Windows 11.

  • Open Device Manager and expand the keyboards section.
  • Right click your keyboard device and select Update Driver.
  • If updates are not available, uninstall the keyboard and restart to reinstall the drivers.
  • On laptops, get updated keyboard drivers from your manufacturer’s support site.

With clean, up-to-date drivers installed, your keyboard shortcuts should perform properly again.

Turn Off Fast Startup

Windows 11’s Fast Startup feature can sometimes cause issues with keyboard function keys upon wakeup from sleep or hibernation.

To rule out Fast Startup as a cause:

  • Go to Settings > System > Power & sleep.
  • Click More power settings.
  • Select Choose what the power buttons do.
  • Disable Fast Startup under Shutdown settings.

With Fast Startup disabled, reboot your computer and check if your brightness keys now work normally.

Use Mobility Center to Adjust Brightness

If your function keys fail completely, Windows 11 provides alternative ways to control display brightness:

  • Open the Mobility Center by right-clicking the battery icon and selecting it.
  • Use the slider in the Mobility Center to manually adjust brightness as needed.

This provides a workaround for malfunctioning function keys controlling brightness.

Toggle the Night Light ON and OFF

A technical glitch with Windows 11’s Night Light feature can sometimes interfere with brightness keys.

To rule out a conflict:

  • Open Settings > System > Display.
  • Turn Night Light mode on, wait a few seconds, and turn it back off again.

Toggling Night Light may resolve any clash that prevents proper brightness functionality.

Adjust via Display Settings

For a more permanent workaround, you can also change brightness through Windows 11’s display settings:

  • Go to Settings > System > Display.
  • Drag the Brightness slider up or down to manually set a comfortable brightness level.

Though less convenient than keys, this allows brightness adjustment without functioning shortcuts.

Run Hardware Troubleshooter

For hardware-related brightness issues, run Windows 11’s built-in hardware troubleshooter:

  • Open Settings > System > Troubleshoot.
  • Select Other troubleshooters, then Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.
  • Follow the steps to diagnose and fix any identified hardware problems like faulty drivers.

The troubleshooter can automatically detect and resolve some keyboard and backlight failures impairing brightness controls.

Update BIOS/Firmware

Outdated system BIOS or firmware could also affect keyboard functionality:

  • Check your laptop manufacturer’s website for any available BIOS/firmware updates.
  • Download and install the latest update for improved device compatibility.

Updating to the newest stable BIOS version can fix quirky keyboard problems like unresponsive brightness keys.

The Bottom Line

So don’t panic if your brightness controls stop working in Windows 11. A few targeted troubleshooting steps should get your function keys back in action so you can easily adjust display brightness again.

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