I have a desktop computer, my first in about 15 years. I'm used to laptops where you control display brightness with hotkeys.

I notice that Elementary OS Hera (5.1.7) has a display brightness control slider in its wingpanel and also in its power settings. But it does nothing. Is this expected behavior for a desktop computer or an external display? Or should the control be working?

How to reduce the brightness of a desktop pc? is somewhat-related, but not the same question. They are asking how to reduce brightness. I'm asking whether the existing controls eOS provides should work and thus whether I have some troubleshooting to do...

2 Answers 2


This is not specific to a elementary. External monitors configurations are managed by themselves. You can control your laptops brightness because the monitor is directly managed by your laptops drivers. This applies to Windows and macOS as well. There are many tools to workaround this but no OS provides this as native functionality.


(Above answer is more helpful :D)

It is quite common for attached external monitors to not have bound brightness controls in the same way laptops do. To adjust brightness of the external monitors I would suggest using the brightness controls on the monitor itself (As it's the least hack-ey and will reduce power consumption if you are planning to turn the brightness down). The monitor controls will be accessible from a menu button often located close to the power button of the monitor.

If you do have your heart set on changing brightness from within elementary (or any OS really) you'll need to start by having a hunt around for the correct drivers - if they exist in any usable form.

Hope this helps

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