TwinkleTray: Change Your Monitor Brightness Easily

Adjusting the brightness of your monitor is an important task to ensure comfortable and productive use. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to adjust the brightness if your monitor does not have dedicated buttons or controls. Fortunately, there are several ways to change the brightness of a monitor without buttons, no matter what your operating system or hardware configuration. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective methods to adjust your monitor’s brightness without physical buttons, along with some troubleshooting tips to resolve common issues.


Why doesn’t my PC have a brightness bar?

The absence of brightness bars on your PC may be due to several reasons, including the lack of special hardware controls, outdated drivers or operating systems, or incorrect settings. If your monitor doesn’t have hardware controls, you may need to rely on software or keyboard shortcuts to adjust brightness. If your drivers or operating system are outdated, you may experience compatibility issues or missing features. Finally, if your settings are wrong, you may not be able to access the brightness bar or other related features.

Before, I never thought about it and took it for granted, because usually external monitors do not allow changes in brightness through software. HDMI allows the transmission of digital audio and video data, but it also makes it possible to control most features of electronic devices, including brightness control. This theoretically allows you to adjust the brightness level of the screen as needed, resulting in a better and optimal image display. However, I’m not sure why Microsoft didn’t add this capability to Windows vanilla.

But luckily, this open source is there to fix this problem.

TwinkleTray to the Rescue

Win 10 brightness slider

TwinkleTray is a lite and free application that lets you adjust the brightness of your monitor without physical buttons. The app, available for Windows 10 and Windows 11, is a great alternative to using hardware controls, especially if you prefer more customizable and flexible options.

  1. Download TwinkleTray from the official website and install it
  2. Open the app and click on the “Settings” icon.
  3. In the settings menu, you can customize different aspects of the app, such as hotkeys to adjust the default brightness, color temperature, and brightness level. You can also choose to enable or disable automatic brightness adjustment based on your environment.
  4. Once you have configured the settings, you can use hotkeys to adjust the brightness up or down. By default, the shortcut keys are Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow and Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow, but you can change them to your liking.
  5. TwinkleTray also allows you to adjust the brightness using the mouse’s scroll wheel. Just hover your mouse over the TwinkleTray icon in the system tray, then scroll up or down to increase or decrease brightness.

With TwinkleTray, you can adjust monitor brightness quickly and easily, without the need for physical buttons or complicated software. Plus, the customizable settings make it a great choice for users who want more control over their display settings.

TwinkleTray Features

Twinkle Tray Brightness Slider

TwinkleTray is a very powerful but lightweight software. Based on their website, they offer a wide range of options and features to suit your preferences. Everything is 100% free. Some of them are

  • Blend seamlessly with Windows 10 &; Windows 11.
  • Works with most DDC/CI enabled laptops and monitors.
  • Bind hotkeys to adjust the brightness of a specific display or all displays.
  • Control DDC/CI features such as contrast, volume, and power status.
  • Supports brightness adjustment based on time or idle.
  • Supports command-line arguments for custom scripts.
  • Normalizes the backlight on various monitors.
  • Localized for more than 20 languages.
  • Starting with Windows.

Is TwinkleTray safe?

Yes, TwinkleTray is safe and doesn’t consume a lot of resources, we can even see its full source  code  on GitHub so if there’s malicious code in it, the public will know. I am a software engineer and I have been using it for a long time.

Tips for Optimizing Monitor Brightness Settings with TwinkleTray

Here are some suggestions to help you optimize your monitor’s brightness settings with TwinkleTray:

  • Set a default brightness level to match your environment.
    If you work in a dimly lit room, you may want to set the default brightness to a lower level to reduce strain on the eyes. Conversely, if you are working in a bright environment, you may need to set the default brightness to a higher level to maintain visibility.
  • Use the auto-brightness adjustment feature.
    TwinkleTray can automatically adjust brightness based on your environment, using the light sensor on your computer or webcam. This feature can help reduce eye strain and save laptop battery life.
  • Customize hotkeys to suit your preferences.
    If the default hotkey for adjusting brightness does not suit you, you can change it in the settings menu. Choose hotkeys that are easy to remember and convenient to use.
  • Experiment with color temperature settings.
    TwinkleTray also allows you to adjust the color temperature of your monitor, which can affect the overall display of your screen. Try different settings to find one that suits your preferences.
  • Use TwinkleTray in conjunction with other display tools. TwinkleTray is a great app for adjusting your monitor’s brightness, but it’s not a replacement for other display tools like F.lux or Redshift. Consider using multiple tools at the same time to get the most out of your display settings.

  • Monitor your brightness usage.
    With TwinkleTray, you can track brightness usage over time and see how much time you’re spending at different brightness levels. This feature can help you understand usage patterns and adjust your settings.
  • Consider the time of day.
    Adjusting your monitor’s brightness based on the time of day can help reduce eye strain and improve the quality of your sleep. With TwinkleTray, you can set different brightness levels for different times of the day, so you can use the monitor comfortably at any hour.
  • Keep your screen clean.
    A dirty or smudged screen can affect the visibility and clarity of your screen, making it harder to adjust brightness. Be sure to clean the monitor regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth to ensure optimal visibility.
  • Optimize your seating distance and monitor angles
  • It is important to note, however, that the optimal seating distance may also depend on the user’s vision and the corrective lenses they wear. In addition, the height and angle of the monitor must be adjusted to ensure that the user’s neck and back are in a comfortable position. For ergonomic purposes, you are also advised to use a chair that supports your needs.

Overall, I think TwinkleTray is a great app for adjusting monitor brightness without buttons, offering a variety of customizable features to meet your preferences. Whether you’re a gamer, graphic designer, or casual user, TwinkleTray can help you optimize display settings for maximum comfort and productivity.

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