Android has improved a lot over the years but one of the earlier additions to the OS was auto-brightness. Dubbed “Adaptive Brightness” in modern iterations of Android, that does exactly what its name implies. Namely, turning the screen brightness up or down based on surrounding environmental lighting. And, as might be guessed, that does a lot for everything from saving your eyes to saving battery life.
However, Adaptive Brightness doesn’t always work exactly as advertised. Depending on the device in question, the hardware used, and a number of other factors. In some cases, even on top-tier gadgets across both budget and premium segments, the screen won’t recognize a bright environment. For example, if it’s held at an angle away from the light. Or it might not recognize that it’s gotten darker where you are using your phone.
Whatever the case, those instances often require users to pull down the notification shade and then to pull it down again, to adjust brightness manually. And, in some cases, even that doesn’t always work. Especially when the phone keeps deciding to then immediately adjust the brightness automatically again. But, as is often the case, there is a solution. In this case, for those willing to go back to manual settings. And that’s exactly what this guide is all about.
How you can turn off adaptive auto-brightness on your Android phone or tablet
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to learn how to turn auto-brightness off on your Android device, however, it’s a fairly straightforward process. In fact, it’s just a few steps altogether.
- Swipe down from the top of your screen to pull down the notification shade
- Once more, swipe down from the top of your screen to reveal Quick Settings Tiles and other options. Some phones or tablets only require a single swipe to get to the menu we’re looking for
- Tap or otherwise select the gear-shaped “Settings” icon in the row just below the Quick Settings Tiles
- In the Settings app, scroll down to select the option labeled “Display”
- Near the top of the Display Settings menu, an option will be available that reads “Adaptive brightness” or a similar phrasing
- Tap to de-select the toggle switch next to the above-mentioned label
- Now, your brightness will only adjust manually. So, to adjust brightness, you’ll need to pull down the notification shade yet again. And, in most cases, you’ll need to pull down the shade twice to reveal the brightness bar along the top of the screen. That’s embedded with a sun-shaped icon
- Swipe to slide the brightness bar left or right to dim or brighten your display
…and how you can turn it back on, just in case
Of course, going through the process to turn off auto-brightness on Android can be useful. Particularly for those who don’t need the screen to be quite so bright. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the feature goes a long way toward saving battery life. And, it almost goes without saying, goes a long way to keeping your screen visible under all, or most, conditions. Depending on the device.
So, learning how to turn the setting back on in Android can be as useful as learning how to turn off adaptive auto-brightness on your phone. And, as might be expected, you can actually do so following the same steps laid out above.
Simply follow steps 1 through 5. Then, at step 6, tap the toggle to turn the auto-brightness feature back on, instead of off.
This may not work exactly the same on every Android phone or tablet
Now, it goes without saying that — although Google has worked to ensure a consistent experience across smartphones or tablets running Android — the method for how to turn off auto-brightness on an Android phone or tablet isn’t always the same. Some OEMs go their own route with both the placement of settings in the menus and with naming conventions. So, if you can’t find the feature using this guide, you may need to try something else.
If that’s the case, here are a few tips and tricks you can try. Although these may be hit-or-miss too for some OEMs.
- Try opening up the Settings app and use the search bar or icon at the top of the Settings list as a lookup. Some suggestions, in terms of what to look for, include;
- Automatic Brightness
- Display Brightness
- Adaptive brightness
- Once you find the setting itself, the function should remain identical across OEMs. Namely, it should be a toggle switch to activate or deactivate automatic brightness. Conversely, some OEMs include a toggle or Quick Tile in the notification shade for automatic brightness. So that would be another feasible place it could be found. Typically by swiping down from the top of your screen — sometimes just once and sometimes twice, depending on your OEM. And then by cycling through the available pages of Quick Tiles or by selecting the pencil-shaped edit icon to add the icon to — or remove it from — your Quick Settings