Samsung TV Too Dark: The One Fix That Worked For Me

Samsung TV Too Dark: The One Fix That Worked For Me

After a week of dealing with clients and attending meetings, I decided to watch some light-hearted superhero action flick. 

I made myself comfortable on the recliner and turned on my Samsung TV to watch Thor: Love and Thunder

However, within just a few minutes of the movie, I realized that my TV’s picture was darker than usual. 

At first, I thought there was something wrong with the video, so I played another movie and even restarted the TV, but the problem persisted.

Feeling stumped, I put on my reading glasses and started looking for a fix on Google by going through scores of articles and forums.

If your Samsung TV is too dark, you can fix it by changing the Picture mode from Standard to Dynamic in Picture Settings under the Settings menu. 

Why is My Samsung TV Dark?

Under normal circumstances, your Samsung TV screen should not be too dark.

However, the display going dark is not uncommon, and it’s typically caused by one of the following reasons: 

  • Picture mode of your TV
  • Screen brightness
  • Energy saver mode
  • Ambient mode settings
  • Power surges
  • Extended usage
  • Age 

Change the Picture Mode of Your Samsung TV

Why are Samsung TVs in showrooms all bright and vivid while the same picture looks a tad bit dull on your TV with default settings?

That’s because most Samsung TVs are set to ‘Dynamic picture mode’, making the display bright compared to the standard mode. 

Setting your Samsung TV’s picture mode to dynamic will make the display brighter.

To change the picture mode setting on your Samsung TV:

  1. Tap the Settings button on the remote.
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. Select Picture.
  4. Click on Picture Mode.
  5. Choose Dynamic from the options. 

Once you have changed the picture mode, you should see the changes in the display immediately. 

If not, shut down your Samsung TV by long pressing the power button on the remote and turn it back on. 

Adjust the Screen Brightness of Your Samsung TV

Unless you have an OLED TV, your TV is illuminated by a backlight which brings the picture to life.

Changing the brightness of the backlight will make your TV’s picture output brighter and more vivid.

To change the brightness of a Samsung TV manufactured before 2016: 

  1. Press the Menu button on the remote.
  2. Use the Arrow keys to move around and select the Picture mode.
  3. Choose Brightness and set it to the desired level. 

For Samsung TVs manufactured after 2016: 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Picture.
  3. Click on Expert Settings.
  4. Choose Brightness.
  5. Set the brightness to at least 50 and contrast to 65 and save the changes. 

Check if the issue has been resolved after restarting the TV. 

Turn off the Energy Saving Mode on Your Samsung TV

The energy-saving mode automatically adjusts the brightness of your TV to save power.

Sometimes, turning on the energy-saving mode can make your TV display darker than normal.

Turn off power saving mode on your Samsung TV by following these steps: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your TV.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Select Eco solutions.
  4. Choose Energy saving mode and disable it.
  5. Save your settings and Restart the TV to check if the problem has been resolved. 

Note: On some Samsung TVs, energy saving mode is called the ‘Power saver’ mode. 

Disable Ambient Light Detection on Your Samsung TV

Your Samsung TV has ambient light sensors, which use the illumination of your surroundings and adjust brightness automatically.

If the ambient light sensors are not working as intended, they can make your screen darker than usual.

Turning off ambient light detection will set your TV’s brightness to factory-set values and solve the issue of your screen being too dark.

To turn off ambient light detection on a Samsung TV manufactured before 2016: 

  1. Open the Settings menu on the TV.
  2. Select Eco solutions.
  3. Click on Eco sensor and set it to off. 

For a Samsung TV manufactured after 2016: 

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Select Ambient light detection and use the on-screen slider to turn it off. 

Turn off Motion Lighting on Your Samsung TV

To reduce power consumption, your TV’s motion lighting function adjusts the brightness of the screen in response to on-screen movements.

Disable this function while watching videos if you feel your TV screen is too dark.

To disable motion lighting on your Samsung TV: 

  1. Press the Home button on the remote.
  2. Navigate to the Settings menu.
  3. Go to General & Privacy.
  4. Click on Power and Energy Saving.
  5. Select Motion Lighting and disable it. 

Note: The motion lighting function is unavailable when game mode or adaptive picture is turned on. 

Update Your Samsung TV

Samsung periodically releases updates to the software of your TV to improve user experience and bring feature improvements.

Checking for updates and installing them regularly on your TV is a good practice.

To update your Samsung TV to the latest version: 

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select Support.
  3. Choose Software update.
  4. Click on Update now

Your TV will now download the software update, install it, and automatically restart to apply the updates. 

Wait for the process to be completed and check if the issue with the screen brightness has been solved. 

Turn off the HDR+ mode on Your Samsung TV

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it expresses details in content in highly bright and dark scenes. 

This mode offers a more natural and realistic picture output with a widened contrast range.

However, enabling this mode can make your screen darker especially when your TV is converting SDR content into HDR.

To turn off the HDR+ mode on your Samsung TV:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select Picture.
  3. Choose Expert settings and turn off the HDR+ mode. 

Go back and play some content on your TV to check if the issue has been resolved. 

Reset Your Samsung TV

Resetting your Samsung TV will restore its settings to default and also remove all your downloaded apps and data.

Note: This should be your ultimate step. You should go for this only after trying all the solutions presented before.

To reset your Samsung TV, follow the below steps: 

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select General.
  3. Click on Reset.
  4. Enter a four-digit number on the PIN screen. It’s ‘0000’ if you have never changed it.
  5. Select Yes when the TV reboot popup appears.
  6. After the process is done, the TV will automatically turn off.
  7. Turn on the TV and complete the setup process. 

Check if the problem with your TV screen being too dark is fixed. 

Contact Samsung Support

If you have tried troubleshooting the dark screen issue using all solutions covered in this article and yet the problem is not resolved, it’s time to contact Samsung Support

You can get in touch with their expert team, and they can help you find an alternative fix for your TV. 

Make Your Display Bright and Vivid

While Samsung TVs provide great picture quality with vivid color output, facing a dark screen issue is not a part of an ideal user experience.

It took me a while to research and go through the troubleshooting steps to fix my dark screen, but it was worth the effort.

You can fix a dark Samsung TV screen by changing the picture mode of your TV or increasing the brightness.

In case your Samsung TV OS is not up to date, update it to the latest version, as it’s also known to be an effective solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Samsung TVs last?

Samsung TVs have a lifespan ranging between 4 years to 7 years under heavy usage. Using your TV almost continuously at high brightness for an extended period of time can be termed as heavy usage. 

How long does the Samsung warranty cover my TV for?

Samsung currently provides you with a 3-year limited warranty when you purchase a new TV from the store. However, the warranty may vary by region. 

Can I repair a Samsung TV on my own if it starts acting up?

I strongly recommend against opening and repairing your Samsung TV all by yourself unless you know what you are doing. TV nowadays are complex machines with a lot of components that are not user-replaceable.
It’s advised to consult an Official service center or reputable technician to avoid causing any further damage to your TV.

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.

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