[This control code is available for use in the operating systems specified in the Requirements section. Support for this control code was removed in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista. Use the WmiMonitorBrightness class instead.]

Retrieves the current AC and DC backlight levels and the current power state.

To perform this operation, call the DeviceIoControl function with the following parameters.

BOOL DeviceIoControl(
  (HANDLE) hDevice,                // handle to device
  NULL,                            // lpInBuffer
  0,                               // nInBufferSize
  (LPVOID) lpOutBuffer,            // output buffer
  (DWORD) nOutBufferSize,          // size of output buffer
  (LPDWORD) lpBytesReturned,       // number of bytes returned
  (LPOVERLAPPED) lpOverlapped      // OVERLAPPED structure



A handle to the \\.\LCD device. To retrieve a device handle, call the CreateFile function.


The control code for the operation. This value identifies the specific operation to be performed and the type of device on which to perform it. Use IOCTL_VIDEO_QUERY_DISPLAY_BRIGHTNESS for this operation.


Not used with this operation; set to NULL.


Not used with this operation; set to zero.


A pointer to a buffer that will receive a DISPLAY_BRIGHTNESS structure.


The size of the output buffer, in bytes.


A pointer to a variable that receives the size, in bytes, of output data returned.

If the output buffer is too small to return any data, then the call fails, GetLastError returns the error code ERROR_INSUFFICIENT_BUFFER, and the returned byte count is zero.

If the output buffer is too small to hold all of the data but can hold some entries, then the operating system returns as much as fits, the call fails, GetLastError returns the error code ERROR_MORE_DATA, and lpBytesReturned indicates the amount of data returned. Your application should call DeviceIoControl again with the same operation, specifying a new starting point.

If lpOverlapped is NULL (nonoverlapped I/O), lpBytesReturned cannot be NULL.

If lpOverlapped is not NULL (overlapped I/O), lpBytesReturned can be NULL. If this is an overlapped operation, you can retrieve the number of bytes returned by calling the GetOverlappedResult function. If hDevice is associated with an I/O completion port, you can get the number of bytes returned by calling the GetQueuedCompletionStatus function.


A pointer to an OVERLAPPED structure.

If hDevice was opened with the FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED flag, lpOverlapped must point to a valid OVERLAPPED structure. In this case, the operation is performed as an overlapped (asynchronous) operation. If the device was opened with the FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED flag and lpOverlapped is NULL, the function fails in unpredictable ways.

If hDevice was opened without specifying the FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED flag, lpOverlapped is ignored and DeviceIoControl does not return until the operation has been completed, or until an error occurs.

Return value

If the operation completes successfully, DeviceIoControl returns a nonzero value.

If the operation fails or is pending, DeviceIoControl returns zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


The header file used to build applications that include this functionality, Ntddvdeo.h, is included in the Microsoft Windows Driver Development Kit (DDK). For information on obtaining the DDK, see

Alternatively, you can define this control code as follows:



Requirement Value
Minimum supported client
Windows XP with SP1 [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server
Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
End of client support
Windows XP with SP2
End of server support
Windows Server 2003 R2

See also

Backlight Control Interface