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How to calibrate your monitor for the best viewing experience possible

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Calibrate using built-in Windows and Mac tools

Both MacOS and Windows have built-in calibration tools to help guide you, step-by-step, if you are new to the calibration process. The free tools should be the first stop if you’re merely a casual image junkie or working on a tight budget. They are extremely handy, quick, and easy to locate within your operating system. Keep in mind that the adjustments will be limited by the display type and model, though.

The assorted terms — gamma, white point, etc. — may seem a bit daunting at first glance, but each utility provides a relatively simple explanation of what they all mean. Realistically though, you don’t need to know the ins-and-outs of the jargon in order to calibrate your monitor.

Windows

In Windows 10, the calibration tool can be found by opening the Settings app. Click the System selection in the main menu, then pick Display in the next menu. Once you have Display open, scroll to the bottom and click Advanced Display Settings. Once again, scroll down until you see Color Calibration, and then click on that.

RelatedMeet the successor to Windows’ Control Panel

Older versions of Windows can find the Color Calibration utility in the Display section of the Control Panel, which is listed under Appearance and Personalization. Alternatively, you can usually open the utility with a Windows Search. Just enter “color calibration” in the search bar, and it should appear as the first result.

windowscalibrationtool

Window’s thorough instructions will walk you through the calibration process once you’ve found and opened the software utility. Just follow the on-screen instructions to choose your display’s gamma, brightness, contrast, and color balance settings. A sample image for you to match will accompany many of the settings. Simply make adjustments to mimic the sample as close as possible. Once the calibration wizard is complete, make sure to choose the “current calibration,” or return to the previous calibration if you are unsatisfied with the results.

MacOS

In MacOS, the Display Calibrator Assistant is located in the system preferences under the Displays tab. If you are having trouble finding it, try entering “calibrate” in Spotlight to scan through your computer’s various folders and files. The result should show an option to open the utility in the System Preferences panel.

Your Mac’s step-by-step instructions will walk you through the calibration process once you’ve found and opened the software utility. Just follow the on-screen instructions to choose your display’s brightness, contrast, native gamma, target gamma, and target white point. Click Continue and save the calibration profile once you’ve finished with the adjustments.

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