The recent influx of OLED and mini-LED displays on external monitors and laptops has finally made HDR more viable on PCs. Indeed, Windows 11 saw a big HDR push when it launched, and Microsoft has been improving it with updates and new settings to play with ever since.
Learning how to use HDR in Windows 11 is more than just turning it on — though that’s important too. There are a bunch of intriguing HDR settings to get your head around if you want to make the most of it.
Before you try to adjust any HDR settings in Windows 11, you should make sure you’re running the latest version of
You’ll only get access to that if you’re running the latest major Windows 11 update, so hit Windows update and make sure you have all the latest HDR features.
OK, I know we said the settings were more important, but you may still need to enable HDR in Windows 11, too, especially if you’ve only recently upgraded to an
Navigate to Settings > Display > HDR (or just search for “
Do you want to watch HDR content over streaming services? Make sure to toggle on
Do you want to play games using Auto-HDR? If so, toggle Auto
The official Windows HDR Calibration tool is free through the Microsoft Store — with a link in the HDR Settings.
Click through to the calibration tool, or install it manually from the store yourself and run it. Once it’s open, select Get Started and follow the on-screen prompts to adjust your HDR settings. It will walk you through your
When you back out to the HDR settings page, make sure that next to Color profile, your newly calibrated
Calibrating your HDR settings to their best can take a few tries, and it helps to know the specifications and capabilities of your display before starting, so be patient if it takes a couple of tries to get it just right. The results are worth it.
One of the latest additions to Windows 11’s HDR capabilities was actually to do with SDR. It isn’t something that’s applicable to
You’ll have to play this feature with yourself, but launch some SDR content you want to watch and move the slider around until you find a point that feels right for you and what you’re watching. A recommended spot to start at is 60, a commonly enjoyed SDR brightness setting, but you may have different preferences.
The last step in tweaking how HDR works in Windows 11 is to adjust the settings on your display. Whether it’s a TV or monitor, adjusting its contrast, brightness, colors,
There are a handful of monitor settings you should always have set to your preferences; You can just adjust those by eye. However, if you want to really make your monitor or TV look perfect (or as close to it as possible), you’ll need to calibrate it. Fortunately, Windows has several built-in tools to help you there, and we have a guide on how to calibrate your monitor to make the most of its capabilities.
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