How to use the HDR Calibration app on Windows 11

Microsoft has started rolling out the Windows 11 2022 Update, and with that comes a whole host of new features. One of these is the HDR Calibration app, which gives you a new way to calibrate your HDR display so you get consistent colors when using HDR in games or watching content. While Microsoft is promoting these two things together, you can actually download the Windows HDR Calibration tool in the original Windows 11 version – you don’t need the 2022 update.

Still, this is a fairly new feature and if you’re not sure how to use it, we’re here to help. If you want to calibrate the HDR effect on your monitor, here’s what you need to do:

Check if your monitor supports HDR

The Windows HDR Calibration app won’t run if your monitor doesn’t support HDR at all, which makes sense. So if you want to use it, you need to make sure your monitor supports HDR.

To do this, open the Settings app (it should be in your Start menu) and then click advertisement. Here you can see whether HDR is enabled or not. note: If you have multiple displays connected, you may need to select the correct monitor in the panel at the top of the page.

Display settings on Windows 11 with HDR button highlighted

If the HDR switch is grayed out, your monitor may not support it, or HDR may be disabled when using a laptop on battery power. Click on the HDR option (anywhere other than the toggle itself) to reveal more information.

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HDR settings on Windows 11

On this page you can see if your monitor supports HDR, if you have enabled HDR video streaming and some other options. You need to make sure your monitor shows “supported” for both HDR video streaming and Use HDR.

There is one in the Windows 11 2022 Update HDR display calibration Button on this page which is a link to download the Windows HDR Calibration app.

Download and use the Windows HDR Calibration app

Using the Windows HDR Calibration app on Windows 11 is relatively easy, and the app itself explains the process relatively well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Download the Windows HDR Calibration app here or use the link on the page shown above.
  • Start the app. If you have multiple monitors, drag the app window onto the monitor you want to calibrate. If your monitor supports HDR, the app will look like this.
    Screenshot of the Windows HDR Calibration app home page
  • click Getting started, and the app will show you three test patterns one by one. For each of them you have to drag the slider at the bottom of the screen until the test pattern is no longer visible and then click Next after each exam.
    • The first pattern tests the minimum luminance, so you should drag it until the entire screen is black. The second test is for maximum luminance, so you want solid white. Finally, the third test is for maximum full-screen brightness, and you should drag the slider again until you have a solid white image.
  • After these three tests, you will be prompted to adjust the display colors. This simply changes the saturation of the colors and mostly depends on your personal preference. By default it should be set to the minimum level, but you can drag the slider until the HDR image looks the way you prefer.
  • You will see one final screen showing you how your display looks before and after calibration. You can choose a name for the HDR profile you created and then click Finished to save it. If it doesn’t look right, click The back to readjust the brightness for each of the test patterns.
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Once you have completed the calibration process, you are done. If you have a multi-monitor setup and all of your displays support HDR, you’ll need to run the calibration process on each of them. You should then be able to get the most out of your HDR games and other content. You can also enable Auto HDR from the HDR settings page shown above, which will update games to use HDR even if they weren’t originally designed to do so.

If you’re interested in learning about other new features in Windows 11, check out How to Use Smart App Control in Windows 11 2022 Update. We also have a guide on the new File Explorer features in this update, which are pretty important.

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