How To Calibrate Your Monitor

How to Calibrate Your Monitor

Four Parts:

This wikiHow teaches you how to calibrate a computer monitor to ensure that your color and light settings are correct. Monitor calibration is important when you use your monitor to create or edit visual projects for other people, as poor calibration may result in the project appearing washed-out or off on other people's monitors.


Preparing to Calibrate

  1. Understand when your monitor needs calibration.Typically speaking, high-resolution monitors that you connect to a desktop unit (e.g., a 4K display) require some calibration before they'll display correctly the colors and items on your screen. Failing to calibrate such monitors can result in washed-out or blurry textures.
    • Lower-quality monitors (e.g., 720p ones)—especially ones used for gaming or other casual activities—don't need to be calibrated, though calibration won't hurt them.
    • Built-in monitors such as the ones included in laptops rarely need calibration, though you're more than welcome to calibrate built-in monitors using the same process you'd follow for a separate one.
  2. Clean your monitor if necessary.If your monitor is dirty or smudged, take a moment to wipe it down before attempting to calibrate it.
  3. Place your monitor in a neutral lighting environment.Your monitor shouldn't have any glare or direct light shining on it; for best results, make sure your monitor is in a room where it can remain unimpacted by direct natural and artificial light.
  4. Connect your monitor using a high-quality cable.If possible, make sure your monitor is connected to your computer using a DisplayPort cable.
    • You can use an HDMI cable instead if you don't have access to a DisplayPort option, but refrain from using a DVI, VGA, or lower connector.
  5. Turn on your monitor for at least 30 minutes before continuing.This will give your monitor plenty of time to warm up.
    • If your computer is set to hibernate or use a screensaver, move the mouse every few minutes to keep your screen from turning off.
  6. Change your monitor's resolution back to default if necessary.By default, your monitor should display in the highest possible resolution, which is necessary for calibration:
    • Windows— OpenStart , clickSettings , clickSystem, clickDisplay, click the "Resolution" drop-down box, and click the "Recommended" resolution. ClickKeep changeswhen prompted.
    • Mac— Open theApple menu , clickSystem Preferences..., clickDisplays, click theDisplaytab, hold downOptionwhile clickingScaled, select your connected display, and check the "Default for display" box.

Calibrating on Windows

  1. Open Start .Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  2. Open the calibration tool.Type incalibrate display, then clickCalibrate display colorat the top of the Start menu.
  3. Make sure that the calibration tool is on the correct display.If you use dual monitors, you may need to move the calibration window onto the second monitor.
  4. Click .It's in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  5. Set your monitor to its factory-default color settings.If necessary, press your monitor's "Menu" button, then select the factory default color settings from the on-screen menu.
    • This isn't necessary if you've never changed the color settings on your monitor (not in your computer's settings).
    • Skip this step if you're on a laptop.
  6. Click .It's in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  7. Review the "Good gamma" example, then click .The "Good gamma" example is in the middle of the page. Ideally, you'll set your gamma to match this example.
  8. Adjust your display's gamma.Click and drag the slider on the left side of the page up or down to raise or lower your gamma, making sure that the cube in the middle of the page resembles the "Good gamma" example from the previous step.
  9. Click twice.It's in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  10. Review the "Good brightness" example, then click .If you're on a laptop, you'll click theSkipoption in the middle of the page and then skip the next two steps.
  11. Adjust your display's brightness.Open your display's menu by pressing the "Menu" button, then select the "Brightness" section and raise or lower the brightness as needed.
    • Your brightness should be set so that your display meets the criteria listed under the picture in the middle of the page.
  12. Click .It's in the bottom-right corner of the page. Doing so takes you to the "Contrast" example.
  13. Review the "Good contrast" example, then click .Again, if you're on a laptop, skip the next two steps.
  14. Adjust your display's contrast.Using your display's menu, raise or lower the contrast until the photo in the middle of the page matches the criteria listed under the photo.
  15. Click twice.It's in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  16. Adjust the color balance.Click and drag each slider at the bottom of the page left or right until you see neutral (not green-, red-, or blue-tinted) greys in the bar at the top of the page.
  17. Click , then review your changes.You can clickPrevious calibrationto see what the monitor looked like before you made your changes and then clickCurrent calibrationto see the comparison.
  18. ClickFinish.It's at the bottom of the page. Your calibration settings will be saved.

Calibrating on Mac

  1. Open the Apple menu .Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear.
  2. ClickSystem Preferences….It's in the drop-down menu. Doing so opens the System Preferences window.
  3. ClickDisplays.This option is in the System Preferences window. A pop-up window will open.
  4. ClickColor.You'll find this tab at the top of the Displays window.
  5. ClickCalibrate….It's on the right side of the page.
  6. ClickContinue.This option is in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  7. Follow the on-screen prompts.Depending on your monitor, the options you see in the window may vary; however, in most cases, you'll just clickContinuein the bottom-right corner of the page until you reach the password entry prompt.
  8. Enter your password when prompted.Type the password that you use to log in into the "Password" text box, then clickOK.
  9. Click when prompted.Doing so saves your monitor's calibration.

Using a Colorimeter

  1. Understand that you'll need to buy a colorimeter.A colorimeter is a piece of hardware that you place on your screen; the hardware works in conjunction with some included software to calibrate your monitor's colors and brightness regardless of ambient light and other distractions.
  2. Select and buy a colorimeter based on your needs.Colorimeters can range from personal use at a cost of around 0 to corporate use at a cost of over 00, so buy within your price range.
    • The Spyder line of colorimeters is generally considered to be a reputable, high-performing brand.
    • Make sure that you buy a colorimeter that works with your operating system. Most colorimeters should work on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but cheap alternatives may be locked to a specific operating system.
  3. Make sure you .If you haven't set up your monitor in a neutral environment and let it warm up, do so before proceeding.
    • It's very important to make sure that your monitor is spotless as well, since any smudges or grit may prevent the colorimeter from working correctly.
  4. Install the colorimeter's software if necessary.Some colorimeters will come with a CD that you'll use to install the colorimeter's software component.
    • Depending on the colorimeter, you may need to do this after plugging in the colorimeter instead of before plugging it in.
    • Your colorimeter may install the proper software upon being plugged in.
  5. Plug in your colorimeter.Plug the colorimeter's USB cable into one of your computer's free USB ports.
    • Make sure you use a USB port that's directly connected to your computer rather than using a USB hub or a USB port on a connected keyboard.
    • You may need to turn on the colorimeter before proceeding.
  6. Follow any on-screen prompts.Once your computer recognizes the colorimeter, you should see a pop-up window appear; follow any prompts or instructions in the window.
  7. Place the colorimeter over the screen.The colorimeter should fit in the middle of your monitor's screen with the lens facing your screen.
    • Most colorimeter software will display an outline that matches the shape of the colorimeter to indicate the general placement of the unit.
  8. Initiate the calibration process.ClickNextorStart(or similar) in the pop-up window to prompt the calibration software to start running. The software should run until the calibration is complete, at which point you'll be prompted to remove the colorimeter.
    • You may have to click through some more options or follow some on-screen prompts before or during the calibration process.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I fix flickering on the screen?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Change the screen refresh rate in control panel, or if using Linux, in monitor settings.
  • Question
    What do I do if my monitor screen is only showing halfway?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Turn off your monitor and turn it back on. If that doesn't work, fully restart your computer.
  • Question
    What can I do if my monitor screen is too wide?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    On most monitors, there are a few buttons next to the power button. Click the button entitled "Menu", then, using the up and down keys next to the menu button, scroll through until you find a section with something entitled "clock". Using the menu or select key, select this section and then select clock. Adjust the clock -- the higher the number, the wider the screen -- until it fits your screen. If one side goes off the screen, adjust the V-position.
Unanswered Questions
  • The monitors calibration controls can probably be accessed from the monitors menu. Why can't I use that?
  • Is there a default setting to return the brightness of a screen to normal after dimming it?
  • Can you recommend a suitable calibration for printing?
  • How do I change the monitor print color on Windows 8.1?
Ask a Question
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  • A free website called "Lagom monitor LCD test" contains a large number of different pages you can use to calibrate manually your display.
  • Some monitors have or develop uneven illumination across the screen. To test for this, drag an image around and see whether it looks brighter or darker in certain places. There's no way to correct for this short of replacing the monitor, but if you know it's there you can watch just one area of the computer screen during calibration, to avoid skewing the results.


  • If you have more than one calibrating program on your computer, make sure that only one is running at a time or else there could be conflicts.
  • You'll usually want to avoid your monitor's auto-calibrate option, as this setting is usually customized for the monitor instead of being geared toward optimal calibration results.

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Date: 05.12.2018, 04:18 / Views: 81251