How To Calibrate Your Computer Monitor

By | 01/11/2022

Backlight Calibration

Minimum backlightMinimum backlight

Maximum backlightMaximum backlight

The easiest scale setting is one that most people take probably already used. The ‘Backlight’ setting changes the amount of calorie-free your monitor outputs, finer making information technology brighter. Changing the backlight level on your monitor doesn’t alter the accuracy of your screen significantly, so feel free to set up it to whatever looks good to you. Information technology’s sometimes chosen ‘Brightness’, which can be confusing. Mostly, if there’due south a single setting called brightness, it refers to the backlight. If there’s both a backlight and effulgence setting, the backlight is the i you should be changing (as the brightness setting alters the gamma scale, which nosotros’ll expect at later on).

Picture Manner Calibration

Standard mode‘Standard’ way

Movie mode‘Movie’ manner

Dynamic mode‘Dynamic’ mode

When information technology comes to color calibration, the best place to first adjusting the colors when calibrating your monitor is usually the moving picture mode. These are the setting presets the monitor comes packaged with and usually modify virtually of the paradigm settings. It’s pretty important if y’all aren’t using a colorimeter for calibration because it’s otherwise very difficult to enhance your monitor’s color accuracy.

For the monitors that we test, we measure each of the picture modes and option the most accurate ane as part of our “Pre-Calibration” test. In general, though, the best mode is normally the ‘Standard’ or ‘Custom’ preset.

sRGB mode

Some monitors also come up with an “sRGB” picture mode, frequently referred to as an ‘sRGB clamp’. It tin be particularly beneficial in enhancing image accurateness on wide gamut monitors where the default color reproduction exceeds the sRGB colour space, making some colors appear over-saturated. However, almost monitors lock the rest of the calibration settings when this picture style is enabled, which might bother some people.

Brightness And Contrast Calibration

The brightness and contrast settings modify the way the screen displays tones at different effulgence levels. These are easy options to adjust when calibrating your screen without a dedicated calibration tool, every bit most of the job tin can be washed fairly accurately while but displaying unlike gradient patterns.


Minimum brightnessMinimum brightness

Correct brightnessCorrect brightness

Maximum brightnessMaximum brightness

The effulgence setting affects the fashion the monitor handles darker colors. If information technology’s set up too high, blacks will look gray, and the paradigm volition have less dissimilarity. If it’due south gear up too low, the blacks will get “crushed”. Crushing ways that instead of showing singled-out near-black steps of grays, the monitor will instead evidence them as pure black. It tin give the prototype a very high contrast look at first glance, but it loses a significant amount of particular.

When calibrating your monitor, the best mode to conform the brightness is by using a about-black gradient exam pattern like the i above. Raise or lower your effulgence setting until the 17th step disappears completely, then go dorsum ane pace to take information technology be visible once again.
Some monitors have a ‘Black adjust’ or ‘Black boost’ setting that lets you suit the black level. Y’all can use it to make blacks look darker, but since you can’t make blacks await darker than what the display is capable of, it ends up crushing blacks. Some gamers use it to brand blacks look lighter, making information technology easier to see objects in dark scenes, but it’due south at the cost of image accuracy. It’s all-time to get out this setting at its default.

Virtually graphics card software applications have a dynamic range setting that lets you lot toggle between limited and full RGB range. A full RGB range ways that the epitome is displayed using all 255 values, with 0 being absolute black and 255 existence accented white. It’s the default range for sRGB and the recommended setting for most modern LCD monitors. The express range (16 – 235) is mainly used for TVs as most movies and Goggle box shows are mastered in the limited range. In short, y’all have to match the source and the brandish equally forcing your full-range monitor to display a limited RGB range makes the paradigm await washed out, and forcing a limited-range brandish like a TV to evidence a full RGB range crushes blacks. The pattern we use is for calibrating a full-range display.

Download Pattern


Minimum contrastMinimum contrast

Correct contrastCorrect contrast

Maximum contrastMaximum dissimilarity

The contrast setting is very similar to the brightness setting, just information technology affects the brighter parts of the image rather than the darker parts. Much like brightness, setting information technology too high will cause brighter images to “clip,” which is similar to crushing. Setting it likewise low will darken the image and reduce contrast.

Only like when calibrating for the brightness, adjust the contrast until steps upwardly to 234 prove some visible detail. The last few steps should be very faint, so information technology might take some trial and error.

Download Pattern

Sharpness Calibration

Correct sharpnessRight sharpness

Maximum sharpnessMaximum sharpness

Sharpness is i of the easiest settings to accommodate, and by and large, the default tends to be adequately accurate. Adjusting the sharpness changes the look of the edges of shapes that announced on-screen. Having information technology also low volition give y’all a blurry image, while setting it as well high will give the picture an odd look with strange-looking edges. It’ll also usually cause close, narrow lines to blend and produce a moiré effect.

The simplest way to calibrate this attribute if yous aren’t pleased with the default is to gear up it at max, then lower information technology until no strange pattern forms between the lines and shapes of the exam image.

Download Pattern

Color Temperature Calibration

Warm color temperatureWarm color temperature

Cool color temperatureAbsurd color temperature

The colour temperature adjusts the temperature of the overall picture. A cooler temperature gives a blue tint, while a warmer temperature gives a xanthous or orange tint. Retrieve of information technology every bit the tone of the lite exterior at various times of the mean solar day. When the sun is shining bright at noon, the clouds and skies look near pearl white without a distinct yellow. However, the light is yellowish in the morn and evening every bit the sun rises and sets, and at dark, white objects await bluish when everything is lit past moonlight. We recommend a 6500k color temperature, which is the standard for most screen calibrations and is equivalent to midday low-cal (also chosen Illuminant D65). It’south by and large on the warmer side of most monitors’ scales. Some people observe information technology as well xanthous, so experience costless to arrange information technology to your preference.

White Balance Calibration

The white remainder refers to the rest of colors beyond different shades of grey. An absolute white or grey has equal amounts of every color, with only the luminance distinguishing them.

Unfortunately, information technology isn’t possible to adjust these settings with whatsoever grade of accuracy without the necessary equipment. In general, we recommend most people keep these settings at their defaults as they can hands brand things worse. Even copying our settings made using a colorimeter isn’t recommended since these values will most likely exist different across dissimilar units of the same monitor.

ICC Profiles Calibration

Calman ICC

Calman’south ICC Profiler

If y’all exercise calibrate your monitor using a tool, your calibration software will likely create a calibration profile that ends in .icm. This is an ICC profile, effectively a reference table that your computer’s programs can use to display content accurately on your screen. In general, Apple’s macOS is better at treatment ICC profiles, whereas Windows and Windows applications tend to be quite inconsistent with how and when they’re used. Generally speaking, hardware calibration yields ameliorate results, only since most monitors don’t allow for full calibration using the OSD settings, ICC profiles are essential to getting the best possible epitome accuracy.

Much like the white balance, nosotros don’t recommend you utilize an ICC profile built on another monitor for your own, even if it’southward an identical model. The variance in accuracy between units tends to be quite distinct, so the correction that these profiles apply might not necessarily match what your monitor needs.

Movement Settings

While ordinarily less problematic than on TVs, there are a few settings that you lot can adapt to modify the quality of the motility produced by the screen.


Visible Overshoot

Visible Overshoot

The overdrive setting adjusts the speed at which the monitor’s pixels switch from showing one thing to another. Normally, the default setting tends to be optimal, but you might prefer setting information technology higher or lower. A too strong overdrive setting will cause the pixels to overshoot, which creates a strange-looking inverted ghost post-obit moving objects on-screen. A too low setting volition create more than motion blur, with longer trails following moving objects. You can learn more nigh overdrive in our motion blur article.

Yard-SYNC and FreeSync

K-SYNC and FreeSync are variable refresh rate technologies that allow the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the framerate of the input device automatically. Information technology’s a smashing feature that reduces stuttering and generally makes for a more fluid feel. If your monitor supports it, we generally recommend keeping it on at all times unless you come across bugs with certain games. M-SYNC specifically includes a “variable overdrive” feature that automatically adjusts the overdrive setting according to the game’s frame rate. You lot can learn more about these technologies in our G-SYNC vs FreeSync article.

Refresh Rate

The refresh charge per unit of your monitor refers to the frequency at which it updates what is shown on-screen every 2nd. The standard refresh rate establish on most monitors is 60Hz, merely some screens, usually gaming-oriented, support up of 360Hz. You should nearly e’er fix information technology to equally high as possible. You can learn more about refresh rates and our related tests in our refresh rate article.

Boosted Scale Settings

Game Mode

Some monitors also feature a ‘Game Way’ (sometimes called ‘low input lag mode’). We recommend using this feature, as it usually lowers the monitor’s input lag without altering the image quality, making information technology more responsive.

Low Blue Low-cal

Similar to modern mobile devices similar smartphones and tablets, many monitors have a blue low-cal filter that can aid reduce center strain. It’s often chosen ‘Low Blue Light’ or ‘Reader Mode,’ and it essentially reduces the amount of blue low-cal emitted past the screen, giving it an amber shade. It’s said to be less fatiguing on the eyes, particularly at night. Most desktop operating systems take this feature congenital-in: ‘Dark Mode’ on Windows, ‘Night Shift’ on macOS, and ‘Night Lite’ on Chrome OS. There are too third-party apps that tin can do the same. We recommend leaving this off when calibrating your monitor.

Eco Mode

Many monitors come out of the box with a series of energy-saving features enabled. This by and large alters the picture show quality in undesirable means and are better kept off. Usually, monitors will likewise have a dedicated “eco” film mode that enables these features. If you would like to reduce the energy consumption of your monitor, we recommend reducing your backlight setting instead. Simply turning off your monitor every fourth dimension you footstep away from your desk-bound also greatly reduces idle consumption. It’s all-time to go out this setting off when calibrating the monitor.


Unless you accept the equipment to perform a more thorough calibration, calibrating a monitor by eye is largely a trial and error process, so it may take a few tries before y’all get the results that you’re looking for. Fortunately, nigh monitors accept a reset feature to discard any changes and bring the settings back to their defaults if you end upwardly with worse image quality. While it’south generally recommended for content creators to calibrate their displays one time a calendar month because accuracy tin drift over time due to panel deposition, nigh people can probably get by for much longer in between each calibration.