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Why Does My HDR Look Yellow?


Imagine you’re invited to try the latest teeth bleaching technique that dentists are raving about. You head to your dentist, eager to see the promise of brilliant white teeth. But when you look in the mirror, your teeth are bright yellow? Ew. Gross. That’s precisely what happened to the new Windows 11.

Windows 11 came out earlier this year with promises of HDR built within its software. Avid gamers and ambassadors of the brand were encouraged to try the new OS system.

Once they updated, they realized that their new HDR monitor had turned all whites into yellow.

But why does your HDR look yellow? That’s the bigger question at hand. Is there a way to make it less yellow? How do you adjust the HDR colors?

To answer the first question, Windows 11 has a bug that doesn’t render its HDR colors properly. Although this bug affected many other colors, yellow is the most noticeable.

Nevertheless, we’ll discuss the details of this problem in the following sections.

Why Does HDR Look Yellow?

When Windows 11 promised a brilliant HDR color palette, they did not anticipate a bug that makes all their whites yellow.

dell HDR laptop with yellow tint

Many programs on their new HDR do not display white properly. However, Windows recently recognized that the bug only affects models of Windows 11 21H2.

After further examination, the problem resides within the Win32 API and not any program or image processing applications within Windows 11.

In other words, even updating individual applications will not solve your yellow issues.

So, now you know the culprit. We’ve gotten to the root of our yellow enemy, but how do you fix it? How do you make the HDR less yellow?

How Do I Make HDR Less Yellow?

No one likes staring at a yellow-stained monitor, much less playing games, watching movies, or browsing the web. So how do you make HDR less yellow?

If you’re using Windows 11 in 2022, you’re in luck because as of late January 2022, Windows released an update that solves our yellow issue.

In this case, all you have to do is update your software to make your monitor less yellow.

But what if you updated your Windows OS, and nothing happened? What now? Are you stuck with a yellow monitor forever?

a person using HDR laptop with yellowish tint in her group meeting

A Manual Adjustment

There are two things you can do to make your HDR less yellow. Both require you to tweak the settings in your graphics card.

1) Adjust the Blue Gamma

  • Right-click on your Windows desktop.
  • Navigate to NVIDIA Control Panel. Click on it.
  • From here, you’ll notice the NVIDIA navigation tree.
  • Find Display. Click on Display.
  • Here, find the Adjustment Desktop Color Settings and open them.

If multiple monitors are connected, it will show you which one is selected. If needed, click on the proper monitor. If you only have one monitor, you can skip this step.

  • Next, select the Use NVIDIA Settings button.
  • Navigate to Gamma and move the slider until your blue hues are stronger, reducing the amount of yellow you see on your screen.

As a side note, many games and apps apply their own color settings, which often override these settings. The “Other Applications Control Color Settings” button will become available if this happens.

Here you can continue to tweak your color settings as desired.

2) Change the Color Settings

The NVIDIA graphics panel holds all your color settings. Now that you’ve learned how to change the blue gamma, we can try a different method just in case.

  • Head back to your NVIDIA panel by right-clicking on the desktop.
  • Navigate to Color Settings.
  • Within the Color Settings panel, change the channel to Blue and set it back completely.
  • Next, go to Resolution Settings.
  • Check the “Use NVIDIA Color Settings” option.
  • Click Apply.

This will give you a bluer screen, ultimately eliminating the weird yellow hues.

How Do I Adjust HDR Colors?

Sometimes waiting for an update on your OS takes the patience out of you. Perhaps you don’t want to wait. Or maybe you’ve installed the new update, and nothing happened. Now you want to take matters into your own hands. How do you adjust HDR colors?

a man adjusting HDR color of his laptop

To do this, you’ll have to calibrate your HDR monitor. This ensures you get exactly the right amount of excellent video quality.

An HDR monitor calibration also allows you to set how much detail you want to see within your images’ darkest parts and lightest parts.

So, if you want those eerie dark scenes to pop more, here’s your chance.

  • From your Windows Desktop, Navigate to the Start button.
  • Head to Settings, then Display.
  • At the top, click on your built-in display.
  • Find and click on HDR (some users might have Use HDR instead) then navigate to Display Calibration for HDR video.
  • Here, select Full Screen for a sample video.
  • You’ll notice a slider near the bottom. Slide it until you’re satisfied with the image.

It’s important to try and get a good balance within your sample video.

For example, try to get good details within the dark and bright scenes.

Adding details to the foreground and background depends on your taste.

Once you’re satisfied, click on Exit Full Screen at the bottom.

Watch an HDR quality video and see the difference in colors and details to test it.

girl watching an HDR quality video wih her laptop while sitting on a hammock

If the colors in your video did not come out as you’d hoped, you can always recalibrate.

Remember to slide your slider to the right if your scene is too bright. To add more detail, slide it to the left.

If you think you’ve screwed it up, you can reset your HDR calibration by selecting Reset Calibration.

A Yellow HDR Monitor, Resolved

Now you know that your yellow HDR monitor is yellow because of a bug Windows 11 had. But updating your system will usually solve it.

However, if it didn’t you can always tweak your graphic card color settings to get exactly what you need.

If all else fails, you can tweak the HDR settings themselves for the best possible outcome.

We hope you learned how to adjust your settings properly today because a great HDR display is worth every detail.

Related post: Why Is HDR Dimmer?


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