Want to know more about monitor calibration?

Read the guide below! It covers the following matters:

  • What is monitor calibration?
  • How to do monitor calibration?
  • What are the pecularities of monitor calibration for Windows and Mac?
  • ...and many other details

Edited by Pat Bitton

January 15, 2020

How to Do Monitor Calibration

You have probably never touched the color settings on your monitor, preferring to go with the default adjustments that shipped with the device. While it may be convenient for you not to tamper with these settings, it is also important to learn how to calibrate your monitor to achieve the best brightness and color saturation.

Did you know that nobody sees exactly the same thing as you do when it comes to images and videos on the internet? It is because everyone has different monitor color calibrations. For some, the screen may be too bright and have the default color settings as per the manufacturer.

The default settings on your Windows 10 PC display may be great, but as the machine gets older, the colors begin to change. You have to learn to adjust the best color settings for monitors to continue enjoying a rich visual experience.

You may also have noticed that what you have on the screen does not match its output in print. If you have ever applied various color edits to images and printed them, only to find they are different from what your display shows, it is time to learn how to calibrate your laptop screen.

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What is Monitor Calibration?

If you want to ensure that your photos, videos and games are at their best on your laptop screen, monitor calibration is the way to go. Monitor calibration ensures the colors and the blacks on your monitor are as accurate as possible, and give a true reflection even when they are printed on paper.

You could take your device to a professional to do the calibration for you, but be prepared to pay substantially for this service. However, you can do it yourself if you can follow basic instructions. Here is how you can calibrate your monitor.

How to Perform Monitor Color Calibration

With the right tools and tips, you should be able to perform the monitor color calibration yourself. Follow this guide to do the calibration and save the costs of visiting a professional.

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Get a Spectrophotometer

Your eyes may not be so accurate in determining the colors displayed on your screen. Consequently, to calibrate your monitor, you will require to purchase a device that measures the colors being displayed. This device is known as a spectrophotometer.

This device has to be positioned on your display, so find a way to make it sit on the screen so it can measure the light color as you apply different settings. Don't worry if you are not the technical type because spectrophotometers come bundled as calibration kits, complete with their respective software.

Using Calibration Kits

If you have no idea where to start when looking for a good calibration kits, try X-Rite i1 Display Pro, Spider Pro or the Color Munki. The process of installing these calibration kits is pretty similar. You install the software and run it before attaching the device to your screen so it can measure the light color.

One advantage of using calibration kits is that they let the software suggest optimum settings for your screen. This feature is quite useful for starters and those without technical knowledge on color calibration. Following these suggestions is the best way to calibrate the LCD monitor on your computer.

Begin by setting the monitor's brightness and contrast via its menu, and then let the calibration software run. At the end, the program will create a profile with the best calibration for your display. However, keep in mind that your screen needs to be on for about 30 minutes before the start of the calibration process.

Using Test Pages

You may not know if your screen requires calibration unless you conduct a color test. To perform a color test, you will need the services of certain software, a good example being the Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages. Lagom is an online platform for conducting a series of tests which include checking contrast and screen response times.

But first, check brightness, contrast and sharpness using the first few images. Once you have set these three parameters, you can proceed to the viewing angle to see if your screen changes colors or brightness in the corners.

Using Calibration Settings on Your Device

The general impression is that you need to spend to have your monitor calibrated, but you may not have to especially if you are operating on a shoestring budget. Visit the display settings on your device and adjust brightness, sharpness, saturation and contrast. Tweaking while carefully observing the changes on the screen can give you satisfactory results.

For Windows

If you are using the latest version of Windows 10, you can find the monitor color calibration tool by engaging the Windows search bar. Type "color calibration" into the search bar and click on the corresponding result. Follow the on-screen guide to change gamma, contrast, brightness and color balance adjustments. A sample image tracking the various changes in color will appear to accompany the settings.

Once the color calibration wizard is complete, it will store the new display settings as a .icc file, which will show up as a new International Color Consortium (ICC) profile in the color management settings app. To apply the changes, search for this file and set it as the default profile.

For macOS

Find the Display Calibrator Assistant under the Displays tab in system preferences. If you have problems locating it, enter "calibrate" in Spotlight to search through your computer's folders and files to locate it. Follow the step by step instructions to go through the calibration process on your Mac.

The Calibrator Assistant will let you choose contrast, brightness, native and target gamma and the target white point. Be sure to save the calibration profile you have created so you can apply it to your device.

Monitor Calibration and Your Eyesight

Calibrating your display may make your photos and videos to appear more realistic and hence more enjoyable, but it also has a connection with your eyes. You spend most of your time looking at a computer screen, especially when watching movies or working on your photos. If the screen is not properly calibrated, it may cause a strain on your eyes.

Too much brightness will harm your eyes, as will a screen that is too dim. Learning to adjust such basic settings will make for a comfortable viewing experience for your eyes. To achieve this feat, you may need to invest in programs that can conduct a color accuracy test, and allow you to set the best color settings for monitor. It will also help you muster certain intricacies, such as how to turn up gamma without distorting the images on your screen.

For the best viewing experience on your device, and for the comfort of your eyes, you need to adjust the best color settings for your monitor. Whether it is for gaming or business, it is important to learn how to calibrate monitor so your images and video footage post realistic colors. If you need to edit your videos before viewing them on your properly calibrated screen, consider downloading and installing Movavi Video Editor Plus.


Movavi Video Editor Plus

Your next step in video-making

  • Edit video clips, images, and audio on a timeline
  • Add transitions, filters, titles, and stickers
  • Animate objects using keyframes, use more built-in media
  • Export videos in any popular format

* The free version of Movavi Video Editor Plus has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length. Learn more