The acronym HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Turning on your HDR will make your apps, games, and even movies clearer. To use HDR, you'll need to turn it on and set it up to use external displays.
Turning on HDR in Windows 10 isn't as difficult as it seems. In this guide we will give you step-by-step instructions. We even give you instructions on how to connect Windows 10 features to external displays.
Step 1: Connect all required displays
HDR is especially useful when you connect your Windows computer to an external display to play movies or games. If so, the first thing to do is to connect your HDR compatible display to your Windows 10 computer. The better the connection quality, the better your HDR results will be. DisplayPort 1.4 and better is one of the best options. If that's not available, HDMI 2.0 and USB-C connections should be sufficient.
If you want to enable HDR right on a Windows 10 laptop or built-in display, you don't have to worry about connecting a display. However, you need to make sure that your laptop meets the necessary display requirements. This includes a resolution of at least 1080p and a maximum brightness of 300 nits or more.
For built-in and external displays, your Windows 10 computer must have a graphics card that supports PlayReady 3.0 hardware and 10-bit decoding capabilities. If your Windows computer is 2017 or later, you are probably fine. Otherwise, you may not be able to run HDR content.
If you're using a Windows 10 laptop, make sure it's plugged in before you start. Windows 10's settings are only designed to use HDR when the laptop is connected due to the additional power consumption. You can technically run HDR on battery when you're ready to tweak some power settings. However, it is safer and easier to make sure your laptop is plugged in before you start playing.
Step 2: Go to Display Settings and choose the correct display
Open the Windows 10 Settings menu, found in the Start menu, or search for it in the search bar.
One of the first icons you should see in Settings is System. Choose it.
In the system, the top menu option should be Display. The system will of course open in the display window, so you should be there already. The first option that you should see in the display window is the Show and Rearrange Displays option (if you have an additional display attached). Use the Identify and Discover buttons in this section as needed to locate and select your HDR-compatible display.
If you want to enable HDR on an integrated display, you don't have to worry about choosing the right display. Again, make sure your computer is connected, updated, and compatible with HDR.
Step 3: Enable all the required HDR settings
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The section under Select and rearrange displays should be Windows HD Color Settings. Select this option to go to the Windows HD color window.
The first section of this menu is Select Display. Make sure the correct display is selected if necessary. The following section contains the display functions. Make sure that Play HDR Games and Apps and Stream HDR Video are set to Yes.
Note that these instructions apply to the latest Windows 10: If you have a later version, some sections may be labeled a little differently, although the same general instructions still apply!
Step 4: Make sure HDR is enabled on all other devices
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Windows 10 may support HDR, but you need to make sure your other devices are ready too. If you are using an external display, go to your Display / TV settings and make sure that HDR mode is also enabled. Whenever you're playing a game, you should also check the game's display settings to make sure that all HDR features are enabled. Now you should be ready to go.