How to turn on Auto HDR on Windows 11

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
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  • Microsoft officially announced that there will be Auto HDR on Windows 11.
  • During the announcement, the company showcased the feature in a game.
  • Enabling HDR in Windows 11 is easy, and similar to the previous OS versions.
  • There are many other gaming-oriented additions to this new operating system.
how to enable auto hdr on windows 11
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Every gamer has heard about one of the newest features and trends, the High-Dynamic-Range imaging, or HDR. This system can reproduce a greater range of lighting levels in games.

HDR heavily outclasses the standard photographic techniques used to light games in the past. This feature is really useful when recording real-world scenes or playing games.

An Auto HDR feature was first introduced in Microsoft’s 9th generation of gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X and S. Lately, it was also added to Windows 10 in March as a preview feature.

Xbox’s game creator experience & ecosystem, Sarah Bond, officially announced that the brand new Windows 11 will include built-in Auto-HDR.

However, this is only one of the many new features that make the new operating system the best gaming OS ever made at the moment.

What is Auto HDR?

As presented in the video above, HDR automatically updates the lighting and color of your screen which will result in better and more realistic graphics.

The feature was showcased during the event using the popular Bethesda game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There is a side-by-side comparison between the standard lighting effects and the Auto-HDR.

This is just one of the many improvements that are going to improve our gaming experience on Windows 11, which is actually branded as being a game-oriented operating system.

More so, Skyrim isn’t the only game that will benefit from Auto HDR! Sarah Bond revealed that the feature will work with over 1000 games!

She also mentioned some Windows Auto HDR-supported games such as DayZ, Rocket League, Age of Empires: Definite Edition, and even Doom 64.

Interestingly enough, this is not the first Xbox feature that Microsoft decided to incorporate into Windows. Another great addition is DirectStorage.

If you are interested to see which games support Auto HDR, you should know that most of the games on the Windows Store are eligible. Here’s a dedicated list of games that support HDR.

What does it do? Well, if your PC has a compatible NVME SSD of 1TB or more, it will it redirect I/O calls for 3D graphical assets directly to the GPU.

This will not only reduce loading times, but will also improve other graphical elements such as draw distances, instant asset introduction, and texture variety.

How do I turn on Auto HRD in Windows 11?

1. Make sure you have the required hardware

Here are the official requirements for external displays:

  • An HDR display supporting HDR10
  • DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 or higher
  • Integrated or dedicated GPU with PlayReady 3.0 support such as:
    • Intel UHD Graphics 600 series or higher
    • Nvidia GeForce 1000 series or higher
    • AMD Radeon RX 400 series or higher

The first thing required to enjoy these new graphic effects is hardware capable of HDR, more precisely an HDR-ready Monitor.

If you don’t have an HDR-ready monitor, visit our great list of the best gaming monitors and browse its products. There are lots of monitors there that support it.

Yes, unfortunately not every display out there supports this feature. Obviously, this is because it is quite new and it needs specific hardware to work.

Additionally, you need to make sure you have the best connection quality. Check your monitor for the available ports, and if you have an HDMI or Display port, connect it through those.

Ideally, DisplayPort 1.4 will yield the best results, both in terms of connectivity and graphics. HDMI and USB-C will also suffice. You should also buy a premium cable.

2. Turn on Auto-HDR from the settings

  1. Press the Windows Key + S or click on the Start Menu icon located in the middle of the taskbar.
  2. Click on the Settings icon.
  3. Once the Settings window opens, go to System.
  4. Then, go to Display Settings.
  5. Next, click on Windows HD Color settings.
  6. Enable all the HDR settings you need, and you are good to go.

Thankfully, the new Windows didn’t change the settings that much. You can enable Auto-HDR in a similar way to Windows 10, as showcased in the preview build.

There are different options for displaying HDR. You can use it to play games, or you can watch movies that have the option available.

You can enable or disable this setting separately on different displays from the display settings window if you have multiple Monitors.

See the latest changes, news, and all information related to this new operating system in our thorough article covering the Windows 11 live event.

We hope we answered your question about the HDR feature on Windows 11. If you have anything interesting to add regarding the subject, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.

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