How to configure the best Windows 11 HDR settings

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
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... read more
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  • Gamers on the Windows 11 OS can enjoy an improved picture quality with more detailed and vivid pictures with the HDR Windows feature.
  • Your display or monitor will need to meet the minimum requirements of 1080p resolution to be compatible with HDR. 
  • By default, PCs running on battery will not be able to stream videos with HDR. 
windows 11 best hdr settings

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You can get more out of your HDR (high dynamic range) PC or TV display with HDR in Windows 11.

Compared to a standard dynamic range (SDR) display, when you connect an HDR10-capable monitor or TV to a Windows computer with HDR and wide color gamut (WCG) support, you’ll enjoy a brighter, more detailed, and vivid picture.

An increasing number of HDR games and apps are now available on the Microsoft Store. To get the best out of the modern video and game, you should adjust a few settings on your Windows 11 OS.

This article will show you the best configurations for HDR on Windows 11. It would help if you also read our guide on How to turn on Auto HDR in Windows 11.

What are the display requirements for HDR videoS in Windows 11?

For HDR, you need the right kind of display and graphics card.

Built-in displays like those on tablets, laptops, 2-in-1 devices, or external monitors connected to your computer may all be HDR compatible. 

The built-in displays must have a resolution of at least 1080p and a maximum brightness of at least 300 nits. DisplayPort 1.4, HDR10, USB-C, or Thunderbolt, HDMI 2.0 or higher must be supported by the HDR display or TV.

The Windows 11 computer must have an integrated graphics card with the necessary codecs for 10-bit video decoding, and PlayReady hardware digital rights management installed.

Should I enable auto HDR?

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Auto HDR enhances the gaming experience on the Windows 11 operating system. This feature automatically updates your screen’s color and lighting, giving it better and more realistic graphics.

The Auto HDR feature will work on more than a thousand games, including Windows games like Rocket League, DayZ, Age of Empires: Definite Edition, etc.

You could check out the complete list of games that support HDR.

What are the best Windows 11 settings for HDR?

1. Settings to stream HDR video on Windows 11

  1. From the Start menu, open the Settings app.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  2. On the left pane select System, and then select Display on the right pane.
  3. Select the HDR option on the right pane.
  4. Under Display capabilities section, check if the value for Play streaming HDR video says Supported or Not Supported. If it is supported proceed to step 5, if not, you are out of luck.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  5. Toggle on the swith for Play streaming HDR video.
    windows 11 best hdr settings

Note that not all monitors are capable of displaying HDR video. For example, when you stream HDR videos on a monitor that isn’t designed for HDR videos, you’ll get the proper SDR (standard dynamic range) video stream immediately new content begins to play.

2. Power settings for HDR-capable displays

  1. From the Start menu, open the Settings app.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  2. On the left pane select System, and then select Display on the right pane.
  3. Select your display from the Select a display to view or change its settings section.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  4. Under the Battery options section, select Optimize for image quality.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  5. Play or restart the video.

Streaming HDR videos on a battery-powered laptop can shorten its life. As a result, when your PC runs on battery, your PC maker may have disabled HDR by default. So, for example, if you turn on HDR while your laptop is plugged in but then unplug it, HDR will be turned off to save battery life. It will automatically be turned on once your laptop is plugged in again.

3. Settings for built-in display for HDR content in Windows 11

  1. As in the previous steps, open the settings app and navigate to System > Display.
  2. On the right pane, select HDR.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  3. Under the Display capabilities, toggle on the Play streaming HDR video option.
  4. Select the Display calibration for HDR video option.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  5. On the sample video, click the double headed arrow to play in full screen.
    windows 11 best hdr settings
  6. Adjust the slider to create the appropriate balance with the images, then exit the video.
    windows 11 best hdr settings

What should I do if I can’t stream HDR videos after setting it up on Windows 11?

If you’ve enabled streaming for HDR videos but still don’t see HDR video on your built-in display, make sure you have your drivers updated. DriveFix is a simple one-click option for updating drivers on Windows 11.

Once drivers are updated, double-check the following:

  • Your app is supported. Not every app allows you to stream HDR videos. 
  • Your streaming video app has been set to full screen mode. If the video app isn’t in full screen, you can’t stream HDR video.
  • You’ve configured your computer to stream HDR video while on battery power. By default, your phone will not stream HDR videos when it is not plugged in.
  • The battery saver has been disabled. Windows must have displays running on maximum brightness level for the optimum HDR video streaming experience.
  • The video is restarted. The old settings do not take effect on the current video.

HDR is one of the many features on Windows 11 that make it an excellent OS for gaming. Trying the different HDR settings will improve the gameplay or streaming experience. Let us know in the comment section the different HDR settings you have tried.

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