FIX: Windows 11 Color Management not working

Kazim Ali Alvi
by Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take a look at the hardware, although... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Several users, after upgrading to Windows 11, have reported that Color Management is not working on their devices.
  • To fix the problem, you may try reinstalling or updating the graphics driver or switching to the Dev channel.
  • Also, find out how to change the color of the taskbar or mouse cursor.
Color management not working in Windows 11
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Color management plays an important role for photographers, graphic designers, videographers, publishers, and those in related fields. But, after upgrading to Windows 11, a lot of users have reported that the Color Management option is not working.

We went through several forums where users shared the problem along with their concerns and the possible fixes for it. But, more often than not, it was found to a be problem with the OS itself which is most likely to affect Adobe Photoshop and Google Chrome.

Since the issue has been trending for a while, we decided to dedicate this guide to help you either eliminate Color Management problems or find the available workarounds.

How does Color Management work in Windows?

Every monitor is not identical and will show slight variations in color depending on the connected graphics card. Though it’s not noticeable to most, photographers and graphic designers often find it an issue since color accuracy is of prime importance to them.

This is where color management comes into the picture. To have identical colors on all the devices or monitors, users have to install the same color profile on each. You can get these color profiles both from the monitor manufacturer and other third-party sources.

While there’s also the option to go for display calibration hardware, color profiles, ICC (International Color Consortium), or ICM (Image Color Management), which are perfectly capable of providing optimal color accuracy.

Now that you are aware of the basics, let’s walk you through the most relevant methods to eliminate the Color Management not working problem in Windows 11.

What can I do if Color Management isn’t working in Windows 11?

1. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and then select Windows Update from the list of tabs in the navigation pane on the left.update Windows 11 to fix color management not working
  2. Click on Check for updates to scan if any newer versions of the OS are available.Check for Update
  3. If an update appears after the scan, download and install it.

After a lot of research, we identified that the initial versions of the OS had problems with color calibration. Thus it’s recommended that you update Windows 11 to the latest version and check if color management starts working.

2. Reset the problematic app

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and select the Apps tab from the navigation pane on the left.Apps tab to fix windows 11 color management not working
  2. Next, click on Apps & features on the right.Apps & features
  3. Locate the problematic app, click on the epllipsis next to it, and then select Advanced options from the menu.Advanced options to fix windows 11 color management not working
  4. Click on Reset.Reset app to fix windows 11 color management not working
  5. Again, click Reset in the prompt that pops up.Confirm reset

3. Reinstall the graphics driver

  1. Press Windows + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select Device Manager from the list of options that appear.Quick Access menu
  2. Double-click on the Display adapters entry.Graphics adapter
  3. Right-click on the graphics adapter and select Uninstall device from the context menu.Uninstall device to fix windows 11 color management not working
  4. Tick the checkbox for Attempt to remove the driver for this device and then click on Uninstall.Uninstall driver to fix windows 11 color management not working
  5. Now, restart the system and Windows will automatically install a fresh driver for the device to replace the old corrupt one.

If you are facing the issue due to a corrupt driver, reinstalling it should help eliminate the error. After you reinstall the graphics driver, check if the color management not working problem in Windows 11 is fixed.

4. Update the graphics driver

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu. Enter Device Manager in the text field, and click on the relevant search result that appears.launch Device Manager to fix windows 11 color management not working
  2. Locate and double-click on the Display adapters entry to expand and view the devices under it.Display adapter
  3. Right-click on the graphics adapter, and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver to fix windows 11 color management not working
  4. Next, select Search automatically for drivers from the options listed in the Update Drivers window.Search automatically for drivers
  5. Now, wait for Windows to find the best version of the driver on the system and install it.

The Device Manager method listed above has a major drawback. It only scans for newer versions on the system, thus acting as an offline update.

If you haven’t previously downloaded it, try checking for the latest version in Windows Update or manually download and install it from the manufacturer’s website.

If that feels like too much work, there’s always the option to go with a reliable third-party app. We recommend using DriverFix, a dedicated tool that will scan all available sources for driver updates and keep the installed ones up-to-date.

After updating the graphics driver, check if color management starts working in Windows 11. In case the error persists, head to the next fix.

5. Switch to Dev channel

If the problem lies with the current version of the OS and a patch for it hasn’t been released yet, you could switch to the Dev channel. Features and bug patches are first released for users on the Dev channel in order to be tested, and then only launched for the other users.

Though, you may encounter some instabilities since the features are in the early stages and might need some polishing. But whenever a patch is released, you would be amongst the first ones to get your hands on it and will have color management working in Windows 11.

6. Revert to Windows 10

Many users are hesitant when it comes to joining the Dev channel, which is perfectly understandable. In which case, we recommend that you roll back to Windows 10 for the time being, until Microsoft releases a patch for the latest iteration.

Though reverting to Windows 10 might seem like a hassle, it’s the best available fix for now. Once you do, keep checking this page for updates in case Microsoft eliminates the bug preventing color management from working in Windows 11.

How can I change the color of various elements in Windows 11?

Windows 11, along with the previous iterations, allows you to change the color of various elements. You can easily change the color of the Taskbar. In case you are looking to explore further, check out how to change the mouse cursor’s color.

And, it’s not just limited to that. You can also set the taskbar to appear transparent in Windows 11. Also, learn how to activate dark mode in Microsoft Teams.

These were all the ways you can fix issues preventing color management from working in Windows 11. By the time you reach the end of the article, the problem should be long gone and your system back up and running perfectly.

Even more, check our curated list of the best display color calibration software. Finally, do not hesitate to tell us which fix worked for you in the comments section below.

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