Windows 10 color management

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Soul Collector
Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Windows 10 color management

Is there a way to make windows apply color management to my desktop wallpaper?  It doesn't appear to be reading the sRGB tag correctly.  Windows Live photo gallery does seem to work right, though.  Here is the shot opened in Live, and the same shot is my desktop wallpaper.  The desktop version is very oversaturated.  Any ideas on how to fix this?

The screenshot above doesn't quite convey what I actually see.  On my screen, the wallpaper shot is much more saturated, but hopefully, you get the idea.

Soul Collector
OP Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Windows 10 color management
2

Well, heck, I found this old post, and this is exactly my problem:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/windows-10-desktop-background-not-using-color/2199b4ff-41b9-4670-9ca2-b96abdec4233

I'm assuming nothing has changed since 2015, and windows still sucks in this regard....

bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,564
Re: Windows 10 color management

After reading this post I thought I might be missing something. Wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last.

Like many of us I use personal images converted from raw, processed in 16 bits, to appropriately sized jpegs for desktop background slideshows. I never noticed a difference in what the images looked like in PS compared to what they looked like as desktop background/slide shows.

I use two monitors calibrated to the same brightness etc. Desktop slideshow images look the same to me when simultaneously displayed on both monitors or one on the desktop and one in PS.

I can not reproduce what the OP describes or is described in the linked post  with the same image files opened as a static desktop side by side with the image opened in color managed Photoshop on the same monitor. I can not say there is no difference but aligning halves of the images--left half desktop/right half PS-- hardly shows any difference and what there is might be illusory due to the border around the PS window.

The desktop images look a bit more saturated in Windows Photo and a bit more saturated than that in Paint. I use Windows Photo to preview sRGB conversions that I know will be evaluated by others on non-calibrated, non color managed devices so that I know they will see something approximately correct.

My monitors are "only" sRGB. I have no idea if a wider gamut monitor might show the mismatch seen by the OP. It may also be that with a brighter monitor, not the 120 or so used for color managed printing, there might be a more obvious difference in saturation. If the images have been converted to sRGB from a bigger color space I will assume the conversion was done correctly.

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Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 6,670
Re: Windows 10 color management
3

Soul Collector wrote:

Is there a way to make windows apply color management to my desktop wallpaper? It doesn't appear to be reading the sRGB tag correctly. Windows Live photo gallery does seem to work right, though. Here is the shot opened in Live, and the same shot is my desktop wallpaper. The desktop version is very oversaturated. Any ideas on how to fix this?

The screenshot above doesn't quite convey what I actually see. On my screen, the wallpaper shot is much more saturated, but hopefully, you get the idea.

I don't think you can fix it.  The Windows desktop isn't colour-managed.  End of.

Wide-gamut monitors will show over-saturated colours for the Windows Desktop and most Microsoft software.

I have exactly the same problem, and have learned to like it (or put up with it).

Microsoft have a stunningly poor track record for colour management.  Neither Internet Explorer, Edge or the Windows Photos App are properly colour managed, and they show correct colours only on monitors that have accurate sRGB modes (although the new Chrome-based Edge is colour managed).

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Simon

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Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 6,670
Re: Windows 10 color management
3

bmoag wrote:

After reading this post I thought I might be missing something. Wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last.

Like many of us I use personal images converted from raw, processed in 16 bits, to appropriately sized jpegs for desktop background slideshows. I never noticed a difference in what the images looked like in PS compared to what they looked like as desktop background/slide shows.

I use two monitors calibrated to the same brightness etc. Desktop slideshow images look the same to me when simultaneously displayed on both monitors or one on the desktop and one in PS.

I can not reproduce what the OP describes or is described in the linked post with the same image files opened as a static desktop side by side with the image opened in color managed Photoshop on the same monitor. I can not say there is no difference but aligning halves of the images--left half desktop/right half PS-- hardly shows any difference and what there is might be illusory due to the border around the PS window.

The desktop images look a bit more saturated in Windows Photo and a bit more saturated than that in Paint. I use Windows Photo to preview sRGB conversions that I know will be evaluated by others on non-calibrated, non color managed devices so that I know they will see something approximately correct.

My monitors are "only" sRGB. I have no idea if a wider gamut monitor might show the mismatch seen by the OP. It may also be that with a brighter monitor, not the 120 or so used for color managed printing, there might be a more obvious difference in saturation. If the images have been converted to sRGB from a bigger color space I will assume the conversion was done correctly.

The problem occurs with wide-gamut monitors, or any monitor whose colour space is not exactly sRGB.  The desktop is not colour managed, so will show sRGB images only on sRGB monitors.

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Simon

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Soul Collector
OP Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Windows 10 color management

bmoag wrote:

After reading this post I thought I might be missing something. Wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last.

Like many of us I use personal images converted from raw, processed in 16 bits, to appropriately sized jpegs for desktop background slideshows. I never noticed a difference in what the images looked like in PS compared to what they looked like as desktop background/slide shows.

I use two monitors calibrated to the same brightness etc. Desktop slideshow images look the same to me when simultaneously displayed on both monitors or one on the desktop and one in PS.

I can not reproduce what the OP describes or is described in the linked post with the same image files opened as a static desktop side by side with the image opened in color managed Photoshop on the same monitor. I can not say there is no difference but aligning halves of the images--left half desktop/right half PS-- hardly shows any difference and what there is might be illusory due to the border around the PS window.

The desktop images look a bit more saturated in Windows Photo and a bit more saturated than that in Paint. I use Windows Photo to preview sRGB conversions that I know will be evaluated by others on non-calibrated, non color managed devices so that I know they will see something approximately correct.

My monitors are "only" sRGB. I have no idea if a wider gamut monitor might show the mismatch seen by the OP. It may also be that with a brighter monitor, not the 120 or so used for color managed printing, there might be a more obvious difference in saturation. If the images have been converted to sRGB from a bigger color space I will assume the conversion was done correctly.

I never noticed this issue until I got a wide-gamut display.  I don't think it's a problem with sRGB displays, which is maybe why more people haven't complained about it.  I'm sure many more people use a standard monitor compared to the number of wide gamut users.

Soul Collector
OP Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Windows 10 color management
1

Simon Garrett wrote:

Soul Collector wrote:

Is there a way to make windows apply color management to my desktop wallpaper? It doesn't appear to be reading the sRGB tag correctly. Windows Live photo gallery does seem to work right, though. Here is the shot opened in Live, and the same shot is my desktop wallpaper. The desktop version is very oversaturated. Any ideas on how to fix this?

The screenshot above doesn't quite convey what I actually see. On my screen, the wallpaper shot is much more saturated, but hopefully, you get the idea.

I don't think you can fix it. The Windows desktop isn't colour-managed. End of.

Wide-gamut monitors will show over-saturated colours for the Windows Desktop and most Microsoft software.

I have exactly the same problem, and have learned to like it (or put up with it).

Microsoft have a stunningly poor track record for colour management. Neither Internet Explorer, Edge or the Windows Photos App are properly colour managed, and they show correct colours only on monitors that have accurate sRGB modes (although the new Chrome-based Edge is colour managed).

Thanks.  It's good to know I'm not going crazy   I also noticed that if I open a folder, the thumbnails of images look way too saturated, and also some other various parts of the Windows GUI, which I'm assuming is due to the same issue.

The wallpaper issue was the most annoying, but I just decided on a simple fix—only use B&W images for the background.  Seems to make for a "cleaner" looking desktop, too.

mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,278
Re: Windows 10 color management
1

Soul Collector wrote:

Thanks. It's good to know I'm not going crazy I also noticed that if I open a folder, the thumbnails of images look way too saturated, and also some other various parts of the Windows GUI, which I'm assuming is due to the same issue.

Yes.  If the desktop was colour managed then the rest of the GUI would be as well.

Jestertheclown
Jestertheclown Senior Member • Posts: 2,718
Re: Windows 10 color management

Soul Collector wrote:

—only use B&W images for the background. Seems to make for a "cleaner" looking desktop, too.

Or just desaturate the colour ones by whatever amount is required.

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 14,644
output in sRGB
1

Windows defaults to sRGB.  If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 6,670
Re: output in sRGB
2

tkbslc wrote:

Windows defaults to sRGB. If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Unfortunately this isn't so.

Windows doesn't default to anything.  It doesn't colour-manage the desktop.

If the desktop background image is sRGB and you use a standard gamut monitor (normally sRGB) then colours will be approximately right (depending how close your monitor is to sRGB).

With a wide-gamut monitor, sRGB images will be over-saturated.

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Simon

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Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 1,724
Re: output in sRGB
1

Simon Garrett wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

Windows defaults to sRGB. If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Unfortunately this isn't so.

Windows doesn't default to anything. It doesn't colour-manage the desktop.

To add on to this…

The Windows OS as a whole has no blanket color management functionality. It’s up to each individual process and application to provide this. Some applications that come bundled with Windows may have this, while others do not or have it only partially implemented.

Soul Collector
OP Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: output in sRGB
1

Billiam29 wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

Windows defaults to sRGB. If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Unfortunately this isn't so.

Windows doesn't default to anything. It doesn't colour-manage the desktop.

To add on to this…

The Windows OS as a whole has no blanket color management functionality. It’s up to each individual process and application to provide this. Some applications that come bundled with Windows may have this, while others do not or have it only partially implemented.

Yep.  Now that I have a wide gamut display, this is clearly evident.  Aside from my desktop wallpaper, I notice the oversaturation on icons, thumbnails of pics and other places throughout the OS.  It's pretty pathetic that here we are in 2020 and Microsoft hasn't implemented this yet.

ormdig
ormdig Senior Member • Posts: 2,498
Re: output in sRGB

Simon Garrett wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

Windows defaults to sRGB. If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Unfortunately this isn't so.

Windows doesn't default to anything. It doesn't colour-manage the desktop.

If the desktop background image is sRGB and you use a standard gamut monitor (normally sRGB) then colours will be approximately right (depending how close your monitor is to sRGB).

With a wide-gamut monitor, sRGB images will be over-saturated.

Hi, I use 2 wide gamut monitors and export in Adobe RGB. I use the old Windows Photo Viewer on my slideshow and color are correct,

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DerKeyser Contributing Member • Posts: 626
Re: Windows 10 color management

Simon Garrett wrote:

Soul Collector wrote:

Is there a way to make windows apply color management to my desktop wallpaper? It doesn't appear to be reading the sRGB tag correctly. Windows Live photo gallery does seem to work right, though. Here is the shot opened in Live, and the same shot is my desktop wallpaper. The desktop version is very oversaturated. Any ideas on how to fix this?

The screenshot above doesn't quite convey what I actually see. On my screen, the wallpaper shot is much more saturated, but hopefully, you get the idea.

I don't think you can fix it. The Windows desktop isn't colour-managed. End of.

Wide-gamut monitors will show over-saturated colours for the Windows Desktop and most Microsoft software.

I have exactly the same problem, and have learned to like it (or put up with it).

Microsoft have a stunningly poor track record for colour management. Neither Internet Explorer, Edge or the Windows Photos App are properly colour managed, and they show correct colours only on monitors that have accurate sRGB modes (although the new Chrome-based Edge is colour managed).

Weird - I don’t have that problem once I enable windows’ color management and have appropriate profiles loaded. I have a very wide colour monitor and a very cheap sRGB monitor both connected. Sure there are slight differences even with profiles loaded (and calibration enabled), but they are not bad. The problem you experience sounds like mine if i disable Windows’ built in color management

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Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 1,724
Re: output in sRGB

ormdig wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

Windows defaults to sRGB. If your image is in sRGB, then no color management needed.

Unfortunately this isn't so.

Windows doesn't default to anything. It doesn't colour-manage the desktop.

If the desktop background image is sRGB and you use a standard gamut monitor (normally sRGB) then colours will be approximately right (depending how close your monitor is to sRGB).

With a wide-gamut monitor, sRGB images will be over-saturated.

Hi, I use 2 wide gamut monitors and export in Adobe RGB. I use the old Windows Photo Viewer on my slideshow and color are correct,

The old Windows Photo Viewer is a fully color managed application. The OP was referring to desktop wallpaper display which Simon and I are saying is not color managed in Windows.

Leffe New Member • Posts: 18
Re: output in sRGB

Hi, Im confused by this discussion.

The desktop sends sRGB-values to the display-driver so please explain how this is not a default-sRGB colorspace ?
This is also true for most (all as far as I know) applications.
Browsers dont take over any responsibility for colorhandling to my knowledge.

The colors are rendered by the display driver and not by applications.
If you dont get ok colors the problem is in the calibration or the displaydriver as far as I understand.

I profile my display and then set this profile to the windows-default profile and this gives me correct colors on the desktop and all programs.
This works because the colormanager is the display-driver.

Am I wrong ?

I also wonder what a fully colormanaged application really is.
Can you please explain how that works.
I have written a viewer for my own needs and Im trying to find out how to make it "colormanaged" but I cant figure out how this would work.
My viewer uses the embedded profile of the image if present and thats the only thing I have found.
Links or tecnical docs are very welcome.

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Soul Collector
OP Soul Collector Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Windows 10 color management

DerKeyser wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

Soul Collector wrote:

Is there a way to make windows apply color management to my desktop wallpaper? It doesn't appear to be reading the sRGB tag correctly. Windows Live photo gallery does seem to work right, though. Here is the shot opened in Live, and the same shot is my desktop wallpaper. The desktop version is very oversaturated. Any ideas on how to fix this?

The screenshot above doesn't quite convey what I actually see. On my screen, the wallpaper shot is much more saturated, but hopefully, you get the idea.

I don't think you can fix it. The Windows desktop isn't colour-managed. End of.

Wide-gamut monitors will show over-saturated colours for the Windows Desktop and most Microsoft software.

I have exactly the same problem, and have learned to like it (or put up with it).

Microsoft have a stunningly poor track record for colour management. Neither Internet Explorer, Edge or the Windows Photos App are properly colour managed, and they show correct colours only on monitors that have accurate sRGB modes (although the new Chrome-based Edge is colour managed).

Weird - I don’t have that problem once I enable windows’ color management and have appropriate profiles loaded. I have a very wide colour monitor and a very cheap sRGB monitor both connected. Sure there are slight differences even with profiles loaded (and calibration enabled), but they are not bad. The problem you experience sounds like mine if i disable Windows’ built in color management

I think the problem is that color management can't be enable across the entire OS, so only certain things look correct.  BTW, if anyone want to view the original photo, I've attached it here.  If I open it in the Windows "photos" app, it's extremely saturated.  However, if I open it in a color managed app, like Windows Live Photo Gallery, or Fastone viewer, it looks as I intended when editing.

DerKeyser Contributing Member • Posts: 626
Re: Windows 10 color management
1

I’m not sure I agree. I seem to be able to have windows color manage it’s desktop (or at least respect the gamma of the loaded profile) by enabling it.

Are you sure you have done that correctly? It’s a system wide (advanced) setting that is off by default.

look at this link, and follow step 6 and 7 specifically. You can ignore the preceding steps if you already have your profiles in place.

Windows color calbration

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Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 1,724
Re: output in sRGB

Take a look at the PSE User Guide page I linked below. Specifically, the second diagram in the first ‘About color management’ section. An application needs to be aware of both the “input” image file’s profile as well as the monitor’s calibration profile and make use of them both.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/setting-color-management.html

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