How to Enable HDR Gaming and Video Playback in Windows 10

High Dynamic Range or mostly known as HDR makes the image look colorful and vibrant with rich details and darker shadows. In the latest versions of Windows 10, Microsoft added support for HDR content. Follow the below steps to enable HDR on Windows 10.

In case you are wondering, compared to the normal display, the picture quality in HDR supported monitors, screens, or TVs is far superior. That is one of the reasons why more and more games and video streaming services are supporting HDR content.

Pre-requisites to Use HDR in Windows 10

Before you can enable HDR in Windows 10, there are few must meet requirements. If one or more of the below requirements are not met then you cannot turn on the HDR functionality in Windows 10.

Note: For laptop users, see if the laptop manufacturer certified it as HDR ready. If the laptop manufacturer doesn’t explicitly say it is HDR ready then it probably doesn’t support HDR. It’s the easiest way to find if your laptop supports HDR video playback or gaming.

1. Your monitor should support HDR 10 specification and it should be turned on in the monitor panel settings. If you are not sure, consult the monitor manual and make sure it is turned on.

Monitor hdr options

2. Your processor should support PlayReady DRM (Digital Rights Management) to play encrypted HDR content, like 4K Netflix. Generally, Intel 7th gen or higher and AMD Ryzen CPUs support PlayReady DRM.

3. The PC should have a graphics card that supports HDR content. AMD Radeon RX 400 series or higher and NVIDIA GeForce 1000 series or higher should do the magic.

4. Windows 10 should have the HEVC and VP9 codecs installed. You can install these codecs from the Microsoft Store.

5. Your system should have WDDM 2.4 or higher drivers installed. If you have HDR compatible hardware, Windows 10 should automatically download these drivers.

6. Last but not least, make sure that you are using an HDR compatible display cable like HDMI 2.0, Display Port 1.4, or USB Type-C.

Enable HDR in Windows 10

1. Open the Settings app and go to “System -> Display” page. On the right panel, toggle the switch under “Play HDR Games and Apps” to “On” position.

If you can’t see the option, then your computer doesn’t support HDR due to not meeting one or more above listed requirements.

Enable hdr windows 10

2. Now, click on the “Windows HD Color Settings” link under Windows HD Color section.

Windows had color settings link

3. In the next page, turn on both “Play HDR games and app” and “Stream HDR video” options.

Enable hdr options

As a test, Windows shows a sample video under the settings. Play it and see how the current video settings make the video appear.

After enabling HDR in Windows 10, non-HDR content can appear washed out and terrible. If that’s the case, go to the “Windows HD Color Settings” page and use the slider under “SDR content appearance” to find a good balance between the two images. The close the images in appearance, the better SDR content will look.

Sync hdr sdr content

That is all. You’ve successfully enabled HDR in Windows 10. If you like this article, do check out how to change desktop screen brightness in Windows 10.

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