How to Calibrate the Computer Screen: Calibrators and Software

Whether for leisure or for professional tasks such as video editing, photography or graphic design, screen calibration is essential. This allows you to enjoy the highest image quality that your screen can offer. But how it is done, that is what we are going to see. How to calibrate your monitor with and without the need for specific hardware.

What is screen calibration

calibrate computer screen
Screen calibration is the process of adjusting brightness, contrast, and color values to optimal levels . Thanks to this you make sure you get the most out of your monitor no matter what activity you are going to do: watch series and movies, play video games and work professionally in photography, video or design.

This process, although it is not essential because all manufacturers already carry out a previous calibration, it is highly recommended. Because even starting from a suitable standard calibration, over time or due to the lighting conditions of your leisure or work environment it can be affected.

So if you are interested in knowing how to do this screen calibration, both with and without specific hardware, read on. Because we are going to explain to you in a simple way what the whole process consists of.

Calibration with colorimeters

A colyrimeter or screen calibrator is a tool capable of identifying the color and hue capable of offering a screen, in addition to brightness levels. Thanks to that and specific software, they are able to establish what is or would be the best value of each of these sections related to brightness, color and contrast so that your screen offers its best performance.

In the market there is a wide variety of screen calibrators and if you dedicate yourself professionally they are the best option. Firstly, because its precision and results are not subject to user perception. And secondly, because being a process that you will have to repeat for a certain time, it is better to do it with one of these devices.

Although there are many options, if you are looking for reliable options and with a good price, then these two that we show you below are the most interesting. One is from X-Rite and the other from Datacolor . Both are companies that have been in this image calibration for a long time, so they have experience and offer great results.

X-Rite i1Display Studio

X-Rite has been a brand specialized in color themes for years. Its calibrators are very popular and there is practically an option for all types of users. If your intention is to have a proper calibration without investing much, the i1Display Studio is a good option.

Your software offers two modes. On the one hand there is the basic for users with less knowledge. These are guided through an assistant. With very simple software, which offers from a basic mode for users with less knowledge and who are guided through an assistant.

SpyderX Pro

SpyderX Pro is another option at a good price that you can find if you want the best image quality and not invest too much. This version is quite reliable, its software is easy to use and in a few minutes you will have your screen perfectly calibrated.

How to calibrate your screen without the need for a calibrator

Using a caliper we have already told you is the ideal option. If you want to make sure you get the highest quality, get one. But in the event that you cannot buy it or you are not interested right now, we are going to show you how to do it by using some applications. Logically you will have to trust your eye, but if it is not for professional topics it may be more than enough.

Both Windows and Mac offer their own tools for image calibration. In the case of the first, in Windows 10, use the search engine and type Color calibration or go to Control Panel> Display> Appearance and personalization. Once there, follow the instructions of your assistant and you can more accurately calibrate your monitor.

In macOS you have to go to System Preferences> Display and then you give the Color option.   If you look, when you click on the Calibrate button, the guided process will begin to adjust the image correctly.

These two tools are fine but basic. If you want something more advanced and precise, there are other applications that help to have a better representation:

  • Calibrize 2.0 is an application for color calibration and management. This is only valid for Windows computers, but it is a very good option if you do not want to use a calibrator
  • Display Tuner is another option, also free for non-commercial use, with which you can calibrate your screen. Only for Windows computers
  • DisplayCal is a utility that you can run on macOS in addition to Linux and Windows. We could say that it is our first recommendation
  • SuperCal is exclusive to macOS and works great too

With any of these applications and without the need for specific hardware, you can improve the image quality of your monitor. Of course, keep in mind these recommendations:

  • Make sure you have the latest graphics card drivers for your computer
  • Turn on the screen about 15-30 minutes before you start
  • Set the lighting in the room as it normally is
  • Avoid possible reflections or light sources that may affect the process

Done, although it will be a very personal calibration, if you follow the indications that these applications offer you will see how the experience of use changes in all types of applications and even video games.