Auto HDR Feature Coming to Windows 10 PCs to Support 1000+ Games

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Auto HDR Feature
Luminance heatmap showing SDR, Auto HDR and Native HDR (Image: Microsoft DevBlogs)

The Auto HDR feature is already present in the Xbox Series X and S, offering an automatic adaptation from SDR to HDR to improve the visual experience. Now, Microsoft releases the same functionality for PCs with Windows 10.

PC games with these configurations will work with the new function, which incidentally uses processing to generate HDR signals even in games that do not have the feature.

“Today we’re excited to bring you a preview of Auto HDR for your PC gaming experience and we’re looking for your help to test it out. Jump to the How to Enable Auto HDR section to get started! When enabled on your HDR-capable gaming PC, you will automatically get awesome HDR visuals on an additional 1000+ DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games!” Microsoft DevBlogs

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The feature is intended for PCs equipped with an HDR monitor and is currently only available in the preview mode of the Windows Insider Program (Dev Channel). To enjoy Auto HDR, you must download the new Windows 10 Build 21337, after that if your monitor is already configured for HDR use, the function will be automatically activated. If not, go to Windows HD Color Settings and enable the Auto HDR box.

How to Enable Auto HDR

  • Getting the Right Hardware

From a PC hardware perspective, if you have an HDR monitor-equipped PC, then you’re good to go! If you’re looking to get an HDR monitor to try Auto HDR, we strongly recommend you acquire one that is HDR certified.

  • Joining the Windows Insider Program
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Auto HDR for PC is currently a preview feature only available in the Windows Insider Program (Dev Channel). To experience this feature now, you’ll need to join and get access to build 21337 or above.

  • Global Feature Toggle

Once part of the Insider Program (Dev Channel), if your PC monitor is already configured to use HDR, you will automatically receive the Auto HDR PC gaming experience. Otherwise, to explicitly enable/disable Auto HDR, look no further than the Windows HD Color Settings page.

  • Enabling
  1. Open Settings then go to System->Display
  2. Click the Windows HD Color Settings link
  3. Scroll down and make sure that the Use HDR toggle is On
  4. Keep scrolling and you will find the Auto HDR toggle. Flip this to On as well and that’s it. It’s that simple.
  • Disabling
  1. Open Settings then go to System->Display
  2. Click the Windows HD Color Settings link
  3. Scroll down and you will find the Auto HDR toggle. Flip this to Off.
  • Splitscreen mode!
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Want to see how awesome your 1000 nit HDR monitor looks when displaying Auto HDR content? Well, we have a cool little “only for development and evaluation” secret feature for you! You can enable a split-screen mode where the left side shows the original SDR content and the right side shows the Auto HDR upgraded content.

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