Fix Dull Colors & Contrasts on New MacBook Air/Pro by Calibrating the Display
If you have a new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and the colors seem a bit dull and washed out compared to your previous Mac, you probably aren’t imagining things. Like most other hardware companies, Apple sources display panels from a variety of screen manufacturers, and though all the displays are of very high quality some show colors and contrasts a bit different than others. If your black levels seem more grey and colors aren’t really popping out, you just need to calibrate your display to resolve the dull color and low contrast issue, it’s easy to do and just takes a few minutes.
Before beginning, you may want to check the manufacturer of your display panel. Typically the Samsung displays don’t need calibration, whereas the LG displays do. Specifically for MacBook Air owners with LG displays, check this post to grab a pre-calibrated profile too.
Calibrating the Display to Correct Dull Colors & Contrasts
This works on any Mac and with any version of Mac OS X:
- Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose “Displays”
- Click the “Color” tab and then click the “Calibrate” button
- Check the “Expert Mode” box at the bottom of the screen and click continue
- Read the directions carefully and walk through the 7 step process of calibrating the display, save the profile and it will automatically be selected as the default
The difference in color representation and contrast should be significant after display calibration, you can immediately check the difference by clicking between the default “Color LCD” and the newly created calibration profile. Black and white levels should be more accurate, contrasts should be better, and colors should be more vibrant and accurate.
This isn’t a permanent change, and at any time you can recalibrate the display if you want to, and you can also return to the default color profile just by selecting “Color LCD” in the profile list.
Topmost image is a simulated representation on the difference between a calibrated and uncalibrated display, because calibration effects how screens display colors it is impossible to capture in a screen shot.