The connected display is hooked up through the HDMI port on the laptop and the color looks much lighter, but when I close the lid to the laptop it gets darker and actually looks darker and significantly better. What causes this to happen?

Things I've tried...

Driver updates, manufacture software, power management settings, Color Management Settings, different monitor, different cable, different laptop of the same manufacture, and different laptop from different manufacture.

I've spent the last 2 weeks running through all the hoops with both Microsoft and Dell, along with looking into the 3 other posts about this on the internet. If anyone can solve this I'd be ecstatic.

Visual References - (Images are grayscale, not the issue just for the visual reference) (Ignore the wavy lines)

Original Image, grabbed off the internet and uploaded directly to here. Original Image

Screenshot of original Image in this post (If this image is different from the original on your screen, then the issue is definitely 100% Not hardware related) SC Of Original

Photo of the external monitor with Lid Closed - Image taken with camera. Darker darks. Looks normal. Color when lid Closed

Photo of the external monitor with Lid Open - Image taken with camera. Much lighter darks. Does not look normal. enter image description here

Color Management Settings

Display 1 Display 2 System Defaults

Another example showing the epic launcher

Photo of the external monitor with Lid Open - Image taken with camera. Much lighter darks. Does not look normal. Lid Open

Photo of the external monitor with Lid Closed - Image taken with camera. Darker darks. Looks normal. enter image description here

  • Update: when changing the display option from "extend these displays" to "show only on 2" the color is fine. But switching back to extend messes it all up again. Oct 27, 2022 at 6:35
  • Try setting a default colour profile for your internal screen. this is very likely a profiling issue, something Windows is notorious for. Best guess is it's applying one icc profile to both screens, then just one & isn't sure which is which. [btw, your first comparison doesn't really work, because you've used an original image which is an untagged 8-bit greyscale, yet your screenshot is, of course, interpreting that as sRGB; so there's already a colour[/gamma]-shift.]
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2022 at 7:47
  • It seems strange that the computer doesn't know the device name of the internal display & thinks it's just generic, so it doesn't know which profile it should have as default.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2022 at 7:51
  • Setting a default icc profile to both had zero effect on the display. Oct 27, 2022 at 16:43
  • Ah, OK. We're past my limited knowledge of how Windows handles this, I'm afraid. I just know it's intransigently cussed regarding multiple display profile adoption. Something has got itself determinedly stuck somewhere. [This is one of the reasons people tend to use Macs for graphics… and that's not any kind of 'platform wars' statement, it just is far easier to handle this type of structure.] I wonder if it would be worthwhile setting up two manually-defined profiles, even if they're guesswork rather than actually calibrated, & see if it can hold onto both correctly.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2022 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


I finally solved it!

So, the solution as usual was super simple.

  1. Open the Nvidia Control panel (or the control panel for your graphics card if intel or amd)
  2. Go to display and select resolution.
  3. Under "Apply the following settings" - Select the "Use NVIDIA color settings" and set the "Output dynamic range:" to "FULL"

Nvidia Control Panel NvidiaControlPanel

enter image description here

Credit goes to this article on HowToGeek.com https://www.howtogeek.com/285277/how-to-avoid-washed-out-colors-when-using-hdmi-on-your-pc/

  • 1
    I'm really glad you got it, but 'ye goddes' why do they still insist on having two sets of graphics 'master controls'? One system, one by the GPU manufacturer. It's no wonder Windows is abysmal for accurate colour work. There's no way anyone could guess that was the right button to press. It also makes any icc profile you set far more likely to be inaccurate, because it doesn't know what it should be compensating for. It makes a Photoshop workflow setup look simple by comparison. :\
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2022 at 19:44
  • Oh… I just discovered the tech spec "84% sRGB (CIE 1976) colour gamut, 72% sRGB (CIE 1931) colour gamut" so it doesn't have any colour accuracy at all… forget accurate profiling [sorry].
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2022 at 19:56

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