I think somewhere, something got installed but I have no idea what or how to fix it :(

Basically, my old MacBook Pro running 10.5 Leopard had a problem where on boot it would show everything on the screen in a very sort of crunched color space. Everything below 15% white would just be pure black, everything above 85% white would be pure white and all colors look to be a touch more saturated. It's garish.

To fix it, I found that I could boot into almost any fullscreen 3D game. When the game launches, the colors would still be off, but when I then quite the game and return the desktop everything is normal again. I've noticed Blizzard games work most reliably for this (World of Warcraft or Starcraft2).

This problem has followed me through the years. When I upgraded to an iMac I migrated everything over to it, and the issue now happens on the iMac too. I then got a new MacBook Pro for work and migrated my iMac over to that, and it has the problem too. I had thought that it was an OS bug, but upgrading to 10.6 Snow Leopard didn't fix it and neither did 10.7 Lion. Furthermore I can't find any reference on any forum or help site where anyone else has this problem.

If anyone has any idea what processes or settings or apps I should look at to figure out why this is happening I should would appreciate it! It looks sort of irresponsible when I open my laptop in the office to work and then boot up Starcraft 2 full screen...

  • 1
    Have you used System Preferences > Displays > Color to calibrate the display? – William Jackson Jul 21 '11 at 17:46
  • I have but I dont really know what I am doing in there and I just accepted all the defaults. And given that it's a problem on my main iMac built in display not sure there is much to calibrate. But either it doesn't explain why a game would launching and quitting would set everything right again until the next reboot. – Alex Wayne Jul 21 '11 at 17:51
  • How did you make those migrations? Things to try: Make a new user account, boot the machine and log into it. Does the issue persist? Boot from your install disk. Does the issue persist? – JRobert Jul 23 '11 at 19:34

In System Preferences, and then under Universal Access, there is an enhanced contrast option. Mine was about 1/4 of the way up, moving it back to normal fixed the issue. I'm guessing there is some sort of key command that changes it and I never noticed.


Try resetting your PRAM. Instructions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379.

Alternatively, delete any ICC colour profiles in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Displays/

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