Microsoft to enable “Auto HDR” for 1000+ DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 PC games

Published: 17th Mar 2021, 18:03 GMT   Comments

Microsoft announces Auto HDR – automatic HDR for existing games

Following the launch AutoHDR feature for the Xbox Series S/X game console, Microsoft is now bringing this technology to PCs.

For now, this technology is only available through Windows Insider Program, but it will eventually be released to all gamers. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) can now be enabled on all HDR-capable monitors, but to actually see HDR content in games, software developer support is required. This will change once Auto HDR will be available to all Windows users.

Auto HDR will automatically adjust the color and luminance on monitors to enable a more immersive and realistic experience, Microsoft claims. What is important is that Auto HDR will work even in DirectX 11 games. The company announced that 1000+ DX11 and DX12 games will be supported with this technology, should users decide to enable it through Windows HD Color Settings.

Microsoft demonstrated Auto HDR in Gears 5 which has native HDR support. A comparison between native SDR, Auto HDR, and Native HDR shows that luminance has been adjusted for the same parts in the frame compared to Native HDR. Of course, Native HDR will still be better, but it’s a big upgrade over SDR image already.

Luminance heatmap showing SDR, Auto HDR and Native HDR, Source: Microsoft

Microsoft is still fixing bugs and optimizing the performance of the Auto HDR based on users’ feedback. The company has not yet confirmed when the technology will be released in a public Windows build.


  • Windows Insider Program (Dev Channel) build 21337
  • HDR certified monitor

Enabling Auto HDR

  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.


Source: Microsoft

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