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How to assign an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor (Windows)


Senior Member
Jun 19, 2009
Zurich, Switzerland
Lightroom Experience
Sometimes you might want to assign an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor to verify whether a display problem is caused by a corrupt monitor profile. Lightroom is “good” in detecting problems in a monitor profile, it sometimes shows a problem with a monitor profile while other (even color-managed) applications still work OK. Possible symptoms of a corrupt monitor profile include (but are not limited to):
  • Color casts
  • No image displayed (gray boxes)

Assigning an sRGB ICC Profile does not solve the problem (see 5, "Permanent Solution" at the bottom of this article), but it establishes a known environment in order to “prove” the problem lies with the monitor profile.

1) Windows 7/Vista:
To assign an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor in Windows7/Vista, follow these steps:

  • Open Color Management by clicking the Start button, typing color management in the search box, and choose Color Management:

  • A window like the following will come up:
    • Click the Devices tab
    • From the Device list, select your monitor entry. In case you are not sure about which monitor to choose, press "Identify monitors". This will display a large number on your displays for identification.
    • Select the Use my settings for this device check box
    • Make a note of the currently active ICC Profile (the one marked "default")
    • Click Add ...

  • In the upcoming Associate Color Profile dialog box, click sRGB IEC61966-2.1 in the list, and then click OK:
    • If you see more than one sRGB IEC61966-2.1 in the list as in the screen shot above, chose the sRGB Color Space Profile.icm profile.

  • Back in the Color Management dialog, click the newly added sRGB IEC61966-2.1 profile and click Set as Default Profile:

  • The sRGB IEC61966-2.1 profile will now be used as the default profile for your monitor:

  • Click Close

2) Windows XP
To assign an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor in Windows XP, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on your DeskTop and choose Properties

  • In the Display Properties dialog, choose the Settings tab and click Advanced:

  • A window like the following will come up:
    • Choose the the Color Management tab

  • In the Color Management dialog:
    • Make a note of the currently active ICC Profile (the one under Default monitor profile)
    • Click Add …

  • In the upcoming Add Profile Association dialog box, click sRGB Color Space Profile.icm in the list, and then click Add:

  • Back in the Color Management dialog, click the newly added sRGB Color Space Profile and click Set As Default:

  • Click OK

If you are using more than one monitor under Windows XP and you want to be able to assign different monitor profiles to each monitor, you have to download and install the Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP from here:

3) Restart Lightroom

After the sRGB ICC Profile has been assigned to your monitor,
you have to restart Lightroom for the changes to take effect.

4) To revert back to the previously assigned monitor profile

If assigning an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor did not “resolve” your problems, you can revert back to the previously assigned profile by following these steps:
  • Enter color management again
  • Select the ICC Profile which had “Default” assigned to it before the change
  • Click Set Default Profile
  • Click Close/OK

5) Permanent Resolution

If your monitor problems seem resolved after assigning an sRGB ICC Profile to your monitor, this merely proves that your problems lie with the monitor profile and that your monitor profile mostprobably is corrupt.

The sRGB profile is not a solution though, because it is a working space, not a device profile. With the sRGB profile installed, all of your color-managed applications may look the same, but they're all equally wrong. Only by installing a proper monitor profile can you get everything the same and right.

To permanently solve your problem, you need to install a new ICC Profile for your monitor, which matches the characteristics of your monitor.

To do so, you preferably calibrate/profile your monitor using a a hardware colorimeter or photospectrometer and its associated software. Google for “i1 Display”, “colormunki display” or "Spyder 3" just to name a few of them.
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