Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware 44 44 people found this article helpful How to Test and Adjust a Monitor's Settings Get the most out of your monitor by calibrating the settings by Mark Casey Writer Mark Casey was a Lifewire writer who specialized in computing and technology, including reviewing PC components and peripherals. our editorial process LinkedIn Mark Casey Updated on January 12, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Monitors The Ultimate Guide to Monitors Introduction Monitor Basics All About HD PC Monitors TVs vs. Monitors CRT vs. LCD Monitors Learn About Refresh Rates 3D Computer Displays CRT Monitor Resolution Specifications Why You Need a Second Monitor Add or Connect a Monitor Is Having More Than One Display Useful? Add a Second Monitor to Your Windows Laptop How to Connect Your Computer to Your TV You Can Use Your Old iMac as a Monitor How to Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor Calibrate It Yourself Why Monitor Calibration Is Essential Adjusting a Monitor's Settings Why Printer Colors Don't Match Monitor Colors Color Gamuts on LCD Monitors Troubleshooting Issues Testing a Monitor That Isn't Working Fix a Second Monitor Not Working Checking for Loose Power Cables How to Degauss a Traditional CRT Monitor Can Burn-In Happen to LCD Monitors? How to Change Refresh Rate in Windows Our Recommendations: Best Monitors The Best Computer Monitors The Best 4K Monitors The Best 27-Inch LCD Monitors The Best 24-Inch LCD Monitors The Best 32-Inch Monitors The Best USB-C Monitors The Best Monitors for Coding The Best Curved Monitors The Best 5K & 8K Computer Monitors The Best Touchscreen Monitors The Best Ultra-Wide Monitors Maskot / Getty Images Tweet Share Email If you're a graphic designer, video editor, or someone who watches lots of videos on your computer, then you may want to adjust your monitor's settings. Here's how to conduct a monitor test to make sure your display is properly calibrated. Information in this article applies broadly to different types of PC monitors. Consult your device's manual or the manufacturer's website for further guidance. Different Types of Monitors A monitor's quality is not just defined by its age or the condition of the physical screen, but also by the display technology. For example, the maximum screen quality differs for CRT and LCD displays. There's also a noticeable quality difference between IPS LCD and TFT LCD monitors. Familiarize yourself with the capabilities and limitations of your device before you start making adjustments. Manual Monitor Testing The best way to make sure your computer screen isn't too dark, too bright, or otherwise imbalanced is to view different material and adjust your monitor as you go. Look for high-quality images with lots of colors, high definition (HD) videos, and games with 3D graphics while calibrating your display. On most desktops, you can adjust your screen's color and brightness settings by playing around with the physical buttons on the face or side of the monitor. Some displays also have a menu button that brings up more options on the screen. Laptops often have buttons on the keyboard for controlling brightness and contrast. On Windows PCs, you can control the screen orientation, default text size, dual monitor setup, and other settings in the Control Panel. Free Online Monitor Calibration Tools People who use their monitor for professional purposes may be more picky when it comes to video and image quality. Several websites and programs exist to help you tweak your settings from objective source material like color diagrams and test patterns. There are a number of free monitor testing tools at Lagom.nl. Choose a test and read the instructions to learn how the images should appear so that you know what needs calibrating. You can test the contrast, display setting, clock and phase, sharpness, gamma calibration, black level, white saturation, gradient, inversion, response time, viewing angle, contrast ratio, and subpixel layout. EIZO Monitor Test is another free online monitor test that's similar to Lagom.nl. All of the tools at Lagom.nl are available for download so that you can use them when you don't have an internet connection. Professional Monitor Calibration Tools There are also professional monitor testing programs, and many of them offer a free trial version. For example, Passmark's MonitorTest software gives you a full-screen view of various tests. MonitorTest works with all resolutions and multiple monitor setups. It also supports looped testing and over 30 different pattern tests. A similar (non-free) program is DisplayMate. Other monitor testers, like NVIDIA's GeForce, come packaged with certain video card drivers. Common Monitor Terms Explained Some terms monitors use in their settings menu can be confusing or redundant. Here's an explanation of common monitor settings: Color: Increasing or decreasing the color setting will affect the color saturation, or how deep and bold the colors appear. Turn it up all the way to see how there can be such a thing as "too much color."Brightness: Changing the brightness will make your screen darker or lighter. Try it when your surroundings are dark and well-lit to make sure the screen is optimized for both conditions.Sharpness: Increasing sharpness will make the edges of your picture darker and more defined. Having this set too low results in a soft, hazy picture.Tint: The tint setting varies based on the manufacturer. On some displays, it can affect the color as well as the dimness.