With Windows 11 2022 Update in the wild for nearly a month and Microsoft ramping up the rollout, the company is now talking about some of the lesser-discussed new features. Among them is Auto Color Management (ACM) updates that vastly improve PCs with Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) displays.

Windows has had support for color management APIs for years, decades in fact. These APIs would ass extra functionality to apps that wanted to boost their color output. Still, many developers simply used standard sRGB space without any help from Windows.

In Windows 11, Auto Color Management (ACM) offers a more efficient version of the process by providing even more color management control. For any app not using HDR or other color gamuts, they can now be mapped to the sRGB color space at a system level with more consistency.

According to Microsoft, Windows 11 2022 Update offers more colors, less artifacts, and more detailing. Apps using ACM can also leverage the ICM/WCS APIs on the native gamut of the display. Microsoft also points out that Advanced Color APIs are available to combine both gamuts.

Minimum specifications are:

  • Dynamic range (luminance): higher than sRGB’s 0-100 nit range
  • Color gamut: wider than sRGB’s color primaries
  • Precision/bit depth: greater than 8 bits per color channel”

Developer Requirements

Developers looking to test ACM with their apps will need to have the following requirements:

  • “Windows 11, version 22H2 (10.0; Build 22621) release
  • WDDM driver version 3.0 or greater
  • Supported GPU
    • AMD
      • AMD RX 400 Series or later
      • AMD Ryzen processors with Radeon Graphics
    • Intel
      • Integrated: Intel 12th Gen (Alder Lake) or later
      • Discrete: Intel DG1 or later
  • NVIDIA
    • NVIDIA GTX 10xx or later (Pascal+)
  • There are no hard requirements on the display or connection – ACM can provide benefits even on 8-bit sRGB panels. However, we strongly recommend ACM devices to have panels with a wider-than-sRGB gamut, and optionally 10-bits per color channel or greater.”

Tip of the day: File History is a Windows back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.