Windows 10 will add Auto HDR to over 1,000 PC games

Lg 38wn95c W Hdr
Lg 38wn95c W Hdr (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Auto HDR support is currently being tested on Windows 10.
  • The feature adds Auto HDR to over 1,000 PC games.
  • The feature is currently available for testing for Windows Insiders in the Dev channel.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is on its way to over 1,000 PC games, courtesy of a new feature that Microsoft is testing out. Auto HDR is already available on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and now it's on its way to Windows 10. The Auto HDR feature is now available on Windows 10 build 21337 or above, which is available to Windows Insiders in the Dev channel.

Microsoft outlines the new feature in a DirectX Developer Blog post (opens in new tab):

While some game studios develop for HDR gaming PCs by mastering their game natively for HDR, Auto HDR for PC will take DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 SDR-only games and intelligently expand the color/brightness range up to HDR. It's a seamless platform feature that will give you an amazing new gaming experience that takes full advantage of your HDR monitor's capabilities. The Auto in the title implies how easy it is for you to enable the feature; a simple settings toggle flip will let you turn the feature on and off.

Auto HDR will work with over 1,000 DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games, greatly expanding the library of PC games with a form of HDR.

Microsoft shares an image as in example comparing Gears 5 with SDR, Auto HDR, and native HDR.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Gears 5 has a native HDR experience, so as you'd expect, it is the best of the bunch. That being said, the Auto HDR experience looks much better than the SDR one.

To appreciate this Auto HDR, you'll need a monitor that supports it. Luckily, many of the best computer monitors support HDR.

If you aren't a Windows Insider, you can easily join the program. Just be aware that you'll be using prerelease software, so you may not want to run it on your main PC.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

4 Comments
  • This is awesome!
  • Way overdue. Games outside of the Microsoft Store are already capable of independently automatically enabling HDR, it's absurd to expect people to go into settings and enable HDR every time they want to load up Forza Horizon 4 or such.
  • I may have misunderstood your comment, but this feature isn't about automatically enabling HDR. It's about adding Auto HDR to games that don't have native HDR.
  • Wait, do you mean that it's up to the publisher to enable this feature? I thought from the article that it would just happen automatically for certain DX11 and 12 games and was purely a user choice, not requiring anything from the publisher, no?