Microsoft is Bringing Auto HDR to Windows 10

After months of waiting, Microsoft is finally going to bring Auto HDR to Windows 10.

Adding Auto HDR to thousands of DirectX 11/12 titles should improve the sales of HDR-compatible monitors.

Microsoft has said that this new feature will let gamers "automatically get awesome HDR visuals in an additional 1000+ DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games".

What Makes Auto HDR So Important?

The Xbox Series S/X launched with Auto HDR and made it possible to enjoy older SDR titles in HDR.

The name Auto HDR refers to the AI-based technology Microsoft developed that converts SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) to HDR (High Dynamic Range) in real-time.

Microsoft first launched the Auto HDR feature alongside the Xbox Series S/X consoles back in November 2020. This allowed the said consoles to essentially upgrade the visuals of backward-compatible games.

To cut things short, it's a feature that makes it possible for older titles to look significantly better on newer hardware by taking advantage of its more powerful components.

Although some newer titles already natively support HDR, a vast majority still don't.

By making Auto HDR readily available to a lot of gamers, Microsoft hopes to give gamers "an amazing new gaming experience". However, to take full advantage of this update, you'll need to have an HDR-capable monitor for your PC first.

With that said, Microsoft has already made the feature available to a select few.

Users in the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program will be able to access Auto HDR via the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337 released just recently. It should be enabled automatically. But, if not, you can simply toggle it on by navigating over to the "Display" part of "Settings".

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Just keep in mind that the feature is currently in preview. This means that not all DirectX 11/12 games will support it just yet.

Does This Mean That Auto HDR Will Become Mainstream?

If you want to take advantage of the update, you'll need to have the right hardware and an HDR-capable monitor.

In all likelihood, yes.

Already, gamers are heaping praise on Microsoft for adding Auto HDR to the Xbox Series S/X consoles. This has made it possible to enjoy older titles in SDR as if they were released more recently by improving the visuals in HDR.

All in all, Auto HDR helps improve the immersion factor of gaming, which, in turn, makes the gameplay experience all that more enjoyable.

With that said, adding Auto HDR to the Windows 10 platform will only make its benefits more known to far more people.

More Changes Coming to Windows 10

The latest version of Windows 10 will receive more than just the Auto HDR feature. It will include an update to the File Explorer, improvements to Virtual Desktops, and even a couple of changes to Notepad, as well as other built-in apps.

In particular, we will soon have customizable backgrounds, and in addition, an upcoming update will make it easier to order the desktops. Meanwhile, Microsoft intends to add padding in between File Explorer elements to make it more touch-friendly. But, at the same time, Microsoft doesn't want to alienate those who prefer the older style, which is why it'll still be available.

Lastly, Microsoft will add Windows Terminal and Power Automate Desktop to the apps bundled with Windows 10.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.