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I recently bought a Dell XPS 15 with an Intel HD Graphics 530 installed.

Here is what my monitor should look like: displaying correctly

And this is what my monitor looks like when I say it is: washed out

So this problem seems to be occurring whenever I right click on my desktop, and select Graphics Options > Output To and then select my secondary display. However, the problem first occurred if I had an HDMI cable plugged in before I had unlocked the laptop.

Since then I attempted to uninstall the Intel HD Graphics driver, which caused the laptop to restart. Once restarted, the video card automatically reinstalled the driver and the problem appeared to go away. However, if I restarted the laptop again the problem returned. So the problem seems to disappear if the laptop is started without the driver installed, but if it is already installed on start up, then the problem occurs.

A peculiar thing I noticed as well is if I select 'Second screen only' from the Windows 10 project menu, the monitor will sometimes not appear washed out, however if I select it from the Intel HD Graphics menu, then it will appear washed out as long as the laptop booted up with the drivers already installed.

A couple other symptoms I noticed since trying to update the graphics driver are black right-angle triangles seem to appear on pop-up menus, but only on the secondary display. Also, the desktop background will go black and I will only be able to select colors from the personalize menu, not an image.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on and how I could fix this?

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This is what worked in my case. My monitor was being incorrectly detected as a HDTV with limited range and adding a custom resolution with "CVT-RB" timing fixed it.

You can add a custom resolution either in Intel HD Control panel > Display > Advanced > Add custom resolution or, in case you have newer drivers, you need to run CustomModeApp.exe manually (via Win+R), which is the same utility.

There you can add your custom resolution. When it asks if you'd like to overwrite the existing one, click yes. This should force the full RGB range and fix the washed out colors.

enter image description here

This is what you'd use for a standard FullHD monitor. Again, be sure to select CVT-RB.

  • This is a terrific, permanent fix, @blade. It associates the correct FullHD settings to a device that the Intel driver erroneously "detects" as a TV. By saving this custom setting and using it as default, the driver stops trying to revert to the wrong settings when the computer is restarted. Brilliant! I'd give this 5 votes if I could. – GGAnderson Jan 30 at 18:24
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How To Geek may have the answer! Essentially HDMI sometimes defaults to RGB Limited. You need to go into your graphics card control panel and change it to RGB Full. On Intel cards it's at the bottom of the General tab according to HTG's instructions.

  • Having fixed the problem, I've just tried setting it to RGB limited, and the result wasn't nearly as extreme as when the problem was occuring, so I think it was just due to a crumby driver to be honest. – arch Jan 8 '17 at 14:34
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Ok, so it turned out to be a case of Intel's driver not working properly. To fix it I downloaded the 11/9/2016 Intel Graphics Driver version (Version: 15.45.10.4542) from here.

However to get the installer to run I had to run it in Troubleshoot Compatability mode and run the installer using Windows 8 drivers as Intel hadn't upgraded to Windows 10 correctly.

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This is what worked for me. I think it might be the same root solution as @blade mentioned but with the new control panel. Intel HD Graphics Control Panel > Display > Quantization Range > Select Full Range.

Mine was previously set to 'Default Range' which gave the same result as Low Range. After selecting Full Range and then clicking Default Range, the problem did not reoccur, so I think the problem is that the default range is being incorrectly detected initially.

enter image description here

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