Microsoft has announced a series of improvements to the Auto HDR feature for games on Windows 11. With the latest updates to the Xbox Game Bar app, you can now adjust the intensity of the HDR effect, quickly enable or disable it, and more. Some of the new features are available to everyone right now, while others are only available to Insiders.
If you’re not aware, Auto HDR is a feature that allows games that don’t natively support HDR to benefit from HDR-capable monitors. It was introduced with Windows 11, and it’s one of the big highlights for gaming on the new OS. Of course, if a game natively supports HDR; it won’t be affected by this feature.
The most noteworthy of the new features coming to Auto HDR is a new intensity slider available in the Xbox Game Bar interface. With this slider, you can adjust how bright or dim you want the colors to be in your game. It’s a simple slider, with the lowest level being equivalent to turning Auto HDR off, and the highest level offering the most intense colors. Auto HDR intensity is saved for each game, so you can have different levels for different games and not worry about having to switch between levels every time you launch one of those titles. This option can be found in the Game Bar settings, under the Gaming features section.
Also in this section is a new option to disable or enable Auto HDR altogether. Previously, this option was only available in the Windows11 Settings app itself, but now it’s a little easier to access in the middle of a game, which is a welcome change.
Those two features are available to all Windows 11 users right now, but if you’re a Windows Insider, you also have a couple more. First off, Microsoft is working on adding multi-GPU support for Auto HDR games, such as systems using NVIDIA’s SLI or AMD CrossFire technology. This should enable you to use Auto HDR in more games running in a setup like this.
The last of the features is more of a convenience thing, and it has to do with notifications. If you’ve been bothered by the excessive number of notifications from Auto HDR while gaming, the feature is registered in the Windows 11 notifications settings (Settings -> System -> Notifications). That means you can disable notifications altogether or tweak them to your preference so you won’t be bothered by them anymore.
These are welcome additions, but we’re also still waiting on another big HDR improvement Microsoft announced a few months ago. The company is working on an HDR Calibration app for Windows 11, similar to what’s available on Xbox, to make the experience work as well as possible on all different kinds of monitors. That should be major news for some users, so hopefully we’ll hear more about that in the near future.