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In Windows 10, you can simply right-click on the .icc profile and click ‘Install Profile’ or you can copy the file to the following location: C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color. Next, you need to make some adjustments in the Control Panel all of which are described in the article.
What Is An ICC Profile?
ICC profiles are used in order to match the color values of your display with a particular device such as your camera, printer, scanner, etc. In other words, an ICC profile is a LUT (Look-Up Table) with certain properties of a color gamut where a particular color will be displayed as the exact shade of it, not just any random tone of that color.
When doing color-critical work in software such as Photoshop, it’s imperative to have a calibrated display/printer as you would, naturally, want to see the same results on the print as they are on your monitor.
Additionally, these ICC profiles can increase color accuracy of your monitor as well, if you manage to find the optimal profile for your display.
Keep in mind that the ICC presets work best with the particular monitor/graphics card or printer combo since they are based on the individual’s computer setup. So, even if you have the same monitor as the user’s ICC profile, the results won’t be exactly the same. In fact, even the monitor manufacturers change the panels of their monitors over time.
Regardless, you could still get an enhanced picture quality with better colors and settings. If you happen not to like it, you can always restore the settings to default. It’s also advisable to apply the recommended OSD settings that you find at the ICC profile database or wherever you have downloaded the profile from.
For the most accurate settings, however, you will have to use a hardware calibration device, also known as a colorimeter, for your own display – which is how you create the ICC profile in the first place.
How To Install ICC Profiles?
In Microsoft Windows, after you download the .icc profile, you can simply right-click on it and select ‘Install Profile’. If you can’t add ICC profile that way – which can be the case if you have already installed a profile before and want to replace it, copy the profile to the following folder location where the ICC profiles are stored: C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color.
Next, open the Color Management from the Control Panel. Tick ‘Use my settings for this device’ option, and then ‘Add…’ the ICC profile. After that, go to the ‘Advanced’ tab where you will have to click on the “Change system defaults” first, and then you can tick the ‘Use Windows display calibration’ and as simple as that – that’s how to load ICC profile.
This method works for installing the ICC profiles for Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 while MAC OS X users can copy the profiles to: ‘/Library/Colorsync/Profiles’ or ‘~/Library/Colorsync/Profiles’ depending on whether the profile should apply to the entire system or just a certain user.
If you’re not satisfied with the results, try manually fine-tuning your monitor calibration using Lagom test images.
There’s an excellent and free ICC software called ‘DisplayProfile‘ which you can use to easily store many ICC presets and quickly swap between them.
Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time on writing for DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.