Installing an ICC profile on Microsoft Windows

The method for assigning the profile to a device and also using the embedded calibration curves is different for each version of Microsoft Windows.

Windows XP

Right click on the profile in Windows Explorer and click Install profile. This copies the profile to the correct directory automatically.

Then open Control Center ▸ Color and add the profile to the device.

If you are replacing an existing profile in Windows XP, the above shortcut does not work. The profiles must be manually copied to C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color for the original profile to be replaced.

Windows XP requires a program to be run at startup to copy the profile calibration curves into the video card. This can be done using Adobe Gamma, LUT Loader or by using the free Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet. Using the latter adds a new Color item to the control panel and allows the calibration curves from default profile to be easily set at each startup.

Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista mistakenly removes calibration curves from the video LUT after logon, after suspend, and when the UAC screen appears. This means you may have to manually reload the ICC profile calibration curves. If you are using profiles with embedded calibration curves you have to be very careful the calibration state has not been cleared.

Windows 7

Windows 7 supports a similar scheme to Linux, in that profiles can be installed system-wide or specific to the user. They are however stored in the same place. Right click on the profile in Windows Explorer and click Install profile or copy the .icc profile to C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color.

Open Control Center ▸ Color Management and then add the profile to the system by clicking the Add button. Click on the Advanced tab and look for Display Calibration. Calibration curve loading is enabled by the Use Windows display calibration checkbox but it is not sensitive. This can be enabled by clicking on Change system defaults and then returning to the Advanced tab and then clicking the checkbox.

Close the dialog and click Reload current calibrations to set the gamma ramps. The profile calibration curves should now be set for every boot.