I have calibrated my monitor using a colorimenter, however I found out that the colors appear different in different applications. I have created two test images and opened them in several applications. Here are the comparisons:

Black to white gradient: https://i.sstatic.net/hrFVx.png
enter image description here

Red to 50% gray gradient: https://i.sstatic.net/CNys5.png enter image description here

As you can see, the gray levels are different in Photoshop and Lightroom. Then in the web browsers, Chrome and Firefox are quite similar to Lightroom, although Chrome's gray levels are a bit brighter. Internet Explorer and the Windows Photos app look darker and have more saturated colors.

Another comparison of this web page in Chrome and Edge: https://i.sstatic.net/ZBBhU.jpgenter image description here

In Windows Color Management, the ICC profile associated with my monitor device is set to my custom profile from the calibration (screenshot). enter image description here

Adobe Photoshop RGB working space is set to sRGB (screenshot). enter image description here

In Firefox, I have associated my ICC display profile and enabled full color management (screenshot). enter image description here

I don't know which colors are supposed to be "correct", because even my desktop wallpaper is shown with those more saturated and darker colors, so I am confused.

If I switch back to sRGB profile in Color Management, the colors are consistent in all programs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't use Windows, which I know has an odd way of handling colour-management, but my first thought would be that no app needs to be using your screen profile - the OS ought to be managing that. I'd say you have Photoshop set correctly in prefs, though without knowing your input data, whether to convert at input is unknown. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23, 2019 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


The files are exported in the sRGB profile, but that information is not embedded into the file. It will view correctly in applications that assume sRGB for png/untagged files. It will view differently in applications that do not.

If you tell photoshop to assign the correct (sRGB) color space to the file when opening the file it will appear correctly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I may have worded it incorrectly - I did embed the sRGB profile into the files. I did so in Photoshop by using the legacy Save for Web and ticked "Convert to sRGB" befors exporting. \$\endgroup\$
    – flamecze
    Mar 22, 2019 at 21:30
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ did you tick the other box that says "embed color profile?" Wen I saved the files and opened them in PS I got a "no profile" warning... \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22, 2019 at 21:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I suspect the sRGB tag gets stripped by imgur... is there really any software still in wide use that doesn't use sRGB as a fallback? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22, 2019 at 23:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @StevenKersting Thanks, I missed that embed option since I was using the legacy window. But even if I embed sRGB in the images, the problem is still there. It's not just the images themselves, but the entire websites seem to be off and kind of washed out . Here is a comparison of this website in Chrome vs Edge. \$\endgroup\$
    – flamecze
    Mar 23, 2019 at 0:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Properly set up Photoshop, Firefox, and Safari are your best bets for consistency and true replication/evaluation. Your Firefox setup looks good to me (assuming the monitor profile is good). I would check the ask option for missing profiles in your Photoshop settings. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2019 at 15:54

The settings you've shown look broadly correct. From the test, it's clear that IE 11 and "Photos" don't color manage, or don't do it correctly, at least with the current settings, so we can discount them. To explain the difference between the other four, we need to take into account the color management settings:

  • Rendering intent. Your Photoshop is set to Relative Colorimetric, whereas Firefox is set to Perceptual.
  • Black point compenstion. This shouldn't normally have effect for on-screen conversions, unless you have a special calibration target, but it may.
  • Color management engine. Photoshop has its own rendering engine (ACE), while Firefox and Chrome presumably employ the operating system for conversion. Color translation is a fairly complicated task and can be done in more than one way, both in terms of implementation and the math behind it.

These things most visibly affect colors at the edges of the gamut and brightness, which is what we are observing.

Photoshop has easy access to all three settings, so you can try to change them and see what actually is the culprit.

A few side notes:

  • For Firefox, you don't need to specify the path to your ICM profile (gfx.color_management.display_profile), as long as you set it in the OS (as you do). Next time you re-calibrate your monitor, you may forget to update it in Firefox.
  • The color_management settings in Firefox are some of those that don't take immediate effect. You actually need to restart the browser, and not even just reload the page(s).
  • Once set up correctly (which is not done by default for some reason), the current Firefox engine can be trusted in my experience, at least for general viewing. This is a good technical browser test. Photoshop too, but it does treat things slightly differently (perhaps better, but there is no "truth" to verify it).
  • Do yourself a favor and tick all three "Profile mismatches" checkboxes in Photoshop. As you see by your very question, if you color manage, you need to know what's happening. One missing or wrong link can ruin everything.
  • \$\begingroup\$ What this policy does is simply warning you what's happening (and offering different options to relsolve) instead of doing something quietly behind the scenes. This never hurts; in fact, it may lead to less conversion: for example, if you paste a screenshot to a new document, you may want to disable color management for it (or perhaps assign sRGB explicitly), which you can do with this policy, instead of needlessly assigning the working colorspace to it, which would happen by default. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Apr 18, 2019 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, I kind of misread - retract that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 18, 2019 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.