Chrome Color Management is Finally Working

From the day it came out, Chrome has been my favorite Internet browser. It is very fast, has plenty of integration with Google services, very few bugs and it is not heavy on resources like some other browsers. However, one of the biggest issues that I have had with it for a number of years now, was its lack of support for embedded ICC profiles on PCs with the Windows operating system. Because of this, I had to switch between Firefox (which is color managed) and Chrome when viewing websites, which was very inconvenient. And now we have great news. Finally, after the last couple of years of customer complaints, Google has now addressed this issue and fixed support for ICC profiles in its current beta version of Chrome (version 22). This means that you can safely use Chrome for viewing all photography websites and the colors will be reproduced properly.

Here is how my page “is your browser color-managed” now looks like in Chrome:

Chrome Color Management

Mac users have had a color managed version of Chrome for a while now and now PC users can rejoice as well. In order to get this functionality though, you will need to get the latest beta release from the Google Chrome Beta page. Once you install/update Chrome Beta, visit the above link from our site and make sure that both images look the same. If they do, you are all set!


Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) MarkL

    FINALLY! It has been ridiculous for the past 4 years that I had to switch between FF and Chrome.

  2. 2
    ) Alexis C.

    Thank you SO much for posting this. I’m trying it out now, with great results. I was getting VERY tired of crashy, pokey FF.

  3. 3
    ) Alexey

    Nasim, thank you for your articles.
    Can you explain how to work with color management (may be in new article) in postprocessing photos?
    Can you give some recomendations how to build a workflow?
    Thank you

  4. 4
    ) Pravin

    Nasim, Thanks for posting this article.

    IE9 (according to this link http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Graphics/ColorProfiles/) support ICC color profile versions 2 and 4. But FF and Chrome (beta 22) support only ICC version 2.

    I primarily use FF (because I knew it was the only color managed browser). I was unaware about IE9 and ICC profile support and so was pleasantly surprised.

    Does it matter in real life if FF and Chrome does not support ICC profile version 4? Can you please comment?

    • 8
      ) noname

      IE9 isn’t color managed. What it does, is it converts any image tagged as not sRGB to sRGB, and then completely disregards the installed display color profile.
      So, no, it doesn’t support ICCv4. It’s completely broken.

  5. Hi Nazim.

    The images look the same in both Chrome. FF and IE9. I expected this in FF and Chrome, but not in IE9. Is this because I manage my monitor calibration with a Huey calibrator anyway so it’s already colour managed please? I have a Huey standard calibrator, but others recommend the Xrite products, I have noticed that with Huey that yellows present themselves more like orangy/yellow. Your advice will be welcomed please.

    I always have found monitor and print colour management a bit of a dark art!

    Richard

    • Sorry ” I have noticed that with Huey that yellows present themselves more like orangy/yellow”, I mean when printed, not in the monitor.

      • 10
        ) Tomas

        And this, sir, is not true. Try it.

        • 11
          ) Richard

          Tomas. I am sorry, but I don’t have a clue what you are talking about!

  6. 7
    ) Efun

    So Chrome can now handle tagged images fine… but untagged images still appear incorrect. Is there any way to make untagged images appear as if they are sRGB tagged? I have a high gamut display, but Firefox handles this fine (by selecting “Enable color management for: All images” rather than just for “Only images with ICC tags”).

    I would simply use Chrome’s “–enable-monitor-profile”, but for some reason this appears to have stopped working (at least on Windows 8).

    • 14
      ) Adion

      I have the same problem, many websites now display over-saturated since this latest chrome beta.

  7. 9
    ) Steve

    I installed Chrome Beta and colour management seemed to be working with the two test images. Unfortunately my Flickr stream now looks desaturated and pretty terrible quite frankly.
    I’m not sure what to do, go back and assign a different colour space to my images or leave them in sRGB and add 10 saturation in LR or CS6.

    I have always shot in AdobeRGB which looks over saturated without a colour managed browser and so compensated accordingly and exported files as sRGB rather than the original files AdobeRGB.
    I’ve actually gone back to Chrome stable so I don’t have to deal with it right now…

    Even if I did go back and change all my online photos, what good does that do when most people are not using a colour managed browser, I’d be faced with the same over saturation problem again – at least for the majority of people viewing my shots.

    Using a Dell U3011 IPS screen which is damn sweet for photography, any advice?

    Cheers,
    Steve

  8. 12
    ) Lewis

    Annoyingly Chrome is partially colour aware. It picks the profile of the monitor it starts on. If I start Chrome with only my internal laptop display and then connect my profiled U2711 monitor and drag the window over, it does not use the AdobeRGB profile on the U2711. The result is oversaturated images on the U2711. Restarting Chrome fixes this.

  9. 13
    ) mary

    reading this thread, i’m hoping you can help me! i am noticing recently that the photos uploaded via chrome look horribly contrasty and dark, especially on facebook, but also on smugmug and gmail picture viewer. No problem with colors.

    IE9 renders them just like in ps5 and lightroom.

    it’s frightening, what others may be seeing. How are we to know?

    i’m not as savvy as you guys, plus i’m blonde – so go slow! ;-)

  10. 15
    ) sveto

    Sorry, Nasim, but no – it’s not working. I just installed v.25.xxx to try it out and this page is still broken: http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Graphics/ColorProfiles/

    Chrome don’t even output the color to the monitor color space, just generic sRGB, so on my wide gamut NEC everything is oversaturated. :(

    • 16
      ) sveto

      Correction, ‘–enable-monitor-profile’ now seems to work, but it has to be put INCLUDING the quotation marks into the target row of the shortcut (“–enable-monitor-profile”) .

      But, strange thing is, some text still has funky colors.

      • 17
        ) sveto

        Correction 2: While “–enable-monitor-profile” seems to work, some colors are still a bit oversaturated, so something is not right. I guess since color profiles of images are not working (test failed @ http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Graphics/ColorProfiles/), sRGB tagged images appear strange. I give up – back to FF.

        • 18
          ) sveto

          Correction 3: *Untagged* images seem to be skipped by the color management. sRGB are fine.

  11. 19
    ) David

    Hi Nasim,

    I really enjoy this blog and your teams’ informative contributions.

    Since I could not locate a thread devoted to sRBG vs Adobe RBG, this one is the closest.

    Even though you use AdobeRBG settings, do you recommend amateurs & semi-pros who shoot in RAW + JPEG to also do so? Ken Rockwell suggests using sRGB but most other Pros recommend Adobe RGB.

    Could you provide some good insights and rationales on Adobe RGB over sRBG?

    I shoot with Nikon D800 and use Lightroom for post. Does Adobe RGB have a significant effect on JPEGs rendered by Nikon EXPEED3? 14 bit vs 16 bit processing?

    Thanks,
    David

  12. Thanks.!

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