Windows 7 Photo Viewer gets very slow after display calibration. RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • When will there be a solution to the problem in which Windows 7 Photo Viewer slows down to a crawl after doing a 'Calibrate Display'?

    To replicate the problem, do the following:
    1) In Windows 7, open an image from a folder of images with Windows Photo Viewer, and press Next a few times to get a feel for how quick the images load.

    2) Calibrate your display by going to Right Click Desktop -> Screen Resolution -> Advanced Settings -> Color Management -> Color Management -> Advanced -> Calibrate Display

    3) Return to the same folder of images and start your stopwatch. Try opening a few images and pressing Next. Time how long it takes before you start smashing stuff in frustration.

    4) Now remove the calibration by going to Right Click Desktop -> Screen Resolution -> Advanced Settings -> Color Management -> Color Management -> Advanced -> Change System Defaults. Then click on the default profile (the one you are using now) and click Remove. The profile should have some string in it like 'calibrated' ( I forget, I just deleted mine ). Make sure the new default profile does not have the 'calibrated' string in it. When you click Remove you will probably note some change in the screen colors as another profile becomes the default.

    5) Marvel at how performance has been suddenly restored.

    Is there a timeline for a fix? Thanks

    • Changed type Arthur Xie Wednesday, August 25, 2010 6:50 AM
    Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:09 AM

All replies

  • Does anybody respond to these posts?

    I went to the effort of posting specific steps to replicate the problem, perhaps a succinct response isn't too much to ask?

    Monday, September 20, 2010 9:29 AM
  • Guess that's a no
    Friday, October 29, 2010 8:49 AM
  • I guess not. But thank you for the information. I had no idea why my photo viewer suddenly got slower. After reading your specific information I remembered that i had calibrated my screen, although I didnt have to change any values, it still slowed the photo viewer down to dial up style speed. Thank you again.

    Friday, February 11, 2011 4:12 AM
  • All I know is photo viewer can create huge print spool files compared to mspaint.


    Friday, February 11, 2011 2:15 PM
  • Thanks Sillycone! Nice to know my effort was appreciated by somebody.
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 4:43 PM
  • work like a charm
    Sunday, January 1, 2012 12:59 PM
  • Microsoft has only partially embraced color-management - i.e., the use of a profile to describe the color capabilities of a monitor.

    The operating system provides a place to associate color profiles with devices (such as your monitor), and system calls to retrieve that information.  But the system does not do the actual color management!

    It's up to each individual application, such as a photo editor or photo viewer program, to interpret the color profile associated with the device(s) it's using and make the appropriate transforms.  These transforms, which have to be applied to every single pixel of an image displayed, DO take some time to run, and on very slow computers the speed difference could be noticeable.  However, that's not the only possibility...

    The problem is, color profiles are not simple beasts - in fact they can be very, very complex, and worse, they can be flawed.  It's entirely possible that the problems where people are seeing major slowdowns are because the monitor color profile is actually bad.  Replacing it with the system default sRGB IEC61966-2.1 profile is one way to work around such a problem, but unless your monitor happens to be a very good match to the sRGB color space, you may have sped things up but made your colors inaccurate.

    How accurate is accurate enough?  That may vary.  A graphic artist or photographer may require near perfection, and be using a calibrator/profiler device to bring his monitor into compliance.  A user who doesn't need perfection might just be happy if red is red and blue is blue. 

    In the former case, if the calibrator/profiler package is producing a bad color profile (bad in that it causes Windows Photo Viewer to take an inordinate amount of time to run), then possibly a software update needs to be downloaded.  In the latter case, people above have already discovered the workaround:  Set the system back to using the default sRGB profile through the Color Management dialog's Devices and Advanced tabs.

    Hope this helps with understanding.



    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, January 1, 2012 3:32 PM
  • thank you for posting your question, it helped me solve my weird screen draw problems including photo viewer. reverted back back to srgb profile, fixed it. unfortunately color management seems to still be somewhat of a mess on windows. also thank you Noel for the explanation. 
    Saturday, January 7, 2012 5:21 AM