Chrome OS Beta Channel update fixes “washed out” external display issues

Back in June, some Chromebook users reported that the output on external displays was “washed out”. Colors and images were fine on the Chromebook’s internal screen but when viewing the same thing on an external monitor over HDMI, things didn’t look quite the same.

Here’s a comparison to illustrate the problem:

Colors can be seen on the Chromebook display
The external display showing the same image is washed out

After three months of troubleshooting and various attempts to fix the issue, it appears that Chrome OS 69.0.3497.87 Beta Channel fixes the problem. Several happy Chromebook users report that this bug is squashed on their devices, however, one person says the issue remains when using Chrome OS’ Night Light feature; this changes the internal display to an amber color to reduce blue light.

Even with that nit still remaining, if you use an external monitor with your Chromebook or a Chromebox, you might want to give the Beta Channel a try if you can’t wait for the fix to hit Stable. Disclaimer: Moving from the Stable to the Beta Channel won’t delete your local Chrome OS data but you may encounter other bugs that are not in the Stable Channel.

About the author

Kevin C. Tofel has covered technology since 2004. He's used ChromeOS since Google debuted the CR-48 in 2010, reviewing dozens of Chromebooks since then. He worked for Google's Chrome Enterprise team from 2016 to 2017, supporting the launch of Android app support. In his free time, he uses Chromebooks to learn software engineering at Launch School. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS Curriculum Committee at his local community college.

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4 thoughts on “Chrome OS Beta Channel update fixes “washed out” external display issues

  1. Just to mention it, readers have sometimes harshly criticized authors after those authors suggested that readers might consider taking advantage of a coming Chrome OS feature by leaving the stable channel temporarily. Most but not all Chomebook users are aware of the consequences that result from moving back to the stable channel. Specifically, that move incurs a Powerwash that permanently deletes from that device all user data that wasn’t synchronized to the Cloud. To avoid being being irresponsible stewards, many authors go out of their way to attach a disclaimer that articulates that risk whenever making such a suggestion to their readers.

  2. This is still a problem on ChromeOS. Tried with 4 different chromebooks. Colors are still washed out and dull, where WIndows desktops on the same monitor look great and vivid. This is at 1080p, btw.

  3. This is 2022 and the issue still persist. Still getting washed out colours on external 1080p display from Acer Spin 713. The internal display 1440p and looks great but the external display is washed out. Noticed, if I lower the resolution of my external display then the colours return to normal, only the native 1080p is washed out.

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