Article ID: 000057132 Content Type: Troubleshooting Last Reviewed: 01/25/2022

Color Depth Shows 6-Bit Instead of 8-Bit or Higher


Troubleshooting steps to fix systems showing 6-bit instead of 8-bit or higher color depths.


The system shows 6-bit color depth support when it should be 8-bit or higher.


Intel® Graphics supports up to 12-bit color depth, but this may vary depending on the display. On the current Intel Graphics Driver, the color depth is set per the OS configuration by default. You can also manually set the color depth to 8, 10, or 12 bit starting with Intel® Graphics Command Center version 1.100.3407.0 for native HDMI connections (if supported by the display).

If the color depth is not appearing as expected, try the following:

  • Confirm that you are using the latest driver provided by your system manufacturer's (OEM) driver. OEM drivers are handpicked and include customized features and solutions to platform-specific issues. The generic Intel driver provides the latest feature enhancements and bug fixes that OEMs may not have customized yet to address platform-specific needs. Check your OEM website for OEM graphics drivers.
  • If the above doesn't work, you can try using an Intel generic graphics driver. Note that this will overwrite your OEM customized driver. If you want to proceed, we recommend performing a clean installation:
    1. Right-click the Windows Start button. Select Device Manager.
    2. Expand the section for Display adapters.
    3. Identify the Intel Graphics device among the options listed. Note the name and model number of the device listed,
    4. Access Download Center, search for the Intel Graphics model identified in step 3 using the Search box in the top-right corner.
    5. Select the driver from the list that is designated for Windows® 10.
    6. Download the .exe file.
    7. Disconnect from the internet to make sure the driver will not be automatically updated by Windows.
    8. Go back to the Intel Graphics entry in Device Manager using steps 1 and 2.
    9. Right-click on Intel Graphics and click Uninstall.
    10. In the device removal dialog box, check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
    11. Restart the computer after the removal is complete.
    12. Open Device Manager once more.
    13. Expand the Display Adapter section again.
      • If the graphics entry still displays Intel Graphics, repeat steps 8-11.
      • If the graphics entry displays Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, run the previously downloaded .exe file to install the driver.
    14. Reboot the computer when prompted.

If the installation is unsuccessful with the .exe file, try installing the driver using the .zip file:

  1. Save the .zip file from Download Center on the computer.
  2. Follow steps 9-11 above until the driver in the Device Manager displays as Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. Go to where the .zip file is saved and unzip it.
  3. Right-click the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter.
  4. Select Update driver.
  5. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
  6. Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  7. Click Have Disk.
  8. Click Browse. Select the location where the driver files are located.
  9. Click Next. Drivers are being installed.
  10. Reboot the computer when prompted.

Other considerations:

  • Check that your Operating System (OS) is up to date. Refer to Microsoft's* recommended actions to update the OS.
  • Update the system BIOS to the latest version provided by the OEM to make sure that the Video BIOS is also updated. (check downloads and recommendations with OEM).
  • This issue can be caused by a hardware limitation in the monitor (also the built-in display). Check with the OEM to see if the monitor supports 8-bit or higher color depths and not 6-bit with Frame Rate Control (FRC) or dithering techniques.

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