Spyder5 calibration: troubleshooting

If you’ve ended up at this page, you must be frustrated, and I don’t blame you. Calibration should be a straightforward process, but for a small unlucky minority, it’s a PITA. Something must be wrong somewhere.

Here are a few things to consider …

  • The Spyder5 range has been designed for modern screens. That is, LED ones. If you have an older screen that is pre-LED technology, this might explain your troubles.
  • If your screen is LED, it’s time to ask yourself frankly if it’s a good enough screen. This is particularly relevant if you have a cheap PC laptop, or all-in-one. Those things just aren’t very good, you know?

Even if it isn’t a very good screen, let’s not run out to the computer store straight away …

  • Is there another computer in your house you can try calibrating? It would be good to check that the calibrator itself is ok. Heck, even if you have to drive over to your BFF’s house and try calibrating their computer, it’s worth the drive. Have a wine and a gossip while you’re there.
  • Is there desktop screen in your house you can plug in to your computer and try calibrating? If a different screen gave the same bad results, it might point to the problem being in your computer itself.
  • It might be your graphics card. Have you checked for updates to your graphics card drivers?
  • Maybe it’s the cable you’re using to connect computer to monitor? If you’re still using an old VGA cable, that sure can affect things. Your screen and computer should have DVI or HDMI ports, so make sure you’re using them.
  • Yet again I have to ask this – are you sure it’s not your light? Bad light can make print matching impossible.
  • Contact Datacolor. They’re the experts, after all. Hopefully they’ll be able to identify your glitch and straighten it out.


If you have a question about this article, please feel free to post it in Ask Damien.