New Displays Don’t Support Calibration


Today’s Question: I saw your eNewsletter where you talk about calibration. So, I thought you might be interested in this recent exchange I had with [the Datacolor] Spyder 5 Pro team. I recently purchased the new MacBook Pro with M1 chip and Spyder was not working on it – that’s what caused me to reach out to them. It seems that Apple has disabled the ability to do external calibration on their new computers.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The issue here relates specifically to the new Liquid Retina XDR display on the newest MacBook Pro computers ( and does not affect other computers such as earlier models with the Apple M1 processor.

More Detail: The newest MacBook Pro computers ( feature a Liquid Retina XDR display, which does not support the traditional display calibration workflow. In other words, products such as the Calibrite ColorChecker Display ( or similar products from Datacolor can’t be used to calibrate the new XDR display.

Instead, you would need to use a custom calibration option that is available in the Display section of System Preferences for computers with the new display type. Apple has provided some details on the process on their website here:

Note that this issue only affects the XDR display. At the moment that only includes the latest models of MacBook Pro computers, but I’m sure this will be an issue for additional models when Apple releases them. Additional external displays can still be calibrated normally using the various tools available, however.