Asus Zenbook Yellow Fix

This is a guide on how to help the Asus Zenbook laptop with a 13.3" 3400 x 1600 QHD screen to display the color yellow. This is something a laptop screen should probably be able to do straight out of the box, but there are dozens of posts online asking why yellow displays as a dark mustard color and how to fix it.

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There is an unofficial BIOS flash program on the internet that is supposed to improve this. I ran it on my own laptop but it didn't do as much for the problem as I'd hoped. It's not included in this guide as I've had several reports that it can stop a screen working permanently; it works for some people but it seems like a huge risk.

But I experimented further with a bunch of software and found a set of steps that gave me a good result, and that I haven't seen described elsewhere. The steps below worked on a QHD Asus Zenbook UX303LN running Windows 10. My understanding is that this mustard problem still affects the newer UX303LB and UX303UB models. In theory I guess this guide would help the yellow problem on those laptops too...

Step One: Drivers

  • Install the latest nVidia GeForce drivers for your 840M or 940M.
  • Uninstall "ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement Technology", if it's installed.

Step Two: Intel HD Contrast

Download the latest drivers for the Intel HD graphics. One of these three...

The first thing you'll notice is that this makes the screen dimmer, and you think it's a setting you're not going to want to keep. The antidote to this is to increase the screen brightness. But... if you use the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to increase the brightness its software driver changes the color curve so that you end up with a smaller range of colors being output. Instead...

  • I recommend increasing the screen brightness using the [Fn] and [F6] keys. This sends more power to the screen to make it brighter.

Step Three: Refresh Rate Nudge

If you have the same experience as me, setting this contrast just improved the yellow but when you unplug the power the screen somehow readjusts itself back again. (Watch the palette in MS Paint in the three seconds after you unplug). After a while I discovered one weird trick to make it permanent...

  • With the contrast set to 40, right click the desktop, choose "Display Settings", "Advanced display settings", "Display adapter properties", then "Monitor".
  • Change the Screen refresh rate to 48Hz, click "Apply", then change it back to 60Hz and click "OK".

Now this sticks even when I restart the laptop. There's definitely something strange with the configuration of these screens. This is a lot of hoops to jump through to achieve something that should definitely be a standard feature of any screen. It took me some time and experimentation to find this solution but I've had some kind of yellow ever since.