FireFox 3.5 color management madness

loocas | miscellaneous,software,technical | Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

If you’ve just upgraded to FireFox 3.5, like me, and have problems with displayed graphics, i.e. they seem too dark or too washed out, it’s because FireFox introduced a new default value to its color management engine.

Thankfully there’s a fix and its super simple.

  1. In the address bar, type in: about:Config
  2. Locate a setting named: gfx.color_management.mode
  3. Set it to: 0, which means no color management at all!

FireFox Config Page

The available values for the mode are:

  • 0: No color management at all
  • 1: Enables color management for rendered graphics (I don’t recommend this, unless you’re strictly on a sRGB profile, which I’m not)
  • 2: Enables color management for tagged graphics only, which means images with an embedded profile will get color managed, as far as I understand

That’s it, hope this helps. It sure did help me :)


  1. Thanks!

    Comment by Jon — July 1, 2009 @ 22:42

  2. Thanks for the info my man. I remembered doing this with the old firefox but i couldn’t remember how to do it. Thanks again,

    Comment by chris stewart — July 2, 2009 @ 22:17

  3. What you’re probably seeing is not the intended functionality, color management is fantastic if it’s done correctly and you have the correct monitor profile installed in Windows.

    It was okay in 3.0, but the idiots have released a buggy version with 3.5 where the color management is basically broken. So a feature is enabled by default which doesn’t work properly. I’m not kidding. See the bug entry here:

    Comment by Craig — July 3, 2009 @ 05:31

  4. Heh, interesting, Craig. Thanks for the link.

    Hopefully it’ll get fixed in the upcoming hotfix :) For now, this little “hack” should do…

    Comment by loocas — July 3, 2009 @ 05:42

  5. Wow, this has been driving me insane. I’m a photographer and knew that I had saved my images in the correct color space but Firefox 3.5.3 (which is supposed to be color managed) was displaying them washed out like there was a profile mismatch (ie, saved in Adobe 1998). Anyway, it never occurred to me to shut off the management, but for now the images are displaying as they do in Photoshop. Very odd. Thanks though!

    Comment by Michael — September 15, 2009 @ 03:44

  6. Oh my god thank you so much! This has been bothering me for 2 days now – I was working on a website layout and it just looked completely fucked up in Firefox (though only on my monitor – fine on others).

    I did what you recommended and it’s back to normal.

    Weird stuff ..

    Comment by Nathan — January 8, 2010 @ 23:53

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