To calibrate one's monitor means to reset it to an accurate display of light and color.
Calibrating your monitor can be a simple and free process. If you have Adobe Photoshop installed, you will already a calibration tool, Adobe Gamma, installed as well. To access it on a PC (scroll down for instructions for Mac):
- Go to your Start button (lower left corner of your screen), /Control Panel/Adobe Gamma.
- Move the pop up box to a lower or upper corner (this will make sure it not covered up by the monitor settings overlay in the next step). Then just follow the on screen directions.
- The pop up box will walk you through adjusting your monitor settings; when ask to make adjustments for contrast and brightness, you will want to use the buttons on the bottom frame of your monitor (example shown below). You may find it helpful to look up your monitor model online for instructions on how to adjust your particular settings.
Mac users, try this link for information on calibration for the mac: http://www.computer-darkroom.com/colorsync-display/colorsync_1.htm
Here's an alternate explanation on monitor calibration, which includes a link to a free calibration tool, Quick Gamma, for those of you without Photoshop:
If your monitor is very old, with a faded or discolored display, and doesn't seem to respond well to calibration, you may want to consider replacing it.