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A dead pixel or one stuck to a TFT, OLED or LCD screen monitor is incredibly boring. You can’t help but stare at it for days and wonder how long it will take to repair or replace it. All this for something so insignificant, but as irritating as a “dead” pixel that was easy to fix.
But before you bring the object back to the store, see if you can fix the dead pixel yourself! This, if done carefully, will not affect your warranty and can save you a lot of time and worry.
Make sure the pixel is stuck and not dead.
While the terms “stuck” and “dead” are often used interchangeably for defective pixels, fixed pixels can be fixed, while dead pixels cannot be fixed. If your pixel displays a certain color other than black or changes color depending on the background, it will most likely be inserted.
Dead pixels are always black or white, regardless of what appears on the screen. White pixels are actually called “hot” pixels, but are essentially identical to dead pixels.
If you find that your monitor has a dead pixel, you must either take it to a workshop or replace the screen. Usually, you can have it replaced even if it’s still under warranty.
Look for the stuck pixel
Do you have any dead pixels? That can be hard to say. The easiest way to find out is to make the screen monochrome. To make it easier for you, visit the Dead Pixels Test website – click on the links on the page to open a new browser window with color, and press F11 to make it take up the entire screen. Try some of the links to make sure you notice the pixel, regardless of the color it adheres to.
Of course, a stain on your screen can actually be a piece of dirt or dust – just pass your finger (gently!) over it to be sure. If it doesn’t move, it’s a stuck (or dead) pixel.
The steps are all quite simple:
- Turn off your monitor.
- Use a damp cloth to avoid scratching the screen.
- Apply pressure to the area where the inserted pixel is located. Try not to apply pressure to other areas, as this may cause more blocked pixels to form.
- Turn on your computer and monitor while applying pressure.
- Remove the print and the inserted pixel should disappear.
- Turn on the computer and LCD monitor.
- Displays a black image that clearly shows the pixel glued to the background. (It is very important that you display a black image, not just a blank signal, as you need the LCD backlight to illuminate the back of the panel.
- Find a pen with a rounded tip. A Sharpie marker with a cap should suffice.
- Use the rounded end of the pen to gently tap where the pixel is – not too hard at first, just enough to see a quick white glow under the contact point. If you haven’t seen a white glow, then you haven’t hit hard enough, so put a little more pressure on it this time.
- Start beating gently. Gradually increase the pressure on the sockets from 5 to 10 sockets until the pixel is aligned.
- Show a white image (a blank text document, or send your browser to about:blank and switch to full screen mode with F11) to make sure you didn’t accidentally cause more damage than expected.
Using your warranty
If you are within the warranty period of your monitor and have detected stuck or dead pixels, it is recommended that you have it replaced by the manufacturer.
Most monitor manufacturers have a return policy for dead and blocked pixels and typically replace a monitor if it is blocked by more than several pixels in a single color or brightness setting. Because dead pixels are difficult to repair, replacing your monitor under the manufacturer’s warranty is the best option.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.