HOW TO: Fix a stuck pixel on an LCD screen

stuck pixelFor those of you who have been using LCD monitors for years, you probably know that stuck pixels are an unfortunate reality of these fantastic space-saving devices.

If you’ve never had to deal with stuck pixels, you have to know that these little screen defects are usually caused by malfunctioning transistors or an uneven distribution of the LCD liquid inside the display. Fortunately, this problem can usually be fixed.

Here are four techniques that can help you get those stuck pixels in working order again. Please note: these techniques won’t fix dead pixels. Stuck pixels can be identified by their unchanging color, usually red, blue, green or white. Dead pixels have no light coming through them; they are simply black.

Important: None of these methods are guaranteed to work, so you employ them at your own risk.

1- The pixel-fixing software method.

A few software solutions exist out there that will try to re-activate stuck pixels. Here are a few free ones:

  • UDPixel: Free application that rapidly changes all pixels located around a stuck one. Just keep it running for a few hours and see if this eliminates your problem.
  • JScreenFix: Web-based application that turns all pixels on and off about 60 times per second.

2- The pressure method.

  1. Start by turning off your monitor.
  2. Find a pen that has a rounded, dull end and get a slightly damp cloth to protect your screen.
  3. Fold your cloth in two so that you do not puncture it accidentally. You don’t want to scratch your precious screen, do you?
  4. Put the cloth in front of the stuck pixel and start applying slight pressure on it with your pen. Do not put pressure anywhere else than on the defective pixel, or you may break additional ones.
  5. Continue applying pressure, and turn your monitor on.
  6. Remove the pen from the screen, and voilĂ ! The stuck pixel might (or might not) be gone.

3- The rubbing method.

This one is easy; just gently rub the defective pixel with one of your fingers, and hope that this will reset it.

4- The tapping method.

  1. First, display a completely black picture on your screen. The display has to be turned on for this to work.
  2. Use a small pointed object that has a dull, rounded end and gently tap on the stuck pixel until it starts working again. You’ll know if you are applying enough pressure if you are seeing a small, white glow each time you hit the screen.
  3. Display a white picture to verify that you haven’t broken additional pixels.

Usually, LCD manufacturers will usually not replace your display because you have a few stuck or dead pixels on it. It takes much more than that to convince them to ship you a replacement unit, and unfortunately, by the time your display will be damaged enough to get a free one, your warranty will have expired.

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