Fix a Stuck Pixel on an LCD Monitor

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Introduction: Fix a Stuck Pixel on an LCD Monitor

If you liked this instructable, then you'll probably like the other things on my site here... Voiding Warranties

UPDATE: This Instructable was on Engadget! http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/24/how-to-guide-details-fix-for-stuck-pixels/

I am going to show you how to fix a stuck pixel on your LCD monitor. Stuck pixels are really annoying and just plain look bad. Over the past few years I have had to fix SO many stuck pixels. It's not that hard to do and usually only takes a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

This will only work on LCD monitors, but this includes computer LCD monitors, laptop screens, cameras (the screen might have a hard protective shield over it that you will have to take off), and hand-held systems (will most likely have a hard protective shield). Does anybody know if this will work with an OLED screen? I think that it will, but I'm not positive.

Note: This will only fix stuck pixels. Not dead pixels or hot pixels. A dead pixel is when the pixel is always off. It is easiest to spot a dead pixel against a white background. The pixel will appear to be non existent. It will look darker than the stuck pixel in the image below. A hot pixel is when the pixel is always on. It is easiest to see against a dark background. The pixel will be bright white. A stuck pixel will usually the red, green, blue or yellow, but can also be a light black color (pictured below). A stuck pixel is caused by a manufacturing defect in which it leaves one or more sub-pixels permanently turned on or off.

By the way, the picture that I took is a bad example of a stuck pixel. Because it is black, one might think that it is actually a dead pixel but it is not. It just so happened that all of the sub-pixels in that pixel were permanently turned off. The next time I see a dead pixel on a computer that isn't black, I will update the picture because the current one is a bad example.

PS: This is my first Instructable so please be nice. :)

Step 1: Materials

There are three different methods that I know on how to fix a stuck pixel. Here are the materials you will need for each.

1st method, flashing different colors rapidly:
JSScreenfix.com has a great tool. This is their free java applet or you can download it below.

2nd method, applying pressure to pixel:
Damp paper towel
Small stylus or dull pencil. (I used an odd looking stylus from a board game)

3rd method, tapping the pixel:
Pen with cover on or another small, blunt object. (I used the back of the same stylus)

Step 2: First Method: Flashing Colors Rapidly

This is the most traditional method. It fixes the stuck pixel by rapidly flashing different colors to try to get it to change. This method works very well, but if you do it for to long, it can actually create more stuck pixels. Get it here or download it below. The site claims that it can also reduce burn in on plasma displays but I have not tested it yet.

Open the java applet and resize it so that the window is very small. Now move the window over to where your stuck pixel is. Leave it be for five minutes than close the window and see if it's fixed. If its not than repeat again for another five minutes. The site says that it may take up to 20 minutes but I have found that it usually works within the first 10.

PS: Beetlegossip suggested that you could also go into Notepad in Windows and then create a batch file and write this,

:A
@color 53
@color 35
@color 23
@color 32
@goto A

I have not tested his batch file method yet (I have a mac) so please tell me your results. And obviously the batch file method will not work for macs.

Step 3: Second Method: Applying Pressure to Stuck Pixel

This method is done by placing a damp (not wet!) paper towel over you monitor. Place your stylus or blunt pencil tip on the paper towel over where the stuck pixel is. You have to place it exactly on the stuck pixel. Now turn of your monitor and apply a small amount of pressure to the stylus / pencil. Wait two seconds and then turn your monitor back on. Your stuck pixel should be fixed! If it is not, try repeating but this time, apply a little more pressure.

This method works because a stuck pixel is a pixel in which the liquid in the liquid crystal has not or not completely spread to this pixel. The backlight uses this liquid and lets different amounts of light through. This affects the color of the pixel. The pressure helps the liquid in the liquid crystal move around.

Step 4: Third Method: Tapping Monitor

This final method works but can easily create more stuck pixels or even do some real damage so be careful. First you need to display a dark color / image over your stuck pixel. (Make sure it's really showing a dark color / image and not just a blank signal) Take the back of your stylus, or another small, blunt object, and lightly tap on the stuck pixel. You should briefly see a white spot where you tapped. If not, then tap a little harder. Keep tapping, each time tapping a little harder. This should only take about 5-10 taps. This should correct the stuck pixel. Be careful thought, because doing it too many times may cause damage to your monitor.

I believe that the reason this works is the same as method 2.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Now Flawless Monitor!

Enjoy your monitor without those annoying stuck pixels!

And as I said before, this will obviously only work on LCD monitors.

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271 Comments

Hi, i have a question: can stuck pixels be fixed if they are all in a straight line that comes down across the screen? I m trying all these methods on my IMAC but its not working. Can you help me out?

Can you describe it more? Is it a vertical or horizontal line, or is it a diagonal line? Is it a solid line, or is it a bunch of stuck pixels that just happen to be in a line-like shape? If it is a solid vertical, or horizontal line, then it is a faulty lcd, and there is nothing you can do. Also, is your iMac the newer one that is aluminum and black? If it is, than the display has a glass/plastic plate over the lcd making method 2 & 3 useless.

I think he means like screen burn-in...

LCD's can't burn in, he just got a broken LCD screen

They can get some image retention in very odd situations... but it takes months and months of a static image for it to happen... while a plasma screen will have image retention in a matter of minutes.

99.99% of regular pc users would never notice image retention unless they never turned their monitors off and always left the exact image on the screens all day long 24/7 for years.

Plasma and even the newer OLED screens have it bad. Its why OLED's high cost, and its poor pixel lifespan make it a fairly useless tech since for much less money you can get a mainstream LCD/LED display and with new tech like HDR, the contrast ratio is on footing with OLED but has the pixel life and almost zero chance of image retention, makes OLED very unwelcome unless it became cheaper than LCD screens.

Actually, he has a video card issue that is well known for iMacs. If you take it to an Apple store they will fix it for you.

As others have mentioned this is either a video card issue or bad/dying LCD column driver. The latter are not fixable (to the best of my knowledge.) while according to the poster above the former are a silent recall issue for the iMac.

This actually worked. I just noticed 4 dark/dead pixels on my screen (noticeable on a while image). I used that UDPixel program for around 30 minutes and it didn't work by just using it by itself.

But i kept it running while also using a damp paper towl and used my finger and just rotated it around a bit on the pixel for a few seconds and it fixed all 4 dead pixels.

If it doesn't work for you, keep trying and let your screen warm up a lot and run that pixel program to really work it up and use some massage action on the area with a bit of gentle pressure with your soft finger and see how it goes. I wouldn't use a solid object. Your finger and paper towel is better because its nice and soft.

As some mentioned in other comments, if it happens again just keep doing it and it should go away again and is this is a very nice trick... My current monitor is a 2560x1080p LG ultrawide (34UM67). But i've got a really old 15 year old lcd monitor with a dead pixel i want to try this out and see if it works on it.

Thx..Pressure method worked for me

I asked in Tom's hardware and they asked me to visit this page.

My display has been running great for 4 whole years, and then yesterday it suddenly developed a very bright red spot in an edge. It was annoying, my eyes would always go to that spot, the more i tried to avoid the more i found myself looking at it.

I tried the pressure method first, didn't work.

I tried the rub, tap method, didn't work.

I tried UDPixel for one hour, didn't work.

I fired up UDPixel again, and left it running overnight.

And viola, the stuck red pixel has disappeared and the screen looks perfect again!

I really had my doubts that this'd work, it's a hardware problem, and a software generally cannot fix hardware-hence I tried the pressure methods first.

But who woulda known, it really worked!

Thanks Einsteins Circuitry you managed to add more life to my 4 years old laptop :)

I signed up just to thank you. Thanks, you really helped. Kudos. :)