Privacy monitor hacked from an old LCD Monitor

FeaturedContest Winner
Picture of Privacy monitor hacked from an old LCD Monitor
Finally you can do something with that old LCD monitor you have in the garage.
You can turn it into a privacy monitor! It looks all white to everybody except you, because you are wearing "magic" glasses!
All you really have to have is a pair of old glasses, x-acto knife or a box cutter and some solvent (paint thinner)

Here is what I used:
an LCD monitor of course
single use 3D glasses from the movie theater (old sunglasses are just fine)
paint thinner (or some other solvent such as toluene, turpentine, acetone, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate etc)
box cutter (and CNC laser cutter :) but that you don't really need, I'm sure x-acto knife and a steady hand would do just fine)
screwdriver or a drill
paper towels
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Take the monitor apart

Picture of Take the monitor apart
Find an old monitor that you are willing to sacrifice.
Take off the plastic frame by unscrewing all screws from the back.

calmlunch2 days ago


sheepbars4 days ago

Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.

i made it but after remove the polarized sheet LCD view is like nagitive on three sides how to hide this

Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.

clickyummy1 month ago


0Troy3 months ago
Is it possible to do the reverse?

Glasses that block out everything except the computer screen?
account3r2 0Troy3 months ago


0Troy account3r22 months ago

Haha! Just get distracted too easily! This way I would be able to work on the couch with my wife while she watches the TV without having the constant flickering in my vision, drawing my eyes away from the work I'm doing on my laptop.

Self control shades B)

Ohhh I see :) Good idea

bearblue1 month ago


bearblue1 month ago


This looks amazing but might be a bit above my DIY level. Has anyone tried this with other people round? What are people's reactions to the white screen and you looking with sunglasses :)

MrOrsh2 months ago

I am in the middle of trying this at the moment and I have gotten as far as getting the polarized film that is attached to the anti-glare-filter off the screen. I am doing the "put in hot water"-trick to separate the two films and it works great. However getting them separate does nothing for the blurryness! Even with the completely transparent film removed and only the shadowy-one left if I move an inch away from the screen everything goes blurry.

Could it maybe be three filters joined togehter? I have tried peeling on the darker film to see if something else comes off but there seem to be no more to peel off :-/

What can be wrong?

account3r2 made it!2 months ago

Here's my result... turned out pretty well. I bought film online and the pieces I bought were just slightly smaller than my glasses frame...

chimplost3 months ago

what kind of film is in the lenses? i want to just buy a new sheet of it.

Linear polarization film. It's somewhat expensive, and can be bought online.

account3r23 months ago

My dad got the whole film off in one piece except for a little corner piece by using a credit card and dipping it in alcohol to carefully peel off the film :) Also, this glue is VERY stubborn. I let the film soak in acetone for 15 minutes and the glare filter dissolved completely but most of the polarization filter was left, but nothing happened to the glue. It barely even softened.

Oh, and I can still kinda see stuff on the monitor while looking directly at it, and I can see everything if I look at it from an angle

As in, the image rendered on the screen.

I have found that the this method will work with just about any form of LCD screen. I purchased a $15 phone and removed the polarized screen. I rigged a pair of non-obtrusive reading glasses with a polarized piece of film from a monitor. Now I am the only one who can see my screen.

grp8883 months ago


kballdy3 months ago

what kind of film is in the lenses? i want to just buy a new sheet of it.

TheKrister210 months ago
I was hoping anyone could tell me if this kind of screen would work with this:

BenQ GL2750

I am going to test this on my old screen (a 19" screen) to get it all in my system so I know what to do.
I have read the comments and the "creator" said that it would work on any lcd screen but I have also read in the comments that some lcd screens have their "film" like almost glued on or something.
So I hoped anyone could tell me this.

It'll work on any LCD, and both that I've done it on had the films glued together and to the screen.

Can you do that with a smartphone?
No, since a smart phone doesn't have enough filter material to make a proper set of glasses.

I know this is a year late but I felt I should point out that you can just buy polarization film online that would work just fine :)

why the hell would you want to?
coyo1810 months ago
I found out how to remove the polarized sheet from the anti-glare sheet if they're attached to each other. What you do is put the films that you obtained from the monitor in some hot water. Leave it in there until the water cools and the sheet should curve. Pick at one of the corners or edges until you can manage to peel off the polarized layer. Only the area that was submerged will be able to be peeled off.

I hope this is helpful
account3r2 coyo183 months ago

Wow, thanks! Will definitely try this! I just recently got a little 14" VGA monitor for $20 at a thrift store and I was planning on trying this (the Instructable) out on it when I have some spare time. Thanks for your comment!

tayl coyo184 months ago
Hey bud, just wanted to say a big thank you. I can confirm, if your polarized sheet is seemingly bonded with the anti-glare layer, microwave a mug of water for 2-3 minutes and let the cutouts soak for half an hour or so.

The two layers will separate like stickers from a sheet :)
Very cool project! I recently learned about polarizers in physics class so I asked the tech guys at my school if they had any old LCD monitors around. They handed me a beat up old laptop with no hard drive or battery, but a working screen. I cut around the edges but ended up chiseling off the film (didn't scratch surprisingly) because it was very brittle from aging. Don't worry about saving the film, you can buy polarizing plastic squares online.


Awesome! Great work repurposing/learning from/experimenting with old/obsolete electronics!

sadikerd3 months ago
i did this thing. But i have a problem. i you put polarized film further, the screen is getting cloudy. it means it is not clear. In your movie it is so clear. How can we fix this problem?
steveazhocar4 months ago
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
regaltaxlaw4 months ago
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
pmudd8 months ago
Does this work on the dell inspiron mini 10 Nickelodeon edition.
marchlo pmudd4 months ago
that sounds like a very bad idea, do not take your net book apart.
Hey is the polarized film supposed to be SUPER hard to get off the screen? I've been trying for hours with no luck :/
Trading5 months ago
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!