Privacy monitor hacked from an old LCD Monitor

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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
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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.

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account3r21 year 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.

grp8881 year ago


kballdy1 year ago

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

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?
coyo181 year 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

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 coyo181 year 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!

sadikerd1 year 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?
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
pmudd1 year ago
Does this work on the dell inspiron mini 10 Nickelodeon edition.
marchlo pmudd1 year 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 :/
Trading1 year ago
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
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.
pmudd1 year ago
Cool that is a good idea
This is something that i should try at least once in my life!!
Would this removal allow for UV to pass thru the screen? I am working towards a 3D printing process using DLP projectors. If I were to construct this and backlight it with uv lamps would I get passthru?
dimovi (author)  kwilliams381 year ago
I don't think so. I believe the glass blocks most UV light.
timothymh1 year ago
I've removed the film from the monitor (works great!), but the polarized film and anti-glare film are still stuck to each other. How did you separate them?
Chloe81 year ago
no more privacy screen protecter needed haha
Tastache1 year ago
This is something that i should try at least once in my life!!
One million of different uses for this monitor, definitly i have to build one
kwinters21 year ago
destroyed my computer..... good thing i tried it on my OLD one first...
Stefniamoo2 years ago
Awesome. Im always looking for more better ways to look crazy :D
tonton832 years ago
I tried and it didn't work.
check it out
dimovi (author)  tonton832 years ago
That is because you did not remote the antiglare film. Buy some polarizing film from Amazon and make yourself new glasses. It is going to work for sure.
Awesomesauce! :3 I'm trying to make this in half term as I want to learn electronics. It's very cute, I love it!
Dishes2 years ago
I'm wondering if its possible for this to be done to a laptop (specifically a Lenovo u410 that i'm using for university) There's literally no where in my school that I can sit comfortably without having someone sitting behind me possibly able to see what I'm doing. Not that I'm doing anything out of the ordinary, its just a little unsettling to me.
mnauman12 years ago
i have noticed that u can easily see the content on the screen without the glases if u look on the screen from the sides , is there any solution to that?
Sparky817952 years ago
did anybody else get into this and find out that your anti-glare and polarizng are integrated? BUSTED :( anyway i think i ruined my lcd before that anyway when i look thtough the film the screen is not functioning properly. lots and blocks and lines along with the broken up display image. sad
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