A dead or stuck pixel on an LCD screen or TFT can be incredibly annoying. You’ll be staring at it for days on end, wondering for how long you’ll be without your screen or maybe your entire laptop if you decided to turn it in for repair or replacement. All that grieve over something as unimportant, yet highly irritating as a malfunctioning pixel.
Before you run the item back to the store though, you should try to see whether you can fix it yourself! This, if done carefully, will not hamper your warranty and might save you a lot of time and worries. So let’s see what you can do yourself.
Let me say that any new LCD or TFT monitor should be tested for pixel errors. This can be done simply by running it through a palette of basic colors and black and white in full screen mode. The software, which we’ll get to in a second, can do that.
First let me explain what you may be seeing. Is it just a stuck pixel or is it in fact dead? A stuck pixel will appear in any of the colors that its three subpixels (red, green and blue) can form, depending on their functionality and brightness. In a dead pixel all subpixels are permanently off, which will make the pixel appear black. This may result from a broken transistor, in rare cases however even a black pixel may just be stuck. So if you’re seeing a colored or white pixel, your chances are pretty good and if it’s black, there is still hope.
Let’s turn to the software now. If you’re not on Windows, scroll down for some online tools!
I recommend UDPixel to quickly identify and fix pixels using a single tool. The program requires .NET Framework 2.
With the dead pixel locator on the left you can easily detect any screen irregularity that may have escaped your vision until now. Should you have identified a suspicious pixel, switch to the undead pixel option, create sufficient amounts of flash windows (one per stuck pixel) and hit start. You can drag the tiny flashing windows to where you found the pixel in question. Let it run for a while and eventually change the flash interval.
This is one tool that lets you find and eventually fix stuck pixels. It packs many options into a singly tiny window, but once you have an overview it’s straightforward and easy to use.
To test the screen click the small ‘pick a color’ box. The colors you should test are red, green and blue. Additionally you should test white and black. Follow the instructions in the box to gain the best results.
Online Monitor Test (Online)
This is a very thorough test not only meant to identify bad pixels, but also powerful enough to test the quality of your monitor. You can choose between three different modes to test your monitor. This tool either requires flash (online version) or it can be installed in the executable mode.
What you will need to just test for stuck pixels is the HTML window. Toggle full screen by hitting F11. What you will see is displayed below.
Move the mouse to the top of the test window and a menu will appear. There is an info window that you can turn off with a button in the top right of the menu. Then click on the homogenity test point and move through the three colors as well as black and white. Fingers crossed you won’t discover anything out of the ordinary. In the unfortunate case that you do, you may find the following online tool helpful.
Alternatively, and if you’re not using Windows XP, you can use the online tool JScreenFix which launches a Java applet to fix stuck pixel.
The tool launches a small applet in a separate browser window and you can drag the window to the respective spot or run it in full screen.
Hands On (Offline)
Should none of these tools resolve your pixel issue, there is one last chance. You can combine any of the tools and the magic power of your own hands. There is a very good description of all available techniques on wikiHow. Another great step by step guide can be found on instructables.
But let’s go through one technique real quick:
- Turn off your monitor.
- Get yourself a damp cloth, so that you won’t scratch the screen.
- Apply pressure to the area where the stuck pixel is. Try not to put pressure anywhere else, as this may trigger the creation of more stuck pixels.
- While applying pressure, turn on your computer and screen.
- Remove pressure and the stuck pixel should be gone.
This works because in a stuck pixel liquid in a subpixel has not spread equally. In combination with the backlight of your screen, this liquid is used to allow different amounts of light to pass through, which creates the different colors.
Should all of these approaches fail to fix your pixel warrior, at least you’ll now know it’s not simple to fix and the LCD may indeed need to be replaced. But please do let us know if these tips helped you to fix your pixels. In any case, good luck!