Dead or Stuck Pixel? Here’s How To Fix It

dead pixel

Got a screen with a dead pixel? Maybe it’s stuck or you’re seeing black dots on the screen? This happens when a single pixel in a display stops lighting up, usually caused by a manufacturing defect. The result is a persistent black dot on the screen that’s quite hard to fix, and usually requires a replacement of the screen altogether. 

If you have a screen with black, stuck or dead pixels, they’re usually brought about by small errors that are undetectable during assembly, and affect millions of other functional pixels. 

The dead pixels can also show up later in the display due to physical damage, but also occur when there’s lack of power supply from the transistor that powers the pixel. This results in a permanently black pixel that’s never illuminating. 

Dead or stuck pixels are similar in looks, but the important distinction is a dead one won’t illuminate anymore, while a stuck one is permanently lit up. Stuck pixels are usually caused by the associated transistor getting stuck so it’s constantly on. This affects either the whole pixel or just one of three sub pixels that comprise the whole. 

Stuck pixels tend to appear very bright as they’re permanently on, and light up as constant red, blue, green or white dots on the screen. A dead pixel on the other hand looks like a little black rectangle.

If you suspect a stuck or dead pixel, but you’re not sure, you can use a software tool that displays solid colors on the screen so you can pick out pixels that are dead or not functioning properly. 

How to fix a dead pixel

Wait for it to go away

Sometimes, waiting it out may help when there’s a dead pixel on your device’s display. Try and wait for it to disappear, but it’s impossible to tell when it will go away.

Replace the screen

This is the most reliable way to deal with dead pixels on your smartphone, tablet, or monitor. Check the warranty and see if it covers dead pixels. Some manufacturers require a minimum number of dead pixels prior to screen replacement. For monitors, it’s usually four to eight dead pixels, and lower requirements for smaller displays. 

Use Pressure or Heat

This is a risky method so if you must use it, tread cautiously and consider it a last resort to fix a dead pixel as they could make the problem worse and there’s no guarantee of good results.

  • Pressure: this involves pressing the tip of a pencil wrapped in cloth against the dead pixel for up to 10 seconds. You can also use your finger but it could create new dead pixels.
  • Heat: this involves using a cloth soaked in very hot water, placing it in a plastic bag and holding the warm bagged cloth against the dead pixel for up to 10 seconds. 

Note: Don’t pressure or heat the display for more than 10 seconds at a time.

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