5 Ways to Fix a Stuck Pixel on Your Screen

Advanced in Tech & Business

5 Ways to Fix a Stuck Pixel on Your Screen

That annoying dead pixel on your TFT, OLED, or LCD screen might just be stuck and easy to fix. We’ll show you how to do it. You can still return your monitor if this doesn’t work; nothing we recommend here will void your warranty.

Let’s see how you can fix hot, dead, or stuck pixels on your screen.

How to Test New Screens for Stuck or Dead Pixels

Yes, you should test any new monitor for bad pixels. You can simply run your screen through a palette of basic colors, as well as black and white in full-screen mode using a tool like EIZO Monitor Test.

1. EIZO Monitor Test

Availability: Web

EIZO Monitor Test is an online tool that lets you find and eventually fix stuck pixels. It packs many options into a single test window, but it’s easy to use once you have an overview.

To test your screen, check the boxes for the screen characteristics you’d like to double-check. We recommend leaving all boxes checked. If you’re testing multiple monitors, you can open the test on an additional monitor. Click Start test to launch the full-screen test window.

EIZO Monitor Test start screen with default settings.

Below you see the first test pattern. Each screen has an explainer in the bottom right detailing what you should look for. Next, you’ll see a menu that lets you go from one test to the next on the left. Move through the black and white screens and all the solid colors (green, blue, and red) and check our screen. To exit, press the ESC key or the exit symbol in the top right.

EIZO Monitor Test first test window with extensive test pattern.

If you discover a bad pixel, we recommend using a tool like UDPixel or JScreenFix to flash it.

2. Online Monitor Test

Availability: Web

This is a very thorough test not only meant to identify bad pixels but also powerful enough to test the quality of your monitor. Unfortunately, with Flash no longer supported by most browsers, you’ll probably have to use the executable version to make it work.

online monitor test tool pixel check

You can choose between three different modes to test your screen. When you run the executable, here is what you should see:

Online Monitor Test black and white balance check

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 corner of the menu. Then click on the Homogenuity 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, let’s see whether it’s a stuck or a dead pixel and what you can do about it.

Is It a Stuck or Dead Pixel?

What if you spot an odd pixel? Is what you see just a stuck pixel, or is it, in fact, a dead pixel?

A stuck pixel, sometimes wrongfully referred to as a hot pixel, is defective because it receives incomplete information. Hence, it appears in one of the colors that its three sub-pixels can form, i.e., red, green, or blue. Strictly speaking, hot pixels only appear in digital cameras when electrical charges leak into the camera’s sensor wells. Stuck pixels can disappear spontaneously.

Stuck and Dead Pixels on Screen
Image Credit: Paulo Valdivieso/Flickr.com

In a dead pixel, all sub-pixels are permanently off, which will make the pixel appear black. The cause could be 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, you might manage to fix it. And if you see a black pixel, chances are low, but there is still hope.

Let’s turn to the methods to fix a stuck pixel.

How to Fix Dead or Stuck Pixels

Unfortunately, you can’t fix a dead pixel. You can, however, fix a stuck pixel. As I explained above, it’s hard to tell the two apart. Either way, these are the methods you can try:

  1. First, identify dead or stuck pixels by viewing your monitor in different color palettes.
  2. To fix a stuck or dead-looking pixel, use a third-party tool to flash the pixel with multiple colors. We recommend UDPixel (Windows) or LCD (online).
  3. Finally, you can try a manual method that involves rubbing the stuck pixel with a damp cloth or a pointy but soft item, like the rubber/eraser at the end of a pencil.

Let’s look at these methods and tools in detail.

1. JScreenFix

Availability: Web

JScreenFix won’t help you find a stuck pixel, but it can help you fix it. Just click the Launch JScreenFix button at the bottom of the page. If you see a big “Start” or “Start Now” button anywhere, irgnore it because that’s just an ad.

JScreen Fix features overview and start button.

The tool will load a black browser window with a square of flashing pixels. Press the green button in the bottom right to go full-screen. Drag the flashing square to where you found the stuck pixel and leave it there for at least 10 minutes.

JScreenFix pixel checker tool

By triggering each pixel’s different sub-pixels, the graphic may massage a stuck pixel back into life.

2. UDPixel

Availability: Windows

UDPixel, also known as UndeadPixel, can help you identify and fix pixels using a single Windows tool. The program requires the Microsoft .NET Framework. If you’re not on Windows or don’t want to install any software, scroll down for an Android and a manual solution.

With the Dead pixel locator on the left, you can easily detect any screen irregularity that may have escaped your attention until now.

undead pixel screen fixer tool

Should you spot a suspicious pixel, switch to the Undead pixel side of things, create sufficient amounts of flash windows (one per stuck pixel), and hit Start. You can drag the tiny flashing windows to where you found odd pixels.

Let them run for a while and eventually change the Flash interval.

3. PixelHealer

Availability: Windows

Aurelitec built this Windows app as a companion to its InjuredPixels tool to detect dead, stuck, or hot pixels.

The PixelHealer lets you flash a combination of black, white, all basic colors, and a custom color in a draggable window with customizable size. You can even change the flashing interval and set a timer to close the app automatically.

PixelHealer settings window with flashing rectangle to its right.

To close the app, click the Close PixelHealer button in the bottom right.

4. Dead Pixel Test and Fix

Availability: Android

This Android tool can both test and fix dead or stuck pixels on your Android device.

Let it run through all colors in Auto mode to spot whether you have any weird pixels on your screen. If you do, start the fix, which will rapidly flash your entire screen with black, white, and basic color pixels.

5. Manually Fix Stuck Pixels

Should none of these tools resolve your stuck or dead pixel issue, here is one last chance. You can combine any of the tools detailed above 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.

Let’s go through one technique real quick:

  1. Turn off your monitor.
  2. Get yourself a damp cloth so that you won’t scratch the screen.
  3. 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.
  4. While applying pressure, turn on your computer and screen.
  5. Remove pressure, and the stuck pixel should be gone.

This works because, in a stuck pixel, the liquid in one or more of its sub-pixels has not spread equally. When your screen’s backlight turns on, different amounts of liquid pass through the pixel to create different colors. When you apply pressure, you’re forcing the liquid out, and when you release the pressure, chances are the liquid will push in, spreading around evenly as it should.

What to Do If You Can’t Fix Your Stuck or Dead Pixel?

LG Pixel Polixy Bright vs Dark Pixel
Image Credit: LG

When all attempts to revive your bad pixel fail, the next best thing you can do is to make peace with it. One ugly pixel won’t break your screen, and eventually, you’ll forget about it. If the defect affects more than a single pixel, however, or just bothers you a lot, you can always replace your monitor.

First, check the warranty. The manufacturer or the marketplace where you purchased the monitor might cover dead pixels. Note that most manufacturers define a maximum number of allowable bad pixels for specific resolutions, and the warranty won’t apply until your monitor crosses that threshold.

Here is LG’s Pixel Policy:

Bright or dark sub-pixels can occur during the production of the LCD Monitor panel but does not affect the LCD Monitor functionality. The customer may notice the bright or dark spots if the film of the liquid crystal does not perform as expected while customers uses the LCD monitor. However, this is not considered a defect unless the number of bright and dark subpixels exceeds the maximum allowable threshold (…)

On a monitor with over 12 million pixels (Wide QXGA+, 2560×1600 pixels), for example, LG’s pixel policy says that 12 bright or dark sub-pixels is the maximum you have to tolerate.

All Pixels Report to the Screen

Should your pixel resuscitation attempts fail, it may be time to replace your screen. Take it as a lesson learned and buy a screen with a generous warranty that covers dead pixels and other irregularities for at least a year. Also remember to immediately test your new screen for defects.