Dead Pixel Fix: Is it possible?

July 26, 2018 • Shannon Flynn


Have you looked at your TV, smartphone or computer screen lately and found some strange dark or light spots? If so, you probably need to figure out the best dead pixel fix, because it’s likely dead pixels causing the problem.

They’re usually the result of manufacturing flaws in products with LCD screens that caused electrical malfunctions in the individual transistors that carry current to pixels. If one of them shorts out or remains open, you’ll want to research doing a dead pixel fix, which, bear in mind, is usually impossible. Fortunately, manufacturers aim to take care of them during the quality control process.

Dead Pixels Versus Stuck Pixels

Whereas dead pixels are often black and sometimes white, stuck pixels are primarily brighter than the other surrounding pixels, which should make them a bit more noticeable than the former.

Sometimes you can fix stuck pixels by downloading software that flashes all the pixels on and off repeatedly to perhaps get the non-functional ones working again. Be wary of a similar dead pixel fix, especially if it guarantees results or mentions a high rate of success.

How to Find Dead Pixels

If you’re trying to locate a dead pixel on one of your tech gadgets, the first thing to remember is that it’ll be visible with the device turned on and functioning normally. Also, one dead pixel  — or even a few of them — won’t cause a severe display problem such as a monitor that won’t work. Instead, you’ll notice the issue while using your device.

Fortunately, there are dedicated websites that show certain colors on your screen, making any non-functioning pixels more obvious. One you can use is called Dead Pixel Test. It involves looking at four different color screens while your device is in a full-screen mode.

Although the most common way to use this test is on a computer, you can also bring it up on an LCD TV that has Wi-Fi and an internet browser or on your smartphone. There’s also the Dead Pixel Detect and Fix app for Android or Screen Utility for iOS.

If you read reviews from satisfied users of these apps who rave about how they fixed their dead pixels, remember that people often talk about “dead” pixels when they mean those that are “stuck.” If the app made a pixel issue better, it’s because it related to stuck problems.

Technical communication is one of the skills that all computer science majors need to know. That’s because even one misused word can give people the wrong impression, especially those who aren’t tech-savvy.

Have you ever had an iPhone that initially wouldn’t do anything and felt relieved the issue was just a dead battery or a problem that resolved itself after you restarted the gadget? There are cases when things that look like dead pixels are similarly easy to fix. Specifically, specks of dirt can appear as pixel problems. That’s why it’s wise to wipe your screen thoroughly with a soft cloth before doing the test mentioned above.

Beware of Commonly Suggested, Useless Fixes

To reiterate the information you learned above, it’s not possible to resurrect dead pixels. However, if the pixels in question are merely stuck, you might have some success with remedying them. Be careful, though, of techniques that could damage your screen and do not work.

For example, one trick that’s commonly brought up is the simple practice of finding dead pixels and then applying direct pressure to them with your finger covered with a soft cloth. The idea is that you’re trying to massage the stuck pixel so effectively that it starts to work again.

But, people who try it say that it doesn’t help. It could even make the problem worse by disrupting the liquid crystals in the display and forcing them into incorrect positions.

See If the Manufacturer Will Help

Based on what you now know about dead pixels, it’s highly advisable to get in touch with the manufacturer of your device. Before doing that, refer to your warranty information. If your product is still under warranty, you’ll likely have better luck getting a replacement than if it’s not.

Manufacturers have varying policies about dealing with dead pixels, too. That means you can’t assume you’ll have the same success as a friend who had the same issue but a different brand of item.

As a start, Nintendo asserts that dead pixels on the Switch are normal, and that’s true because most manufacturers permit a maximum number of them on any device. Asus and Acer even set their dead pixel standards based on the monitor you buy. Concerning Apple products, the company doesn’t publish specifics but encourages concerned consumers to bring their products into an Apple Store for evaluation.

Don’t Procrastinate About the Problem

Since dead pixels aren’t fixable and don’t go away on their own, it’s crucial to contact the manufacturer about them as soon as possible. Take that approach, in particular, if you notice them on an item that’s just out of the box.