What Do I Do if I Have a Defective Pixel on My LCD Screen?

Defective pixels are among the most annoying problems someone can have with a defective LCD screen. Every time you look at your computer monitor, you see dead pixels or hot pixels staring back at you. It’s like having a crack on your car’s windshield: an imperfection that won’t go away. So it’s natural to see what you can do if you have a defective pixel on your liquid crystal display screen, though I hate to tell you that there’s often not a whole lot you can do about it.

First of all, let me define “pixel” for those wondering what the heck we’re talking about here. A pixel is defined as the “smallest item of information in a picture”. Pixels on a Liquid Crystal Screen are arranged across the 2-dimensional screen, usually as dots, squares or rectangles. Pixels can display 3 or 4 colors (red, green, blue, for example). The patterns of these tiny pixels are used to design more complex pictures or screen images, somewhat like a pointillist painting.

Defective Pixels


Defective pixels happen when an individual pixel either turn on and will not turn off, or turn off and won’t turn back on, or turn to a particular color and will not change colors or turn off. In these cases, your defective pixel will look like a blemish or dot on your screen that you can’t wipe off.

LCD Screens Under Warranty

Before I answer what you do if you have a defective pixel on your LCD screen, let me first ask a question: is your monitor still under warranty? If it is, then I would send my monitor or laptop back to the manufacturer and have them repair your broken pixels. These should be covered under a standard warranty plan. If you can, let the experts deal with your defective pixels.

If your LCD screen is no longer under warranty, then you’ll have to find other fixes for your defective pixel situation. You should know that a lot of the time that you aren’t going to be able to repair a bad pixel, and you’re going to have to put up with the defective pixel for the life of your computer monitor or laptop screen. To end your troubles with the defective pixel, you’ll have to get a new computer.

Types of Defective Pixels – Hot Pixels

“Hot pixels” are permanently white pixels that stand out on a black screen. Hot pixels are also known as “glowing pixels”.

Defective Pixel Types – Dead Pixels

“Dead pixels” are defective pixels which never light. The unlit pixel is best seen when your screen has a white or very light background.

Defective Pixel Types – Stuck Pixels

“Stuck pixels” happen when a pixel gets stuck on a particular color: red, yellow, blue, green or any number of other shades. The stuck pixel is best seen against a black screen background. The stuck pixel occurs from a default at the manufacturer and you will often see more than one stuck pixel on an LCD screen.

Should I Use Flash Screens?

People often running flashing screens on their monitor to try to un-stick pixels, while others try to manipulate the defective pixel with a press or tap on the actual LCD screen. The pixel fixes using flash screens can be found on YouTube if you search using “stuck pixel fix”. Keep in mind that there is no proof beyond anecdotal evidence that these flash screens help stuck pixels.

Getting Stuck Pixels Unstuck?

Once again, anecdotal evidence suggests that you can repair a stuck pixel by pressing on it. This has probably helped in the past, but I wouldn’t necessarily advise pressing or poking on your LCD screen. When pressing or tapping your screen, keep in mind that you might make the liquid crystal screen worse. In fact, you’re more likely to harm your LCD screen even further than to repair it.