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How to Fix Hot, Dead or Stuck Pixels on Your Screen

updated Sep 21, 2022
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

I love tech, but I don’t know the first thing about the pixels on my screen—well, until now. One of my pixels is dead. But I learned all about how to locate and fix defective pixels, including hot pixels (always on), dead pixels (always off), and stuck pixels (defective sub-pixels), and I’m going to share my knowledge with you. Good news: If done carefully, you can fix your defective pixel yourself, and might save you a lot of time and worries.

If you notice a little permanent bright or dark spot on your screen—before you run your laptop into repair and yourself into some debt—you should try to see whether you can fix it yourself!

Is Your Pixel Dead or Just Stuck?

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 (good ol’ RGB and cyan, magenta and yellow), 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.

These programs or Web apps all involve flashing colors or bright images on your screen to locate and hopefully fix the stuck pixel. Don’t ask me how this magic voodoo works; just install it.

Another Way to Fix That Stuck Pixel

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 to find and fix the pixel. There is a very good description of all available techniques on wikiHow. Another great step-by-step guide can be found on Instructables.

But the steps are all pretty simple:

  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.