How to Handle Broken Pixels on a Laptop Screen

broken pixels on laptop screen

A clear and vibrant laptop screen is essential for an optimal user experience, whether you’re working, gaming, or streaming videos. However, encountering broken pixels on your laptop screen can be frustrating and distracting. This article explores the causes of broken pixels, how to identify them, and practical solutions to fix or mitigate the issue.


Broken pixels on a laptop screen are a common issue that can significantly impact your visual experience. These tiny defects can manifest as dots that remain fixed in one colour, creating an annoying blemish on an otherwise pristine display. Understanding what causes broken pixels, how to identify them, and what you can do to fix them can save you time and potentially the cost of replacing your laptop screen. In this guide, we will delve into the details of dealing with broken pixels, offering both DIY fixes and professional advice.

Understanding Broken Pixels

What Are Broken Pixels?

Broken pixels, also known as dead or stuck pixels, are individual pixels on a laptop screen that do not function correctly. A pixel is the smallest unit of a digital image displayed on a screen, and it consists of subpixels that can be red, green, or blue. When a pixel becomes defective, it can either be stuck in a single colour (stuck pixel) or remain completely black (dead pixel).

Types of Broken Pixels

There are generally two types of broken pixels:

  • Stuck Pixels: These pixels are stuck on a particular colour, usually red, green, or blue. They occur when one or more of the subpixels remain permanently on.
  • Dead Pixels: These appear as black spots on the screen and occur when the pixel does not receive power or has a faulty connection, rendering it inactive.

Identifying Broken Pixels

Visual Inspection

To identify broken pixels, start with a simple visual inspection of your laptop screen. Look for tiny dots that do not change colour with the rest of the screen. Changing the background to a solid colour, such as white, black, red, green, or blue, can help highlight these problematic pixels.

Pixel Test Tools

Several online tools and software are available to help identify broken pixels. These tools cycle through different colours and provide a systematic way to locate stuck or dead pixels. Some popular tools include:

  • Dead Pixel Buddy
  • InjuredPixels
  • JScreenFix

Using these tools is straightforward: simply run the tool, and it will guide you through the process of identifying any defective pixels on your screen.

Causes of Broken Pixels

Manufacturing Defects

Broken pixels can occur due to manufacturing defects. Despite quality control measures, some pixels may be defective right from the start. These defects can become noticeable over time as the screen is used.

Physical Damage

Physical damage to the laptop screen, such as drops, impacts, or pressure, can cause pixels to become stuck or dead. Even slight pressure from cleaning or mishandling the screen can lead to broken pixels.

Electrical Issues

Problems with the electrical connections within the screen can also result in broken pixels. Loose connections, power surges, or issues within the display circuitry can cause pixels to malfunction.

DIY Fixes for Broken Pixels

Pixel Massage Technique

One of the simplest DIY methods for fixing stuck pixels is the pixel massage technique. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your laptop.
  2. Take a soft cloth and gently apply pressure to the area with the stuck pixel.
  3. While applying pressure, turn on the laptop and remove the cloth.

The idea is to re-establish the connection within the pixel, encouraging it to function correctly. Be careful not to press too hard, as this could cause more damage.

Software Solutions

Several software tools claim to fix stuck pixels by rapidly cycling colours on the screen. This process can sometimes nudge the stuck pixels back into operation. Tools like JScreenFix can be used by running them on the affected area for several hours.

Heat and Tap Method

Another method involves applying gentle heat to the screen. Use a hairdryer on a low setting to warm the affected area for a few minutes, then gently tap around the pixel with a stylus or the blunt end of a pen wrapped in a soft cloth. The heat can help by expanding the components slightly, potentially resolving the stuck pixel.

Professional Solutions

Manufacturer Warranty

If your laptop is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer. Many warranties cover defective pixels, and you may be entitled to a screen replacement or repair at no extra cost.

Repair Services

If DIY methods do not work, consider seeking help from a professional repair service. Experienced technicians can diagnose and fix pixel issues, although this option may be costly if your laptop is out of warranty.

Preventing Broken Pixels

Handle with Care

Always handle your laptop with care to prevent physical damage. Avoid applying pressure to the screen, even when cleaning it. Use a soft, lint-free cloth and gentle motions to clean the display.

Regular Maintenance

Keep your laptop in a safe, stable environment. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, moisture, or conditions that could lead to electrical surges.


Broken pixels on a laptop screen can be a minor inconvenience or a significant distraction, depending on their number and location. By understanding the causes and implementing simple DIY fixes, you can often resolve the issue without professional help. However, if these methods fail, don’t hesitate to seek professional repair services or explore warranty options. Handling your laptop with care and performing regular maintenance can also help prevent pixel problems in the future.

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