What is a dead pixel and how do I fix it?

Tech Tips

There’s nothing worse than bringing home a new television and noticing a tiny, dark spot on the screen. It’s one of those pesky problems that you can never un-see, but don’t just put up with it. We’ve got a few suggestions for how to deal with your deceased pixels and if all else fails, your friendly neighborhood uBreakiFix technician would love to take a look for you.


A computer or television screen is made up of millions of tiny lights called pixels that create the images you see on your screens. Inside of those pixels are three sub-pixels that emit the colors red, green and blue. When all three are lit they emit a pure white light. By changing levels of each color, the sub-pixels can emit any color on the spectrum. When a pixel becomes defective it’s classified as either a “dead” pixel or a “stuck” pixel. In a dead pixel none of the sub-pixels are being lit so the spot is dark but a stuck pixel is a sub-pixel that is stuck on one color (green, red or blue).


There are several things that can cause a dead or stuck pixel. Any sort of trauma to the screen can cause the lights to stop receiving power or it could be a manufacturing error. More than likely though, dead pixels are caused by nothing at all but an unprovoked malfunction.  


The good news is that there are several ways to solve this problem. If your device is under a warranty, usually it will be honored and you can get a new device. But if that is not an option, there are programs and videos that you can run on your device that are designed to shock pixels back to life. Programs like PixelHealer (for windows only), JScreenFix (for all OS), or apps like Dead Pixel Detect and Fix will flash multiple sheets of colors on the screen allowing you to identify your pixel problems. If you leave one of these programs running for around 10-20 minutes, there is a chance that your pixel could come back to life.    


The method that works best on dead pixels, however, is a risky one dubbed the pressure method. Once you have located the dead pixel on the screen, turn the screen off and wrap it in a scratch-free cloth. Apply gentle pressure with your fingers to the area with the dead pixels and hold for 5-10 seconds. If you’ve got the magic touch,  the pixels could realign and get them working again.  


If none of these processes work, don’t give up hope. Bring your device into a local uBreakiFix and we will see if we can bring your pixels back to full color.

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