How to Fix a Stuck Pixel

On plasma screen TVs and LCD computer monitors, a pixel is a tiny square that can flash red, green, and blue light at varying intensities. The combination and intensity of the red, green, and blue lights determines the final color shown on the screen. Occasionally, the liquid in an LCD monitor can redistribute itself in such a way that one of the pixels gets stuck on a certain color. You may notice a dot of white, bright red, lime green, or deep blue that never seems to go away; this is a stuck pixel. Luckily, stuck pixels are easy to fix at home with nothing more than your pinky finger and special image or video.

One trick for fixing a broken pixel is to gently massage it with your finger. Even though technicians advise against rubbing the screen of an LCD monitor, many people find that gentle pressure will return a stuck pixel back to normal.

Gently tapping may also work. Use the eraser end of a pencil to repeatedly tap the area of the stuck pixel.

Sometimes you can correct a pixel by making it flash on and off, or making it flash different colors. If you shrink the browser screen around this image and move the image across the broken pixel for a minute, it may coax the pixel back to normal. Simply drag the image around so that the pixel is on the colored part, then on the black part, then back and forth, back and forth.

For a more stubborn pixel, you may need to play rapidly flashing colors over the pixel using a video or animated image. If you gently rub the stuck pixel while the video plays, your pixel should right itself in no time. Try this animated GIF:

Or this video on YouTube. Any other bright and fast video will work too. Warning! This video may give you a headache, so close your eyes while it plays!

If you have a mobile device with internet access and an LCD screen, these tricks can also cure stuck pixels on the touch screen. One thing you should never do is poke the pixel with pointed object such as a pen or pencil tip. This is more likely to damage pixels than to fix them. If you cause more damage, it may void your warranty.

Also keep in mind that these tips won't revive a truly dead pixel. A dead pixel is always black, since neither the green, blue, nor red lights can illuminate.

© Had2Know 2010