How to Fix Backlight Bleed on Monitors and TVs

Troubleshooting light leaking from the edges of your display

Backlight bleed issues appear on monitors and TVs in one of several different ways.

  • Cloudy patches of light appear when the screen is supposed to be turned off.
  • Bright patches of backlight appear in the corners of the screen.
  • Backlight may also bleed along the side or top edges, but this usually isn't as noticeable as bleeding at the corners.

Both LCD and LED displays use backlighting, either via liquid crystals or light-emitting diodes. However, emissive OLED and MicroLED displays don't use backlighting, so you won't experience backlight bleed with these two display types.

Cause of Backlight Bleed on Monitors and TVs

Backlight bleeding occurs when the layers which make up the monitor or TV screen become misaligned. When this happens, pressure forms inside the display, which changes the alignment of the components that emit light. This misalignment directs light in the wrong direction and leads to backlight bleeding.

This issue is more likely to occur in less expensive displays where the quality of the screen and those individual layers aren't as robust as higher-priced displays.

How to Fix Backlight Bleed on Monitors and TVs

If you're noticing this problem on any of your displays, there are a few things you can try to fix it.

  1. Clean the screen well with a microfiber cloth. This process is the same whether you're cleaning a Mac or Windows monitor or a large screen TV. Ideally, you'll want to use distilled water and vinegar.

    Even if cleaning the screen doesn't work immediately, give it at least 24 hours to dry and settle before turning on the screen and testing to see if the backlight feed resolves.

  2. Check if your TV or monitor is still under warranty. If your laptop is having this issue, check your laptop warranty. If it is, submit a repair request, and the manufacturer should be able to fix the problem or send you a replacement display.

  3. If you're stuck with a monitor or TV that's not under warranty, another option is to turn down the brightness. Adjust the brightness down on your laptop or your TV so that it's just low enough, so the backlight bleed issue fades away. This step isn't an ideal solution, but it allows you to keep using the display without the problem.

  4. Another quick fix is applying electrical tape to the very edge of the display. Doing this will reattach loose sections of the screen edge, which typically leads to backlight escaping from the edges of the screen.

  5. Room lighting always has an impact on your TV viewing or PC gaming. Watching the display in a dark room can make the issue appear worse, so while this doesn't count as a "fix," you can try to brighten the lights in the room, and you may not even notice the problem.

  6. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws on the back of the monitor or TV frame. You won't have to open the display like you would if you were trying to repair it. Just loosen the screws and slightly twist the screen. When the frame screws are too tight, it can cause backlight bleed.

  7. If the backlight bleed issue is too severe for any of the more straightforward fixes and there's no warranty, you may need to resort to buying a new TV or a new laptop.

  • How much backlight bleed is acceptable?

    It depends on how much you're willing to tolerate. Some bleed is normal when the screen is at full brightness, but it may be less noticeable if you dim the screen.

  • How do I check for backlight bleed?

    To test for backlight bleed, play a full-screen video or a completely dark image. Then, look around the edges of the screen for streaks of light.

  • Why does my TV look blue?

    If your TV has a blue tint, it could be due to faulty cable connections or a defective LED backlight. Some TVs have a slight blue tint when operating normally.

  • Can backlight bleed go away on its own?

    Sometimes. All LCD screens have some backlight bleed at first, but as the pressure around the panel weakens with use, it will become less noticeable. If you've had your device for a while, the backlight bleed probably isn't going away.

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