How to Fix Screen Burn on Any Screen

Yup burn-in still happens. Try these tips to fix it.

Screen burn in

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Screen burn-in isn’t as common on modern display technologies as it was in the past, but few screens are immune to its ability to ruin a perfectly good display. If you run into this irritating problem, here are some tips and tricks that might help fix it.

What is Screen Burn-in?

Screen burn-in is a noticeable discoloration or ghosting of a previous image on a digital display. It’s caused by the regular use of certain pixels more than others, leaving them to display colors slightly differently. The end result is a noticeable and often permanent impression on the display.

Time, screen brightness, and other factors can cause burn-in, but the circumstances are different for each display technology, as different screens and their pixels operate differently at the hardware level. For LCD panels, like those used in many TVs and computer monitors, burn-in can develop because pixels eventually become unable to return to their unlit state and retain a colored profile.

As for OLED and AMOLED technology, which is now used in some modern smartphones and TVs, the light emitting pixels in the displays can dim faster than others if used more regularly, leaving a darkened ghost of an image in their place.

Screen Burn-in vs. Image Retention

Colloquially “burn-in” is used as a catchall term for any kind of ghosted image on a screen. The most common form of such “burn-in” though, is technically known as image retention. While that might seem like a case of pedantic semantics, it’s an important distinction to make. Screen burn-in refers to a permanent degradation of a display which is almost impossible to fix; image retention is typically fixable.

How to Fix Screen Burn-in

As described above, screen burn-in on a technical level is hard to fix. However, the much more common image retention is not. Here’s how to sort out your image retention problems on whatever device you have.

Fix Screen Burn-in on Your TV

  1. Brightness Settings: Try turning down the brightness and contrast on your TV and watch some varied content; it might go away on its own.

  2. Pixel-Shift: Many modern TVs have a built-in pixel-shift, or screen shift, which constantly moves the image slightly to vary pixel usage. If not enabled automatically, you should be able to turn it on in the settings menu. Other settings offer “Refresh” functions that can be manually run to try and clean out any image retention problems.

  3. Play a colorful video: Running a fast-moving video with lots of color changes for a few minutes to half an hour may help if the above options don't work.

  4. Warranty: Check your warranty to see if you’re covered for a replacement.

Fix Burn-in on Your Computer Monitor

Although most PC monitors are made to be less susceptible to burn-in, it can still happen. If you run into it there are a few things you can try:

  1. Turn off Display: Try turning off your display for at least a few hours, or as many as 48, ideally.

  2. Use a White Screensaver: Try setting your screensaver to a pure white image and leaving it to run for a few hours. That may not remove image retention entirely, but it should dampen how noticeable it is.

  3. Try JScreenFix: Some have also found success using JScreenFix. Although designed to fix stuck pixels rather than burn-in, it may help clear up any issues you’re experiencing.

Fix Burn-in on Android or iOS Device

  1. Turn device off: Image retention on a smartphone or tablet can sometimes be cured just by turning the device off for an hour or so.

  2. Try a burn-in fixer: There are a number of great burn-in fixer apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Some, like OLED tools, will try to fix image retention and check for more permanent burn-in.

  3. Try a colorful video: Try playing fast-paced videos with lots of color changes on your device for some time.

  4. Replace the screen: If none of the above works, your best bet is to either replace the screen yourself or talk to your mobile carrier about a replacement device. Manufacturers like Apple have extended the warranties on certain devices that are prone to image retention and burn-in, so if your device is fairly new, you should still be covered by the warranty.