How to Fix a Dead Pixel

Try these potential solutions before replacing your screen

A dead pixel is a picture element that stops lighting up, causing a persistent black dot on the screen.

If you suspect you have one, but you aren't sure, investigate more closely with tools like the Dead Pixels Test or These programs often display solid colors on the entire screen, allowing your eyes to more easily pick out pixels that aren't functioning properly.

Dead pixels can't be fixed in most cases, but you can sometimes revive those pixels. We have a few solutions for you to try before you send your device out for repairs.

Dead pixels are not the same as stuck pixels. These pixels look almost the same, but there's an important distinction. A dead pixel won't turn on, whereas a stuck pixel is permanently on. Since it's permanently on, it typically appears as a bright, persistent dot on the screen, and is either red, green, blue, or white. If a problematic pixel is dead, it should look like a small black rectangle.

Causes of Dead Pixels

A dead pixel occurs when the transistor that powers it fails to supply power, causing it to remain permanently black, never illuminating.

The most common cause of dead pixels is a manufacturing defect. Undetectably small errors in assembly can result in a handful of dead pixels among the millions of functional ones.

Dead pixels can also appear later on in a display's life, mostly as the result of physical damage.

How to Fix a Dead Pixel on Your Monitor, Smartphone, or Tablet

Here are a few things you can try to fix a dead pixel on your device's display:

  1. Wait for the dead pixel to disappear.

    It may go away on its own, but there's no telling how long it will take. You might have the dead pixel for the remainder of the device's life, or it might go away in a week.

  2. Try JScreenFix. This free web app fixes many stuck pixels in less than 10 minutes.

    There's no software to download or install, and it's suitable for LCD and OLED screens.

    This likely won't work if the pixels are dead instead of stuck, but there's no harm in trying.

  3. Replace the screen. The most reliable way to fix a dead pixel is to replace the screen.

    Many manufacturers have warranties that cover dead pixels, so check your device's warranty to see if this situation applies to you. Most display manufacturers require a minimum number of dead pixels before the screen can be replaced.

    For a display the size of a computer monitor, the minimum is typically four to eight dead pixels. Smaller displays have lower minimum requirements.

    You can examine the dead pixel policies of Acer, Apple, Dell, LG, and Samsung, but the best source is always the device's specific warranty documents.

    You may come across other methods of fixing this problem yourself, including "pressure" and "heat" methods. We do not recommend trying these methods as they can make the problem much worse if not done properly!

There isn't a lot you can do to fix dead pixels; most people tend to buy a new tablet, computer, or TV when pixels start going bad. If you're not comfortable with replacing the screen yourself (most people aren't), then the next step is to find a local repair shop if your device is no longer under warranty or break out the wallet.

  • How common are dead pixels?

    By and large, dead pixels are considered to be fairly normal when it comes to LCD displays—for example, Dell says dead pixels are not uncommon. And the larger the screen, the less likely we are to notice a few dead pixels among thousands of active ones.

  • How many dead pixels can be considered acceptable?

    Everyone has their own opinion on what they consider "acceptable" when it comes to dead pixels, but generally it depends on whether or not you even notice them in the first place. But generally speaking, anywhere from one to five inactive pixels is considered okay according to industry standards.

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