Fix Stuck Pixels

We’re a little skeptical about it, but here are a few programs that claim to be able to fix stuck pixels and decrease plasma/LCD burn in. The basic idea is that the program will rejuvenate the pixels by turning them on and off 60 times a second. You can use it on your computer monitor, or hook up your computer to output to any device experiencing these malfunctions.

Has anyone tried these? Do they work?

[JScreenFix]
[StuckSweep]

We know we’d rather try to fix a small burn-in or stuck pixel than try to mail our zillion dollar plasma screen back to the manufacturer.

UPDATE: From Lifehacker (1/2/07) “Keep in mind the difference between a dead pixel and a stuck pixel: A stuck pixel will generally be fixed at red, green, blue, or any combination of those three colors; if a pixel is dead, it shows up as black, and fixing it requires another method altogether.”

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  1. The_Truth says:

    Maybe its just me, but a zillion dollar TV better come with no dead pixels, a damn good warrenty and free hookers!

  2. brokenboy says:

    Just tune your TV to an empty channel. The static is effectively the same thing.

    But no, it won’t work. These are not mechanical devices that get “stuck” in some location. These are electronics with no moving parts and just turning on and off a broken transistor a whole bunch of times won’t suddenly remanufacture them..

  3. Magister says:

    If it is on the intarweb, then it has to be true.

  4. Ishmael says:

    Nope.

    The first link’s website was down, so I tried the second one. My husband’s monitor has one pixel that is stuck on red. I let it run for about 5 minutes or so, and it didn’t work.

    Also, it should come with an epilepsy warning like they put on video games now. I had to leave the room to preserve my sanity.

  5. Hawkins says:

    You can also try blowing on the stuck pixels.

    Or tapping them gently with a small ball-peen hammer. Sometimes that gets them unstuck.

  6. MattyMatt says:

    My iMac’s got a stuck red pixel — StuckSweep didn’t help with that, but did cause an instant rave to spring up around my monitor.

  7. Emrikol says:

    I hate to say this, but I’ve seen “dead” pixels come alive like this. I have an old compaq laptop that had a stuck pixel up near the top. I found a thing that did this (rapidly switching colors, etc) and let it run for a few days. I probably cut the whole-lcd lifetime by a few hundred hours, but that dead pixel is dead no more.

  8. were_only_gonna_die says:

    This might work with “stuck” pixels, but probably not “dead” ones. Sometimes the liquid crystals in the display aren’t fully distributed, or stuck in a certain position. Apparently some people say that massaging the screen might also work:

    http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-a-Stuck-Pixel-on-an-LCD-Monitor

    If the pixel is a constant black color, it’s probably dead, which means the transistor controlling the voltage is fried. Can’t fix that by switching the voltage repeatedly (or applying pressure).

    Also:
    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/lcd.htm

  9. Kat says:

    After 4 years (out of warranty), my laptop developed 7 stuck pixels. I tried a similar program once… nothing changed.

  10. were_only_gonna_die says:

    brokenboy: Actually the liquid crystals do move. Depending on the voltage applied the crystals align to a certain angle allowing certain polarizations of light through.

    Kat: If this technique works, it’s probably only on new LCDS in which the liquid wasn’t properly distributed. If a pixel dies or gets stuck after a few years it’s probably a dead transistor.

  11. bbot says:

    “Stuck pixels” are manufacturing defects in the transistor array. Trying to fix them by rapidly switching the display is somewhat like attempting to remove a dent in your car by revving the engine. It can only reduce the life of the panel.

    But if you get a “stuck pixel” at some point *after* you start using the panel, then it’s a polarization issue, and may actually be solvable with this program. But disable the backlight while it’s running, to save tube brightness.

  12. Leto says:

    I’m happy to report that JScreenFixer seemed to fix the row of stuck pixels at the edge of my screen. However I only ran the program for half-an-hour and the problem was solved. Maybe my pixels were just easy little hos.

  13. Kangarara says:

    Apparently some people say that massaging the screen might also work

    Do they recommend oil or lotion?

    “Hey, baby, I’m just tryin’ to get next to you…”

  14. Ben Popken says:

    The key to using this program seems to be running it for a long time, not just a few minutes.

  15. Cary says:

    A dead pixel or two is the price we pay for the price we pay. There are a couple of manufacturers that guarantee zero bright pixels, but they charge for it.

    Most top-price brand displays will have no or very few faulty pixels… they sell those panels to the Walmart, K-Mart, and Costco brands

  16. MosH8ed says:

    It’s probably a crap-shoot, but does anybody have any ideas on how to fix a row of dead pixels on a CRT? I have an old 21″ monitor that suffers from this problem.

  17. brkl says:

    I remember people using these sort of programs or video loops to fix dead pixels on Playstation Portables. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it’s not superstition. My monitor has a single red pixel that won’t react to these things.

    BillyC_8o8, CRTs are a whole different breed. I don’t know if you can fix the pixels somehow, but this is certainly not the way.

  18. Emrikol says:

    If you have dead pixels on a CRT, then it’s probably something wrong with the phosphor. (or something weird with the logic in the unit) Either way, I doubt there’s anything that can be done with it.

  19. Tonguetied says:

    Some 3-in-1 oil, some guaze pads and some ball bearings should do the trick. Everything is ball bearings these days…

  20. k8tieroxor says:

    We have 1 stuck pixel on our Sony TV and this concept didn’t help the lone pixel. (This is after Best Buy told us that Sony won’t take back the TV for 1 stuck pixel — when the original salesteen told us they would, and that’s why we bought it…oooOh and ask them about their frivilous charge on their credit card when you do the interest free financing….thanks for nothing Best Buy!)

  21. Judge373 says:

    I have a pixel near the bottom right hand corner of my screen that sometimes gets stuck in blue. I fix it by just tapping on it moderately hard with my finger once or twice. Always works.

  22. Ben Popken says:

    This is for fixing STUCK PIXELS, not dead ones.

  23. NiceOneBristol says:

    I have just succesfully unstuck several stuck pixels by wiping the screen with a damp cloth while it was off, and then switching it on, and computer i continued to wipe whole screen in a gentle fastion, well nothing happened at first until i wiped the screen with some kitchen roll to dry the damp screen (I used the damp cloth from side to side, and the kitchen roll up and down using just enough pressure to cause the ripple effect). Hope this helps other people.

    All the best.

    NiceOne