How to check LCD displays for dead pixels

Posted on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 16:58 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Example of how a dead pixel may look like
This article was written by Lynn Chan. She takes a look at how you can check whether your notebook LCD panel has any dead pixels but you can also apply this guide to desktop LCD displays. There are a few different types of dead pixels. Some simply remain unlit, others are permanently lit but you can also find dead pixels which remain at a solid color.

Take a good look at your notebook computer screen. Do you find some tiny dark spots? You could have dead pixels. One of the most expensive parts of your notebook computer is the LCD screen.

LCD's are highly sensitive and any amount of pressure, touching or handling may damage it. As such, dead pixels aren't an uncommon thing. Apparently, some degree of dead pixels is to be expected. Still if you have a lot of them, it would be classified as a defective screen. So, how do you determine if you have dead pixels?

Before we go there, make sure it's not just dust. Clean your screen first. The best way to do that is to use a soft cotton cloth - no rags or paper towel as they can scratch your screen easily. Moisten the cloth with plain old water and wipe the screen gently.

Side note: I've also tried maintaining my screen dust free with a Swiffer Duster. These are inexpensive, very soft and they pick up the dirt not just re-distribute it. It has worked well. Of course, this will not take care of smudges or dried on dirt. So you'll still have to use the cotton cloth and water combo sometimes.

Once you've cleaned it, you can run a quick check with a free software called Dead Pixel Buddy. It's basically a very simple file that will rotate your screen through all the basic colors. This way you can tell if a pixel on your screen is not displaying properly. One tip, you might want to get a help of a friend. Two sets of eyes are better than one especially since pixels tend to be minuscule.

You can also do a low tech way by changing your desktop's background color to black, white, red, green blue and yellow, checking the screen each time you change the colors. This is of course not fool proof especially if you have tons of icons on your desktop but it's a good 'backup' check if you don't have Internet access to download the file or whatever the case may be.

If you do find dead pixels, don't panic yet, as mentioned earlier, a small amount of dead pixels could be inevitable but if you have a lot of them and your notebook computer is still under warranty, this may be a good time to call up the manufacturer and ask for assistance.

Related Resources:
Dead Pixel Buddy
5 Days To A Healthier Notebook Computer

About the Author
Lynn Chan helps new owners learn proper notebook care and use. Take care of your investment, find out how at

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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Re: How to check LCD displays for dead pixels
by Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 22:05 CEST
You can achieve the same effect in Windows XP by creating the 7 solid-color images and then viewing them as a slideshow.

Re: How to check LCD displays for dead pixels
by Anonymous on Monday, July 25 2005 @ 3:48 CEST
If you haven't noticed a dead pixel yet, dont look for it! once you know where it is, you'll keep looking at it!... Ignorance is Bliss!

  • Reply by Anonymous on Sunday, October 07 2007 @ 22:43 CEST

    I wish i had read that before discovering my dead pixel

Re: How to check LCD displays for dead pixels
by Anonymous on Monday, July 25 2005 @ 13:45 CEST
DON'T USE WATER TO CLEAN THE LCD!!! I don't know why the author chose water, but it leaves streaks. More research should be done before an article like this is written! Use a lint free and soft cloth. Go to your staples, office depot, etc and buy the LCD cleaner or just google and find another solution.

  • Reply by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 26 2005 @ 6:35 CEST

    Just use Metho - it evaporates off 100%.

Re: How to check LCD displays for dead pixels
by Anonymous on Friday, October 21 2005 @ 16:45 CEST
this program :
is really better than buddy, in addition, it allows to fix dead pixel by stimulating !

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