Dead Pixels on Your TV? Here’s What to Do

You’re sitting down to watch a movie or play the latest PS5 release, and you turn on your TV. But for the first time, you notice something concerning. It looks like there are some black spots on the TV. You figure, no big deal, it’s probably just dirt or grime. So you go to clean it off, and that’s when you realize: you’ve got dead pixels.
Dead pixels can range from a minor annoyance to a major problem. Not sure what to do about them? Here’s where to start.

Which TV Types Get Dead Pixels?

All current display types (LCD, LED, OLED, etc.) can produce dead pixels. There are other differences between various display types, such as OLED being more susceptible to screen burn-in, but the risks of dead pixels are relatively even across all TV types.

Can Dead Pixels Be Resurrected?

It depends on who you ask. PCWorld says no: a truly dead pixel is just plain dead. There’s no fixing it.
Other sources list strategies to revive a dead pixel. But whether these strategies are ever actually successful on truly dead pixels is a matter of debate. Moreover, people who report success reviving dead pixels may have dealt with stuck pixels, not dead ones.
It’s also important to note that some of the methods for reviving these pixels are quite risky. Your attempts to fix the screen issue could further damage your screen and will often void a manufacturer’s warranty. So before you start tinkering, make sure to consider whether the problem is truly worth the risk.

What Are Stuck Pixels?

Stuck pixels are different from dead ones in that they still show signs of life.
A dead pixel will be completely black and won’t change or show color. (An always-white pixel is sometimes also called a dead pixel or might also be called a hot pixel, but it’s the same story: nothing you do makes any difference, so it’s functionally dead.)
A stuck pixel is different. As the name implies, it may be stuck rather than dead. If you have a pixel displaying red (or blue or green) when it shouldn’t be, that’s certainly annoying. But it’s better news because it means the electronics powering the pixel aren’t disabled or destroyed. They’re just stuck.
The good news with stuck pixels is that you can usually find a way to un-stick them. Some of these are even software-based, so you won’t have to worry about voiding the warranty on your TV.

Strategies to Try

If you’ve determined that you have some dead or stuck pixels, here are some strategies to try. But, again, you should proceed with caution past the first point — if you proceed past it at all. Some of these strategies are risky and could further damage your display.

1. Check Your Manufacturer Warranty

Your first step should be to check your manufacturer warranty, especially if the dead pixel showed up when you first turned on your TV. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t always cover dead pixels. Some do and some don’t. Some set a threshold (say, five or more dead pixels) before they’ll repair or replace the unit. But you should always start here.
If the device is brand-new and the manufacturer warranty doesn’t cover dead pixels, you may also be able to exchange or return the device from the retailer that sold it to you.

2. Check Your Extended Warranty

Next up is your extended warranty, if you have one. Again, not all extended warranties cover dead pixels, but some do. Upsie’s extended TV warranties, for example, do cover dead pixels. Upsie also offers unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the TV with no deductible, meaning you can contact Upsie worry-free to have your TV repaired as soon as possible. If your TV can’t be repaired on the first claim, Upsie will even send a replacement TV.

3. Give Your TV a Break

If you’ve been using your TV heavily, it may just need to cool down. Leave it off for 24 hours, then see if the pixel issues resolve themselves.

4. Try a Software Fix

Next up is an attempt at a software fix. These utilities will rapidly flash colors across your screen in an attempt to shock those pixels back into working order. PixelHealer and JScreenFix are two top options in this space.
This method tends to work only on stuck pixels, but it’s worth trying before getting hands-on in step 5.

5. Use Some Pressure

This is where things get risky. PCWorld recommends covering the screen with a scratch-free cloth and then pressing gently with a stylus on the stuck pixel for around 10 seconds. Gentle tapping with something slightly firmer is also an option.

6. Repair or Replace

If nothing else has resolved your problem, your next step is to send your TV in for repair or replace the device entirely. Living with the stuck pixel is also an option.

Protect Your TV with the Right Extended Warranty

Upsie offers the best coverage for TVs. With an Upsie warranty, your TV is protected from screen burn-in, dead pixels, power issues, connectivity failure, and more. Even better, Upsie’s warranties cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from manufacturers or retailers, ensuring that you get the best protection for the best price.
Customers can purchase an Upsie warranty for TVs bought within the last 11 months. Upsie protects your TV so you can have peace of mind.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.