Stuck Pixel vs Dead Pixel: How to Distinguish and Fix Them?

December 07

21 min. to read

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Have you ever encountered defects in the form of small dots on a camera/computer’s LCD monitor or screen smartphone/tablet? If your answer is “yes”, you probably know how irritating this problem is and reduce your productivity, especially when working with photos.

As practice shows, it is the stuck pixel vs dead pixel that often appear in gadgets. However, there is good news. You can fix these defects!  But first, you need to learn to distinguish between two of these issues and find out the root of them to find the right solution. Let's talk about that in our article! 

What is a Stuck Pixel and How to Spot it?

First, let’s find out what is a pixel. This is a small object, usually rectangular, that contains three subpixels. They are painted in red, green, and blue colors. It’s pixels that make up full-fledged pictures, photos, and videos on smartphones, tablets, and laptop screens. But over time when actively using the gadget, there is a common occurrence, a stuck pixel. 

What does a stuck pixel look like? It appears as a dot in the same place and has one particular color: red, green, or blue. There can also be a combination of these colors. This dot typically doesn’t move, but can sometimes flicker. 

Why do they appear and how to fix stuck pixels on a phone or another gadget? The matter is that they always receive power. And when it receives incomplete information, it becomes defective, i.e., is displayed in only one of three colors. 

What is a Dead Pixel and How to Spot it? 

The dead pixel, unlike the stuck pixel, doesn’t receive power for all its subpixels, causing them to be off. So, what does a dead pixel look like? Look attentively at the screen. Are you seeing a persistent small rectangle of black or white color? This is a dead pixel. 

Difference Between Stuck and Dead Pixel: What Pay Attention to

At first glare, it may seem that stuck and dead pixels are almost the same thing. But, in fact, they are quite different. Below, we’ll explain why exactly:

  • Appearance and color. The stuck pixel looks like one dot of a particular (green, red, or blue) color all the time in the same place. It can also appear as a group of dots. If to consider what does dead pixel looks like, we see that it has a rectangle shape white or black color. 

  • Power. The stuck pixel continuously receives energy, so it has a certain color if you turned on your gadget. The dead at the same time is off, moreover permanently. That’s why you see a black dot on the screen of the smartphone or other device. 

  • Rare or common phenomenon. The stuck pixel is a quite common problem that most often occurs among old monitors and those that you have not used for a long time. Can dead pixels spread regularly? They rarely appear on sensors and digital liquid crystal cameras. 

  • Possibility of fixing. The advantage of the stuck pixels is that they might disappear over time by themselves and are easily fixed. The dead are never fixed. But you can revive them. 

How to Test if there are Stuck vs Dead Pixels on New Screens with Special Checker Tools?

Sometimes it’s very difficult to detect the presence of dead or stuck pixels on new screens. But there are several ways, that will help you with this. If you suspect that your camera has defected with pixels, you can carry out testing right here. There are two effective methods: 

  • Test on camera LCD. Set Program/Auto or Aperture Priority mode, then turn on Live View. After these settings, point the camera lens at something bright. It could be the sky or green grass. Move the camera to the right, left, up, or down. If you’ll notice a small dot in the same place, the defective pixel is in front of you. You already know what colors are dead pixels. So, it wouldn't be difficult for you to determine exactly what the problem is in front of you. 

  • Test the camera sensor. First, set ISO 100 or 200, then take several photos with different colors and patterns. Carefully view them on your computer at 100% view size. Do you see how one pixel that stands out from the others appears in the same place? This is a defect we speak about. 

You also can test your screen for defective pixels more carefully using special programs or tools. Below we consider some of them. 

Dead Pixels Test Website 

It's the simplest option that can test the presence of the issue, by making the screen a single color. By going to the main page, you’ll see dead pixel examples. Carefully remember them. And before starting to clean the screen with a soft cloth. But do it very gently so as not to damage the surface. 

Then click on Start Test. You’ll see a black test screen in front of you. If you want to check another screen color, just press “Space”. You also can click the left mouse button. Thus, you can check the presence of the dead pixels on also the white, red, green, and blue colors. Small dots indicate defects. At the same time, clean color means that all right. Press “Esc” to stop the test process. If at the beginning of the process you could not open full-screen mode, press F11. 

Eizo Monitor Test 

This online tool is very useful because besides checking your monitor for defective pixels, it can test other things you must know, for example, pattern, color distances, gradients, sharpness, and so on, moreover into a single test window. And it’s interesting that with this tool you can also fix stuck pixels. 

Using Eizo Monitor Test is one pleasure because you’ll find out about the availability of stuck or dead pixels on the phone or other gadget screen in a few minutes without much effort. All you need it’s to warm up your monitor and clean it with a soft cloth, as well as check all boxes you also plan to test and press the Start test button. First You’ll see a circle, the so-called test pattern, where you’ll test image quality. Use the menu on the left to check and switch from one solid color to another. You’ll see a short explanation of what you need to do and what you have to take into account bottom right. When you’ve checked all the necessary screens, press the ESC to exit. 

Online Monitor Test 

If you’re looking for a powerful tool for thoroughly checking not only, red, blue, and green pixels on the phone screen, but also the quality of your screen, try Online Monitor Test. It has 4 different modes:

  1. A simplified HTML version that is suitable for checking smartphones, tablets, and Smart-TV.

  2. Flash in an ordinary HTML window. You can maximize it, by pressing the F11 key.

  3. Flash in full-screen HTML.

  4. Full-screen program. 

Select one of them and then move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen, where you’ll see the menu. Click on the Homogeneity test point pound between red, green, blue, white, and black screens to test pixels. If you’ll not see anything besides the screen of one certain color, it means that everything is fine. 

Main Reasons Appearing These Pixels Defects 

You’ve found out what do dead pixels look like and what is the difference between them. So, let’s consider, why these defects appear. There are many reasons. But we will tell about the most common among them: 

  • Overheating or overcooling. When you use your gadget near a hot battery or vice versa in a cold room or even on the street when frosty, it leads to the solidification of pixels and their immobility in the middle of liquid crystals. 

  • Transistor failure. As practice shows, this occurs after voltage drops, resulting in a particular pixel doesn’t receive energy and becoming dead. Also, the transistor becomes damaged and thereby leads to defects due to static showing the same picture for a long time by the monitor.

  • Overclocking. If you overclock your monitor, be prepared for such a phenomenon as excess heat, which leads to the appearance of shuck pixels. 

  • High Humidity. LCD monitors don’t like such conditions, because the matrix suffers and white dots appear. 

So, how to fix stuck and dead pixels on phones or other gadgets on their own? After all, you don’t want to take your tool for repair and spend a lot of money on it. Let’s find out!

How to Fix Dead Pixels on Android Phones and Other Gadgets Solely?

It is easy to fix stuck pixels because it’s a temporary problem. But you’ll have to tinker a bit with dead pixels. We suggest you familiarize yourself with several methods of fixing the defects that have already proven their effectiveness in the practice.

Method #1: Give your laptop, smartphone, or tablet a rest for 24 hours

Sometimes, the issue appears, when you excessively use the gadget. In this case, you can try the safest option, which is suitable if you noticed stuck pixels. Just turn off the monitor and unplug it. Leave it in this condition for 24 hours. There is the possibility that after some rest, the issue will disappear by itself. But it could be later. It’s not really known how long it will take: a week, a month, or even a few years. 

Method #2: Use dead vs stuck pixel-fixing software

Programmers, realizing how annoying such defects are, have developed special software that can effectively solve them. All variants of such tools work on the same principle. The software aims to return the pixel to its usual state by reproducing a chaotic combination of red, green, and blue colors. It happens cyclically at a rate of 60 flashes per second. But kip in mind one important thing. If you suffer from epileptic seizures, this method isn’t for you because of the rapidly flashing lights in an erratic pattern. 

Here are three of the most common pixel-fixing software: 

  • JScreenFix Online Tool. This free app helps you to solve the problem of stuck or dead pixels on a phone, laptop, tablet, or TV screen in 10 minutes. After to going it, click on the blue button with the inscription Launch JScreenFix. You’ll see a black screen and a square of flashing pixels in front of you. By switching to full-screen mode by pressing the green button, carefully look at the dark background and find the dead pixel vs stuck pixel. Then drag a square of flashing pixels right to it and leave it on for from 10 minutes to 1 hour. If it doesn’t work, try one more time. Do this after your gadget will rest one day. It’s worth noting that this app works only if the pixel is stuck. Do stuck pixels go away completely and forever? Not to the fullest extent. But it’s worth a try. 

  • UndeadPixel. This Windows program helps to cope with dead pixels with one tool. The built-in stuck pixel locator detects the problem, and the main tool gives you a blinking dot. You just have to drag it to a dead pixel and wait 2 hours for the program to work. 

  • PixelHealer. If you want to know how to fix dead pixels on a phone or laptop, this free app nice works on any gadget with both these issues. The program arranges the so-called shock therapy of pixels, enlivening them. How does it happen? Everything is simple. After you cover the defect with a small colored window and press on the Start Flashing button, the combination of black, white, and all main RGB colors will flash at a frantic pace. Before starting, you can set a desirable flashing interval and timer to close the program automatically. Using this app, don’t look at the screen for a long time, because prolonged eye contact with blinking can lead to dizziness. 

Method #3: Fixing Problem Manually 

If you’ve tried all of the above methods and the problem remained unchanged, use one last chance to fix pixels by yourselves. This is a direct impact on them with your hand. In some cases, this method of “treatment” really works. Just follow the next steps:

  1. First, find out where is the defective pixel and turn off the monitor. 

  2. Press on the pixel. Wrap your index finger with a piece of microfiber and press where the stuck or dead pixel is located, while turning on the monitor. But do it very delicately so as not to damage your screen. Don’t press on other places, as this may lead to even more issue dots. Hold the pixel with your finger for 10 minutes and then put it away. You also can use a pen cap, marker, the tip of a makeup brush, or another blunt narrow object instead of the finger. Warm is one more way to solve the defect. Put a hot washcloth in a hermetical bag and don’t press too hard to it on the defective area, but not more than a few seconds at a time.

  3. Look at the result. Do dead pixels go away? Yes! Congratulation! You have coped with the issue. 

You can combine this option with any of the tools which we talked about.  But keep in mind that it’s somewhat risky. But why? The matter is that this method may cause permanent damage to the screen and void your warranty if it’s still valid. 

What to do if The Defective Pixels are Not Fixed?

You have already tried all independent methods of “treatment” of your screen, but the problem has not disappeared? You just have to accept it. Over time, you’ll get used to the issue pixel and will not notice it. 

But if this force majeure situation occurred during the warranty period, you can take the gadget to the service center to replace the screen. You should consider that the manufacturer may refuse to do this. It will depend on what the warranty says. As a rule, the number of bright or dark pixels should range from 4 to 8.

In conclusion

Both dead pixels and stuck pixels on the phone, on the screen of your laptop, tablet, or TV can throw you off track, worsen your mood, and reduce the productivity of your work with photo content. But knowing their nature and applying all the methods we recommend, you have a chance to cope with this annoying problem. Of course, if you have a valid warranty, the best way is to use the help of a specialist. We hope, our article was useful for you. 


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