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Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are made up of millions of small colored spots called pixels. A small white spot on the screen is called a white pixel. This white spot is also known as a stuck pixel. Stuck pixels can appear on any LCD screen, including laptops, monitors, and cell phones screens.
Common causes of a white pixel include a malfunctioning transistor or uneven distribution of liquid inside the LCD monitor. Each pixel has three sub-pixels in red, green, and blue. Transistors carry electric current to the sub-pixels. The current makes the pixels change color.
If a transistor shorts out or remains open, the result can be a white, red, blue, or green pixel. If the pixel is not getting any current, then a small empty black spot surrounded by white space may be seen on the LCD screen. The black space is called a dead pixel.
Sometimes, a white pixel can be repaired. Various software programs are available that may find and fix white pixels. Generally, software can run a complete pixel test, or search by pixel color to find a white pixel. Software can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to test all the pixels.
Rubbing or tapping the screen may also repair a stuck pixel. Users can try to repair pixels at their own risk. Care must be taken when attempting to repair a pixel by tapping or rubbing the screen. It is possible to break other pixels surrounding a white pixel.
Monitors should be turned off prior to rubbing or tapping on the screen. Placing a damp cloth on the screen may help prevent scratching and further pixel damage. The screen can be turned back on while still applying pressure to the screen. Users can then remove the pressure and the cloth to see if the white pixel has been repaired.
White pixels may also start working over time without any attention from the user. Some white pixels appear only after several hours of continued use. Generally, white pixels are an annoyance and do not stop the screen from working properly.
Manufacturers each have their own pixel policy regarding LCD screen replacement. Companies rarely replace monitors with a single white pixel. Users can check their warranty information to determine how many white pixels are required before the manufacturer will replace a screen under the original warranty.
Some companies may replace screens with pixel defects with a refurbished unit. Users can call the company’s customer support center to find out if a particular screen will be repaired or replaced. Customers may also choose to live with a single stuck pixel, with the hope that it will repair itself over time.
There is nothing worse than getting a new monitor, laptop or portable device and finding a bunch of dead pixels when the device is powered up for the first time. When that happens, don't bother trying to fix the problem -- get it replaced immediately.
When dead pixels show up later on, that might not be the end of the world. LCD panels are cheap to fix in laptops and users with even limited skills and a good set of repair instructions can swap out panels.