How to Figure Out If Your Laptop Screen Has Dead Pixels

Dead pixels on a desktop computer monitor or a laptop screen may be caused by a number of factors such as manufacturing defects, external impacts or simply the screen getting old. In this post, I will show you two methods to check if your screen has any dead pixels.

I know exactly how it feels to find a dead pixel on your laptop screen for the first time. You notice a small piece of dirt, as small as a pixel, on your screen, while playing a game, working on some files or browsing the web. You try to clean it off the screen with a cleaning cloth, not realizing that it's a dead pixel. After minutes of unsuccessful trials, seeing the dirt staying still, you realize that your screen has a dead pixel, which practically you can't do anything about, and knowing that makes you kind of sad. From now on, you will continue to stare at that dead pixel frequently and wish it did not exist.

A dead pixel is basically a pixel that is no longer active, and that is no longer displaying the color values the system sends to it. Hence it looks black, gray or sometimes white depending on how it occurred. While in most cases it is just one single pixel, it can also be multiple pixels in the same area or scattered around the screen.

For those who don't have a sharp eyesight or who don't mind having one or more small dots, almost impossible to see if you don't look carefully, on their screen, the dead pixels are not that important. However, they can get pretty annoying if you are paying great attention to details, and they may even cause you to want to replace your laptop, or at least its screen.

Dead pixels are not simply an aesthetic nuisance, for example if you are a web or graphic designer designing pixel perfect websites and graphics, then dead pixels on the screen will certainly affect your work. If you are a photographer who works on editing photos and images frequently and producing high quality images is highly important for you, then you won't want any dead pixels on your screen. If you are an author, writing articles, stories, books or any kind of text on the screen for long periods of time, often times on white documents or text editors, those dead pixels will continue to blink at you and cause distraction.

In any case, having dead pixels on your laptop screen (or any other screen for that matter) is not something you would want to have. Especially if you just bought your laptop, or if you are planning to sell it. So, to make sure your screen has no dead pixels, you can follow the methods I will explain below.

1. Using Desktop Background Image for Dead Pixels

This method consists of clearing your desktop and using a solid color background image to locate any dead pixels on your screen.

STEP 1: Open your laptop and remove all the files, folders and shortcuts from the desktop screen, so that it will be empty. You can simply put them into a temporary folder, so that you can bring them back easily. Also remove any sidebars or toolbars your OS has placed on your screen.

After this step, your screen should be totally empty.

STEP 2: Create two images in a simple image editor (e.g. Paint), with nothing but a solid color, one image black and one image white. Make sure the images have the exact width and height dimensions your screen has. You can use any solid color you want, but focusing on two colors, white and black, will help you locate dead pixels faster.

STEP 3: Set one of the images as the desktop background image and inspect the whole screen. Thoroughly check all areas on your screen from varying distances (30-60cm) and varying angles. It will also help if you can check the screen under different lighting conditions. Once you are done, replace the background image to the other image you created and continue your inspection till you find the dead pixel(s) or can't find anything.

For example the following solid black color image will help you easily spot any dirt or dead pixel (if any) at its location on the screen.

How to Figure Out If Your Laptop Screen Has Dead Pixels

2. Using Empty Web Page for Dead Pixels

In this method, you will use an empty web page with solid background color (black or white) to help you find any dead pixels.

STEP 1: Create a simple HTML file using the following code:

<!doctype html>
  <title>Check Dead Pixels</title>
  body { margin: 0; background: black }

You can create an HTML file with any text editor, such as Notepad. What we did is we started with document type declaration, gave a title to our page and made its background color black using internal CSS styles. For a web page with white background, simply replace "black" with "white".

You don't need to add any elements or extra code to this HTML page, simply insert the above code and save it with .html extension in your text editor. You can name it as dead-pixel-checker.html and save it for future use, in case you may need it again on any desktop monitor, laptop, tablet or mobile device you will own at later times.

STEP 2: Once the file is ready, open it with your favorite web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). You can right click on the HTML file and open it with a browser or simply drag it onto an empty browser window.

STEP 3: When the web page you created is displayed within the web browser window, press F11 button to go into Full Screen mode. The solid color web page will now cover your whole screen. Kind of a full screen background image, without the top bar of the browser, right or bottom scrollbars and the bottom bar of your operating system.

STEP 4: Inspect your screen thoroughly and see if there are any dead pixels.

TIP: If you are interested in learning more about building web pages, you can check our HTML tutorials and CSS tutorials.

The second method will often yield better results compared to the first method as it provides a fully covered solid color screen background, but if you wouldn't want to get involved with creating an HTML file, the first method should also serve you well.

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