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Dead pixel have you down? These tricks might revive it

Once you notice a dead pixel, it’s hard to think of anything else -it will keep drawing your eye and driving you a little more crazy with each glance. While you could shell out big bucks in repairs, or replace the display entirely, there’s often no harm in trying a few quick troubleshooting methods to see if you can snap the pixel back into shape without have to resort to costly services and outside alternatives.

Related: Protect your PC from the cyber-flu with these awesome free antivirus options

First, it’s important to note the difference between a dead pixel and stuck pixel. Each individual pixel in an LCD screen is made up of three subpixels (red, green and blue), which appear white when turned on and black when turned off. Together, the three subpixels generate all the colors of the spectrum.

A stuck pixel is one that is generated when one or two of the subpixels remain on and the rest off — it will vary in appearance based on which subpixels are working properly — while a dead pixel appears when an entire pixel or set of subpixels remain off. Stuck pixels are generally easier to fix than dead pixels (and neither should be confused with “hot pixels” which is a temporary issue limited to photography or videography).

Here’s our quick guide on how to fix a dead (or stuck) pixel. We cannot guarantee the methods below will resurrect your pixel from the dead, but it’s worth a shot. Also, many manufactures will even replace your screen if you’re still under warranty and meet a certain set of requirements (terms vary by manufacturer), so be sure to check your warranty for a free replacement before digging in below.

PixelHealer is a bit of software from Aurelitec that’s designed to fix pixel problems, and it’s a free download for Windows, which makes it a first stop for Windows users. Frankly, there’s not much more that needs to be said about the software because the online instructions are simple and straightforward. When you download and run PixelHealer, it will create a miniature color window with the command to “Start Flashing.” Cover the dead pixel area with the window, and use the command.

The window will start flashing multiple colors very quickly (epileptics take care). Leave it on for half an hour or so, and then check the pixel again. Try this a few times to see if it works. This is the common method when attempting to resuscitate a pixel, and that’s actually a very apt word, because it’s not unlike a defibrillation. You’re essentially trying to shock the pixel back to life, into a proper response that will have it acting as it should. And like defibrillation, it’s a desperate move that may or may not work. It’s more likely to work on a stuck pixel that shows signs of life than a dead pixel which may stay unresponsive.

If you aren’t exactly sure where your pixel problem is, you can use the aptly-titled InjuredPixels. The freemium pixel detector allows you to blank out your screen in multiple colors to test the display. The stuck or dead pixels will then show up against the color wall depending on the damage, which makes them easy to identify.

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