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Common Laptop Screen Problems and How to Fix Them

Laptop users can get used to all sorts of niggling problems. What even the most long-suffering owner won’t stomach is a problematic screen. 

Laptop screen flickering or freezing, view-interfering dead pixels and black screens, these are just a few of the headaches found on mobile computers, but experienced laptop screen repair technicians have all the right answers to your display woes. 

Dead Pixels or Stuck Pixels 

Dead pixels are less common on modern laptop displays thanks to advancements in manufacturing processes. All the same, there will be times when non-responsive screen elements develop, perhaps due to prolonged usage or a manufacturing defect.

To identify the problem, dead pixels on laptop panels usually present themselves as tiny spots, dark or light to the eye. They’re also square or rectangular in shape and won’t respond to a reboot.

Here are a few steps to, hopefully, fix the problem:

  • Unsure if the pixels are a temporary issue, first try rebooting the laptop.
  • Use a blank background to identify stuck or dead pixels.
  • Applying pressure, try to ‘massage’ the stuck pixels free.
  • Use a free pixel restoring utility.
  • Call in a laptop screen repair service. 

A microfiber cloth is a good tool to have when working with a delicate display. Use it when applying the screen massage step. Also, there’s a difference between dead and stuck pixels. If stuck, some color will still be evident inside problem pixels. 

If dead, pure black or white squares appear, at which point a laptop screen replacement may be the only way forward, unfortunately.  

Screen Flickering

A headache-inducer, for sure laptop screen flickering is something that can be software or hardware related. A faulty driver is one cause, then there’s the possibility of an incompatible application. These kinds of problems can be quickly ruled out by removing the misbehaving software or updating a device driver.

For the hardware side, expect to contact a professional laptop repair technician, someone who can dismantle the laptop and check out the motherboard-to-monitor cable or replace the screen.

Trying user troubleshooting the OS:

  • Adjust operating system refresh rate by right clicking on the desktop.
  • Open ‘Display Settings’ and ‘Advanced Display.’
  • Choose the appropriate screen ‘Refresh Rate’ from the drop-down list. 60Hz is a good place to start.
  • Other potential corrective measures include graphics card updates and incompatible software removal.

To check for a hardware fault, try shifting the lid. A flicker that coincides with lid movement is likely due to a faulty cable connection or a damaged laptop hinge. If none of these steps yield results, a full laptop screen replacement is best left to the expert attention of a computer technician.  

Screen Freezing or Black Screen 

Another head scratcher, the display on a laptop entirely locks up or blanks. Or only the window freezes, leaving the mouse free to move. If a laptop screen goes black but there’s still signs of faint display content, the backlight inverter could be damaged. Again, this is a job for a professional laptop screen repair service.

Causes of screen freezing include an overheating CPU, the presence of malware, and hardware limitations. Outdated drivers are another possibility. Answering these issues, a quick restart can help, plus the addition of antivirus software, of which there are several free options available. If the laptop is overheating, update the drivers and check the chassis vents.

Finally, if a laptop screen goes black and there’s no other sign of trouble, try adjusting the brightness control. Some misbehaving program may have taken control of the screen, so a quick reset of the display brightness is all that’s needed to restore normal operations.   

Backlight Bleeding 

There’s a backlight behind the display.  On poorly manufactured displays, this light can leak from the edges. It manifests as a faint glowing frame or streaks of light. 

Users have the option of adjusting display brightness and contrast, but there’s little else that can be done if an LCD panel is suffering from backlight bleeding. As a last resort, try gently exerting pressure on the area, but a laptop screen replacement is the only realistic option if the bleeding is severe enough to interfere with your laptop activities. 

Screen Resolution and Display Settings 

Here’s a quick guide to the most common screen display adjustments, easily accessible in Windows settings.

  • Right-click on the desktop and select "Display Settings" or ‘Graphics Properties.’
  • Select ‘Display Resolution’ or ‘Advanced Display’ then ‘Refresh Rate.’
  • Select the correct values for these settings, depending on your laptop’s specs.
  • Experiment with different resolutions to find the setting that suits your preferences.

Note: Use the recommended resolution for your laptop's native display. The operating system assists by appending the word ‘Recommended’ after the native resolution is selected. Otherwise, you could end up with text and icons being overly large or too small. The display may even become weirdly stretched due to an aspect ratio mismatch.

Return to the native resolution if icons are too large/small or stretched. Most modern laptops use full HD displays, so a 1920x1080 resolution  should fix most issues. For those lucky enough to own a 4K laptop, 3840x2160 pixels assures optimal performance.

One more thing, power saving modes can lock laptops into dim screen displays. If this becomes an issue, select a balanced power mode from the operating system menu. 

Professional Assistance 

Software and hardware issues are one thing, then there are instances when a laptop screen won’t turn on at all. Meanwhile, with a user who has spilled a glass of water, laptop screen water damage introduces blobs of streaky color. A drop of moisture reaches the display inverter or a connecting cable. The result is tragedy, a mess of unreadable pixels or a dead display.

It gets worse. A drop cracks the monitor, or long-term use of a desktop background burns in an image on a sensitive OLED panel. To fix these screen faults and more, a laptop screen repair cost appraisal could be exorbitantly high. 

Avoid such wallet shocking surprises and get your screen replacement done right by taking your damaged laptop to the experts. Go to QuickFix, your eyes will thank you. 


  • What causes laptop display issues?

All sorts, including software and hardware problems. Although users can often fix software issues, hardware problems are best left to a trained computer repair technician.

  • Is it possible to repair a damaged laptop screen?

While it’s possible to apply some pressure and massage out some of the damage, the results can be unpredictable. Generally speaking, you’ll need the services of a professional. 

  • How do I fix my laptop screen malfunctioning?

Reboot, update drivers, check for malware, change screen resolution and refresh rate. Once you’ve exhausted all of these options, it’s time to consult a repair specialist, courtesy of QuickFix.



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