A tiny red dot appeared on my computer screen a few weeks ago, and it hasn’t gone away. Is there anything I can do to make it disappear?
By Rachael Z Arndt
Your red dot is a red subpixel that’s stuck on, keeping the red liquid crystal activated and therefore turning white light red, even when it shouldn’t. LCD screens are made up of thousands of pixels, each of which is made of three liquid-crystal subpixels – one red, one green, and one blue. When activated electronically, these subpixels filter a white backlight into a coloured dot. A stuck pixel is relatively solvable; dead pixels, in which none of the subpixels turns on, and hot pixels, in which all of them are on, are harder to fix.
There are two things you can do to nudge your stuck pixel back to its proper behaviour. The first is making the screen quickly flash a series of solid colours. This re-energises the stuck pixel, whose transistor power supply has been disrupted. We recommend using JScreenfix, a Java applet that runs for about 20 minutes, toggling colour changes onscreen.
If software doesn’t do the trick, you can try physically massaging the pixel away. But be careful; being too rough with any screen can make the problem even worse. Turn off the monitor and apply pressure on the problem area with a damp rag, dislodging the stuck liquid by removing the tiny flexes in the screen that might have prevented circuits from bonding. Then turn the screen back on; the stuck pixel should be gone.