How to Fix a Broken TV Screen

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Updated September 30, 2022

Scratches or cracks on flat-screen TV screens, whether they’re LED, LCD, or Plasma, can often mean an expensive professional repair, replacement parts, or even a replacement TV, especially if they are a top-rated TV. But depending on the extent of the damage, there are a few DIY tricks that can salvage the situation. Knowing how to fix a broken TV screen can save you time and a lot of money, so it’s often worth a try to apply a little elbow grease to the problem.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Minor scratches and cracks can sometimes be repaired at home using DIY methods such as a pencil eraser
  • If there are jagged or sharp edges to the damage on your screen, repair may not be possible
  • Scratch and crack repair kits, and dead pixel recovery software can be effective backups to DIY fixes

These DIY flat-screen tv repair tricks generally won’t cost you much- or anything at all, and anyone can do them, regardless of how handy they may or may not be–they can even save you from high flat-screen tv repair costs. Or even better, they’ll save you from replacing a high-quality TV, like if you’ve invested in one of the best TVs for bright rooms.

Cracked Screen and Scratches

Before you attempt any home repairs, there are some guidelines as far as what kind of screen damage can actually be fixed without a professional (or at all.) However, before you do any repairs, you should see if your warranty covers the repairs. This is especially true if you bought an extended warranty as you don’t want to waste your money.

Spiderweb cracks are small, shallow hairline cracks that don’t go all the way through the screen and are often fixable, especially since it usually means that damage hasn’t been done to the components underneath. Scratches- especially minor ones- are more often than not capable of being “erased” or faded so that they don’t affect your viewing experience.

As with any kind of screen damage on a flat-screen tv, not every spiderweb crack or will be fixable at home, and major cracks or vertical lines and horizontal lines will always mean a professional repair at an authorized repair center, replacement screen purchase, entire board replacement, backlight repair, and not infrequently, the need to replace the entire TV unit if the cost of the flat-screen tv repair would be more than the original cost of the TV. One thing that you ought to keep in mind, however, is that you should consider screen size and tv weight. Additionally, if you are energy conscious, you should learn about the different screen technologies and how much power those TVs use.

Repairing “Dead” Pixels

A frequent but often minor issue with TV screens and computer monitors alike are “dead” pixels or pixels that seem to be stuck on one color or overly bright pixels. While this is sometimes an indication of irreversible physical damage, fairly often, it’s something that can be fixed quickly and easily and save you from flat-screen tv repair costs.

  1. Wrap a pencil or other dull and narrow object in a damp, soft (non-abrasive) cloth
  2. Rub each dead pixel gently to “wake up” those pixels. Use caution, as rubbing too hard can damage pixels permanently.

If you don’t see results with this method, you could also try using software designed to “cycle” through colors rapidly to “wake up” pixels, some of which are available for free.

Repairing Spider Web Cracks and Minor Scratches

Fine cracks or spiderweb cracks on flat-panel screens can often be repaired or “erased” using a few different DIY methods. First, you’ll need to determine if a repair is possible. Run a soft, clean, non-abrasive cloth over the screen gently- if you feel any broken glass or jagged or rough edges, the repair will probably not be possible, and you’ll likely have to replace the screen entirely. If not, try the following:

  1. Using a clean, dry pencil eraser, gently rub the scratches or spiderweb crack, making sure to wipe away any residue from the eraser as it collects.
  2. If you see results within a minute, continue rubbing over the entire crack or scratch until it’s faded or filled in as much as possible.

If the above fix doesn’t work or isn’t as effective as desired, you can purchase an LCD scratch repair kit as a backup method- these can be found at many vendors at an average cost of $20 to start. If the kit doesn’t work either, you still may be looking at a screen replacement and a call to a repair center. It is also important as sometimes your TV may not need fixing, but you just need to know how can I get internet on my tv. This is especially true if you are just facing issues with the internet connectivity of your smart TV.

F.A.Q.S

What can you do if your TV display is cracked?

If it’s a hairline or spiderweb crack-one that doesn’t go all the way through the screen- you may be able to repair it yourself using a couple of DIY methods or by purchasing a kit online. If the damage is significant, it’s likely you’ll have to replace the screen entirely.


How much do TV repair shops charge?

Hourly labor rates at TV repair shops can range from $60 to $125, including diagnostic fees, but further charges depend on the repair services needed, as well as the model and brand of the TV- many repairs can have an average cost of up to $350, not including labor costs. Work like port repair, replacement panels, power board, and power supply replacement, any major display issue, new lamp units, and other common issues can vary a great deal in cost depending on TV models- replacing an entire display panel on a small 1080p screen will be much cheaper than replacing one from a large 4K TV. An included limited warranty can sometimes help with these costs, however, though they don’t always cover labor costs.


Are Plasma TV screens repairable?

Sometimes, yes- it depends on the extent of the damage. If the screen damage is minor, such as hairline cracks or scratches, DIY methods may work, but major cracks can often damage the plasma components underneath, making the repair cost higher than the original cost of the TV itself sometimes. Consulting a repair shop that does Plasma TV repair is a good idea if the damage seems major. Repair technicians can often diagnose over the phone regarding panel replacement, motherboard replacement, power supply repair, inverter repair, and more.


What are some common repairs that require a professional?

Common issues that generally can’t be solved at home include inverter repair, power cord replacement, many LED TV repairs, replacement panels, a blank screen, replacing the power supply board, control board swapping, and lamp burnout. Diagnostics testing can often reveal other issues with your set that are related to the main issue.


STAT: Consumer advocate groups recommend not spending more than 50% of the cost of a replacement television repairing your current TV. (source)

STAT: An extended warranty as opposed to a limited warranty can cost between 10 and 20 percent of the price of your TV but can save you from replacement and repair costs in case of major damage. An extended warranty can usually be purchased with the TV. (source)

STAT: Software updates to your Smart TV can be done at home by the user at no cost, while a repair shop will charge as much as $100 for performing such updates. (source)

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