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How to Fix a Computer Screen

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Updated July 22, 2022

There’s nothing more acutely distressing for a computer lover than noticing that a patch of their screen looks strange. And while the best computer monitors last for tens of thousands of hours of usage, they aren’t immune to damage or wear. But don’t start writing a eulogy or digging a grave for your monitor just yet. Below, we’re going to show you how to fix a computer screen.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are many steps and potential fixes for users to try before purchasing a computer replacement screen.
  • The only time a user should seriously consider purchasing a new screen is when there is physical damage.
  • There are ways to configure display settings, like adjusting brightness settings, to keep your monitor lasting longer.

If you’re in the market for a computer monitor, we have plenty of great resources, from our guide covering the best console gaming monitors to more specific articles, like our comparison of the IPS vs VA vs TN.

Insider Tip

To reduce the chances of screen burn-in, keep brightness levels down and not leave one static image on your screen for too long.

Some Basic Tips to Fix a Computer Screen

There are many signs of screen damage for either a laptop screen or an external monitor. First, there are obvious ones, like a cracked, broken, or blank screen. And then, there are subtler signs, like fading screen resolution.

Unfortunately, depending on how severe the issue is, there’s no promise of a fix for your external monitor. For example, the only solution for physical damage is to replace the screen. But for other issues, it’s good to attempt a few easy solutions before replacing the screen or purchasing a new monitor.

And our coverage of monitors does end here. We have more articles explaining things like what to do if your monitor has no signal.

Restart Your Computer

You’ve heard it again and again, but here it is once more: The first thing to do is to turn off the power if you see anything odd with the screen resolution or if you experience a black screen. If you have a blank screen and can’t see anything, hold the power button for a few seconds, let the computer sit for a few minutes, and try turning it back on.

Update the Video Drivers

The best thing to do if you are experiencing any form of glitches or a completely black screen is to ensure that you’ve updated the video graphics drivers. Device drivers need to be updated now and then to keep the graphics card in working order. To complete this, you can enter into the control panel, go into your update setting, and check to see if you are due for an update.

Fixing Screen Burn-In

Sometimes you’ll notice images from previous visuals faintly hanging around on your computer screen. Burn-in, as this issue is called, can be a very annoying problem but is typically solved without much hassle.

Warning

Keep your computer screen out of direct sunlight and in a room with low humidity.

The first thing to try is to shut the computer off for at least 24 hours, then restart to see if that fixes the problem. For more severe cases of burn-in, you can try putting on a white blank screen saver and leaving it on for a few hours.

Screen burn-in can be a big problem. It’s even something that goes so far as to explain why there are no OLED monitors yet on the market.

STAT: Depending on the intensity of use, LCD computer monitors last for 30,000-60,000 hours. (source)

How to Fix a Computer Screen FAQs

What makes a computer have a sideways screen issue?

The most common reason for this is that you accidentally pressed the wrong combination of keys and changed the screen orientation settings.

What is the cause of the black screen of death?

Although the name is scary, this symptom usually isn't because you have a wholly broken laptop screen. Instead, it indicates driver issues, which you can easily update in safe mode.

How do I fix an oversized computer screen?

Adjusting for an oversized computer screen is an easy fix. Go into the control panel, enter the display settings, and adjust the scale to fit your desired size.
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