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How to Fix a Broken Laptop Screen 2021

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When a laptop screen breaks, you'll see a variety of visual defects depending on exactly what broke. You may notice stuck or incorrectly colored pixels, lines of color, bleeding colors, chunks of the screen appear black, or the screen may not turn on at all.

What Causes a Broken Laptop Screen?

When a laptop screen is physically broken, it's usually due to physical damage. The laptop may have been dropped, or something may have been dropped on the laptop. In some cases, a laptop screen can even break if the laptop is closed with something as small as a bit of sand between the screen and the keyboard.

Some of the other issues that can cause a laptop screen to malfunction or seem broken include:

Stuck pixelsScreen burnMalfunctioning backlightCable and connector problemsOutdated driver

How to Fix a Broken Laptop Screen

To fix your broken laptop screen, you'll have to try each of these fixes. If the screen starts working, or you see enough improvement to start using the laptop again, then you can stop. If it stops working again in the future, return to the list and try the rest of the fixes.

If your screen is physically cracked and the underlying panel is damaged, these fixes won't work. To fix a physically cracked or broken screen, the only option is to replace the screen.

Restart your laptop. The screen not appearing to work may be caused by an operating system issue, or some other conflict will be cleared by simply restarting the computer. Since restarting is so easy, it should be the first thing you try.

Close the laptop and reopen it. Examine your keyboard and screen areas for any debris, and clean them thoroughly. If your laptop uses a visible latch, clean the latch mechanism. Carefully close the laptop, ensure it is completely closed, and open it back up. If the screen sometimes turns on and sometimes doesn't, you probably have a bad lid sensor.

Plug in an external monitor. If your screen is completely black, try plugging in an external monitor. If the external monitor doesn't work, then your laptop may not be on, or it may be asleep or in hibernation mode. Plug the laptop into power, and make sure it's on.

Update your video drivers. If your screen isn't completely black, but you're seeing visual defects on the screen, try updating your video drivers. You may have a malfunctioning or glitchy driver.

Try to unstick your stuck pixels. If you're dealing with one or more stuck pixels, you can use an app to try and unstick them. These apps typically cycle between colors rapidly or generate digital snow to try and force a dead or stuck pixel to start working again.

Try to fix your burn-in. If it looks more like you have ghosts of old images stuck on your screen, then you can try a white screen saver or a few other potential fixes to remove the burn-in.

Check your screen and backlight connections. If you have experience with disassembling laptops, you can remove the bezel around your screen, hinge covers, or other case components to reveal the screen and backlight wires and connectors. Make sure everything is fully seated and the wires aren't crimped or broken.

Replace the screen. If nothing else works, then your screen probably has to be replaced. Screens with large black or colored bars, black holes, or colors which seem to run have typically been damaged beyond repair. If the screen is physically cracked, that's also a clue you'll have to replace it.