Tim Wasson - web nerd guy.

Fixing Dead Pixels on the iPhone

I love my iPhone, so imagine my disappointment when my buddy spilled his beer on on it while we were out boozin'. I quickly grabbed the phone and wiped it against my shirt, and all appeared to be fine. The next day, however, my phone had developed a very unsightly bar of gray, dead pixels right across the middle of the screen. My iPhone was well out of warrantee, and I'm not sure I would have felt right claiming a warrantee replacement on what was (maybe) related to the spilled beer incident. I'd considered upgrading to a 3G iPhone, but with no 3G service in my area I'd be paying more with no real benefit. I decided to try and fix it myself.

Replacement LCD's were expensive, and I'm not exactly confident in my ability to fix it anyway. I set about trying the various software solutions, like Pixelmetrist and this web utility. Both use the standard quick color flashing to unstick these pixels, but neither of them did a thing for my poor iPhone.

Scouring the internet, I found that people had some success with their LCD monitors by "massaging" out the bad areas. Of course, these guys were talking about 1 or 2 dead pixels, not groups of hundreds like I was dealing with. But still, I figured it was worth a shot.

I used a Sharpie marker and started slowly pushing on the screen. I pushed with enough force that the screen noticeably discolored under the cap, but not enough pressure that I was scared of breaking the screen. And slowly, 1 pixel at a time, the gray dead blob started moving up and toward the top of the screen. The blob left other dead pixels in its wake, but they were red in color instead of gray, and tended to fade and disappear within a couple of days. It took a couple of weeks of working on this process to get the gray blob out of the way, but I have finally succeeded! The screen isn't flawless, as you'll see in the final picture, but the 2 gray blobs have been moved to the top of the screen, out of the way for the most part.

The best part is that now, after a few weeks of dealing with a messed up screen, my iPhone feels brand new again! My love affair with the iPhone has been restored.

If you'd got dead gray blobs on your iPhone, caused by beer or not, you may want to give this a shot before buying a new one.