What is Screen Burn?

Screen burn, also called screen burn-in, ghost image, or display burns are images or icons that are displayed on a screen when they should not be there. Screen burn comes on gradually and gets worse over time and is most common on OLED screens. The navigation bar, the top status bar, or home screen apps are frequent images that get  “burned” into the display.

Until someone mentions it, many people don’t even realize their phone has screen burn. And there are two reasons for this:

1. You aren’t looking at your phone screen with a white display. Screen burn is easiest to notice on an all-white or blank screen with no icons on it. And it is rare that your phone will display an all-white screen. This is why SmartphonesPLUS uses industry-leading phone diagnosis software and other tools that allow us to see phone screens on an all-white screen, along with other tests, to examine each phone we receive thoroughly.

2. You do not change your home screen layout or background image. You look at the same phone, with the same background every day, and can’t notice the screen burn because the icons and apps on the phone are always in the same position. It is much easier to notice screen burn when you shift the layout of icons and apps on your home screen.

Here’s an example we think relates to screen burn to help explain why it’s not as noticeable: when you see a person every day that is losing weight you don’t notice how much weight they lost, but if you saw a person you haven’t seen in over a year that lost 50 pounds you would notice right away. In the same way, your eyes and mind adjust to the screen burn as it gradually burns into the display over months or years.

What Causes Screen Burn?

Screen burn is caused by pixels displaying the same image or icon for an extended period of time. Static images such as apps, navigation bars, and keyboards can deteriorate pixels in the display from overuse. This causes these over-used pixels to look darker in color than others around them. Certain areas of the screen like status bars are more susceptible to screen burn as they are constantly displaying the same image.

Here are a few examples of screen burn:

Screen burn on the navigation bar of a Google Pixel:

The bottom navigation bar, top status bar, and keyboard screen burn on a Samsung Galaxy display:

 

Screen burn of apps on a white screen of an iPhone X:

As you can tell from the photos, screen burn can make the display look discolored with darker pink or gray hues. Because of its gradual onset, many users don’t even realize their display has screen burn. If you would like to check for screen burn on your phone, put your phone on a white screen. A white screen will provide contrast making the discolored pixels more noticeable.

How Can You Prevent Screen Burn?

Periodically Change What Displays on Your Screen

You can avoid the deterioration of pixels by changing the image that your device displays. Try to change the positions of apps and backgrounds periodically.

Lower Your Brightness

Lowering the brightness will lengthen the life of the pixels in your display. Keeping the brightness as low as possible will ensure that screen burn won’t happen as quickly.

Do Not Use Screen Savers

Avoid screen savers when your screen times out as they are generally static images that are displayed for a long period of time. Screen savers will cause the pixels of your display to be overworked when you are not even using your device. If you have a phone that uses always on display, make sure to turn this off to prolong the life of your screen’s pixels.

How To Fix Screen Burn

There are some apps and videos out there that claim they can fix screen burn, however, the results tend to be insignificant as it is a hardware issue of the display. The only way to truly fix screen burn is to replace the entire display of the phone. If you’d like to speak with a technician to see the cost of replacing a screen you can make an appointment or contact us.

8 thoughts on “Screen Burn: Causes, Prevention, and How to Fix It

    […] What is Screen Burn? Screen burn, also called screen burn-in, ghost image, or display burns are images or icons that are displayed on a screen when they should not be there. Screen burn comes on gradually and gets worse over time. via […]

    […] What is Screen Burn? Screen burn, also called screen burn-in, ghost image, or display burns are images or icons that are displayed on a screen when they should not be there. Screen burn comes on gradually and gets worse over time. via […]

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