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How to Fix Laptop Screens | Comprehensive Troubleshooting Guide To Resolving Various Issues

Key Takeaways

  • Laptop displays start to flicker too after a few years. You may sometimes also notice the display turning blank even when the laptop is on. Alternatively, you might find some white lines running down the display.
  • To fixe a broken laptop screen you could try restarting your laptop, connecting an external monitor, updating video drivers, checking the backlight connections and more.
  • Even if you can repair your laptop, it can sometimes be more expensive to have it fixed than to buy a new model. You can weigh this decision once you have a proper idea of the broken laptop screen repair cost compared to buying a new computer outright.

To fix broken laptop screen, follow the guidelines given below.

  1. Unplug your laptop power cable from the power source. Remove the battery as well and put it in a safe place not far from your working area as you'll need it again.
  2. Locate the cover stickers. Check at the bottom of the bezel, adjacent to the hinges.
  3. Remove the cover stickers from the screen bezel using a sharp tool like a safety pin. Put the covers where you can reaccess them. 
  4. Remove the bezel screws using a screwdriver. These are found at the front section of the frame. Remove all of them and put them together in a secure place.  
  5. Disengage the bezel from the screen. Remove the bezel by navigating your finger through the middle of the bezel and the screen. When there is enough space between them, pull the bezel off the screen. At this moment, the bezel should snap out freely. Otherwise, engage it gently from different angles until it comes out free. 
  6. Inspect from the screen angle to confirm that you had removed all the screws because If any bezel screw is still intact, the bezel won't come out. If any, remove it using a screwdriver before attempting to remove the bezel again. 
  7. Disconnect all cables connecting the screen.
  8. Find the video cable and remove the tape before disengaging the connector, which is found at the rear side of the screen. The video cable is the long ribbon wire attached to the backside of your screen. 
  9. Remove the power cable attached to the back of your screen. 
  10. Using your screwdriver, remove all screws holding the screen to the metal frame and put them where you can access them later. These screws may be lacking in some laptop models (see top thin laptops).  
  11. At this moment, the screen should be loosely attached and free to be removed. Remove it from the metal frame. Do this by gently tilting it forward and pulling it off. 
  12. Put your screen on a secure platform so that you can look at it some other time if you have to. But if the screen is spoiled, you can dispose of it.
  13. Take care while removing the screen because it may contain broken laptop screen parts that can be harmful.

Installing the new screen:

  1. Check at the back or side of the screen for the label. This label should contain the laptop model number of the screen and the manufacturer's credentials below the operating system version. Another specific on the label is the barcode. Use this information to find a suitable replacement laptop screen for the one you've removed.
  2. Get your screen replacement from a local electronics hardware shop or online vendors. You may need to confirm that the new screen is of the same laptop model number and from the same manufacturer as the old one to fit in your laptop easily. Depending on your laptop and the brand, acquiring the screen replacement will cost you as little as $100 or as much as $300 for a  gaming laptop screen, for example. 
  3. Fix the new screen onto the metal frame by gently sliding it. Be sure to put it in the proper orientation.
  4. Screw the new screen into the frame.
  5. Return the screen bezel in position to hold the screen in place.
  6. Screw back the screen bezel to hold the screen in position firmly.
  7. Put back the rubber covers to cover the screws.
  8. Connect back all connecting cables to the back of the screen.
  9. Connect back the video cable to the rear side of the screen.
  10. Plug in the power cable to the back of the screen.
  11. Inspect to ascertain that all cables are correctly connected to the new screen.

Finishing Up:

  1. Return the battery to the laptop and plug the laptop into a power source.
  2. Confirm that the screen you've installed works before you can fix the screws. Power on the Laptop to confirm if it starts and that the screen works correctly.
  3. Try simple operations on the laptop, ensuring there are no lines or distorted graphic images on the screen.
  4. Put back the screen bezel to hold the screen firmly.
  5. Fix the screen bezel screws around the bezel for a firm drip of the screen.
  6. Tighten the screws using a screwdriver and put the rubber covers over them. 

After this, you're good to go.

What Causes Screens to Get Damaged?

Some of the factors that cause screens to get damaged are listed below

  • Physical causes
  • Dropping the laptop causing it to crack
  • Falling objects hitting the screen
  • Application of excessive pressure
  • Objects on the keyboard can cause distort the screen 
  • Distorted connector
  • Internal causes
  • Screen burn
  • Stuck pixels
  • Outdated driver
  • Faulty video cable
  • Malfunctioning backlight
broken laptop

What are the Examples of Screen Issues?

Examples of screen issues that may cause your laptop screen to become damaged are listed below.

  • Flickering laptop screen
  • Rotated laptop screen
  • Dimmed laptop screen display
  • Cracked laptop screen
  • Lines on the screen
  • Distorted screen
  • Fault images on the screen
  • Blank laptop screen display
  • Pixel defects
  • Frozen screen
  • Touchscreen issues
  • Display blackout
broken laptop

What are the General Fixes for Distorted Laptop Screens?

The general fixes for distorted laptop displays are listed below.

Restart your Laptop

Restart your laptop if your laptop screen develops issues. Some of these issues may stem from the operating system or other related issues, which can be resolved by restarting the laptop. If this fix fails to work, then try other fixes in this list.

Connect an External Monitor

Connect an external monitor to your laptop if the screen of your laptop has a black display. This will help you determine if the laptop has other issues or is simply in hibernation or sleep mode. If the second monitor wont turn on, your laptop has other problems that need to be fixed.


Update your Video Drivers

Update your video drivers if your laptop screen starts but shows visual defects. Updating the video drivers will fix the malfunctioning drivers, and your screen will work correctly after that.  

Try Unsticking Stuck Pixels

You can unstick stuck pixels if you're using stuck pixels. You can do so by using one of the apps that unstick stuck pixels. The app will initiate the pixel colors or will make a dead pixel to start operation again.  

Check the Backlight Connections

Open your laptop by removing the screws holding the bezel. Proceed to remove the bezel to expose the screen. Check on the back of the screen to ascertain that the backlight cables are correctly connected. Inspect other cables as well to verify that they are not damaged. But do not attempt this fix if you're not well versed with the laptop's anatomy (see also how to test for backlight bleeds).

screws and laptop

Replace the screen

Replacement screen is a solution if all of the fixes mentioned above fail to fix the screen. Replace a cracked screen, or the one that has black holes or has permanent vertical lines.

Is it Bad to Use a Laptop With a Cracked Screen? 

If your screen has a hairline crack along the edge, you can continue to use your laptop as usual, though it's probably a good idea to avoid moving it, closing it, or traveling with it, because any pressure on the screen can cause the crack to get bigger.

How to Fix a Laptop Screen that Flickers

You can fix a broken laptop screen that flickers in either of the following ways.

  • Fix your broken laptop screen by updating your display drivers
  • Fix by replacing your display drivers
  • Fix by disabling Windows desktop manager

How to Update Your Display Drivers

You can update your display drivers by following the steps listed below.

  1. Start by booting safe mode.
  2. Go to the Windows taskbar and click on the gear symbol. This will grant you access to your laptop settings.
  3. Click on the Updates and Security tab.
  4. From the left pane, choose the Recovery option.
  5. Go to Advanced startup and clean on Restart now to reboot your laptop. A blue troubleshoot screen will appear.
  6. From the list of options displayed, click on the Advanced options.
  7. Choose Startup Settings, then press Restart.
  8. Choose option 4 to Enable Safe Mode.

Uninstall the existing display driver:

  1. Right-click your Windows taskbar to open the Power User menu.
  2. Choose Device Manager.
  3. Click on Display adapters to show your laptop's active display devices.
  4. Right-click the current display adapter you're using.
  5. Click Uninstall device.
  6. Tick in the prompt box and click Uninstall.
  7. Restart the Laptop.

Installing new display drivers:

  1. Right-click your Windows taskbar to access your Power User menu.
  2. Press Update & security.
  3. Select Windows Update and press Check for updates. This will allow your laptop to download and install a new display driver.

How to Replace Your Display Driver

You can replace your display driver by downloading and installing a new one. 

  1. Confirm your display driver credentials using the instructions given below before installing the new display driver.
  2. Right-click your Windows taskbar to access your Power User menu.
  3. Press the Run tab.
  4. On the dialog box that shows up, key in the "dxdiag" command.
  5. This will open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool section. Select Display 1 at the top toolbar.

This will show all your display driver details, including the name, type, manufacturer, and many more. 

How to Disable Windows Desktop Manager

You can disable the Windows display manager by following the instructions given below.

  1. Right-click your Windows taskbar to launch your Power User menu.
  2. Press the Run tab.
  3. On the dialog box that shows up, input "services.msc" 
  4. Find and right-click on the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager 
  5. Choose the Stop option.
  6. Right-click the Desktop Window Manager once more.
  7. Choose the Properties tab.
  8. Click on the General option, then input Disabled. 
  9. Press OK to finish disabling Windows desktop manager.

What Causes Laptop Screen Flickering?

The causes of laptop screen flickering are listed below.

  • Outdated display drivers
  • Incompatible applications
  • Damaged wires
  • Loose wires

How to Fix Rotated Laptop Screen in Windows Laptop

You can fix the rotated laptop screen by attempting the fixtures listed below.

Rotating the screen equipped with a rotation sensor

  1. Rotate your Laptop to fix the issue if it happens. If the problem persists, then open the action center to ascertain if the rotation lock is enabled.
  2. Reconnect the USB cable to help fix the rotation sensor if the rotation lock is not enabled.

Pressing Ctrl + Alt + a direction key

Click ctrl and alt and the down direction key to rotate the screen upside down. The reverse also applies. Press Ctrl and Alt and the left or right direction key to rotate the screen either right or left. 

In some laptop models, you'll have to key in shift and alt, and a direction key simultaneously rotates the screen. 

Fixing the rotation manually

Windows 7 laptops allow you to alternate between portrait and landscape screen modes. 

Do this by observing the guidelines given below:

  1. Right-click the screen interface.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. From it, choose the Display Settings for Windows 10 or Screen Resolution if it's a Windows 7 or Windows 8 laptop.

You can also perform this command by going to Start.

  1. Navigate the Control Panel.
  2. Select the Display tab.
  3. Then choose the Display Settings.
  4. Select the Orientation drop-down menu.
  5. Modify your orientation to either Portrait or Landscape.
  6. Press Apply. This will return the screen to its standard orientation. 

Check your cards options

Perform this fix if the previous laptop screen fixes do not work. Depending on your cards, you may access this setting from the Graphics Options, Intel control center, or Graphics Properties. 

To access this, right-click the desktop and choose the card from the drop-down menu.

Modify your rotation settings

You can modify the rotation settings in an attempt to fix your rotation issues. However, there are no preset menu settings for the graphics card menu. You can access the rotation settings from the Displays Manager menu.

How to Resolve Vertical Lines on Your Laptop Screen

To resolve laptop screen vertical lines, try the following fixes.

  • Try updating your graphics driver.
  • Try adjusting your screen resolution
  • Use cotton balls to wipe the screen.

How to Update Your Graphics Driver

To update your graphics driver, follow the steps given below.

How to Update Your Graphics Driver:

  1. Go online and download Driver Easy.
  2. Install the graphics driver.
  3. Run Driver Easy.
  4. Press the Scan now tab to allow Driver Easy to scan your laptop for any defects in the drivers. 
  5. Press the Update All to download and install updated versions of drivers. The program will prompt you to upgrade your drivers.  
  6. Restart your Laptop. 

At this point, the vertical lines should disappear. 

How to Adjust Your Screen Resolution

You can adjust your screen resolution by following the procedure below.

In Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on your desktop interface.
  2. Click on the Display settings.
  3. Go to Resolution, and on the drop-down menu, select the recommended resolution. 

This should get rid of the vertical lines. 

In Windows 7:

  1. Right-click on your desktop interface, then press the Screen resolution.
  2. Follow the instructions and modify the screen resolution.

This should remove the vertical lines on your broken laptop screen. 

Use Cotton Balls to Wipe the Screen

Use cotton balls to wipe your laptop's screen if the vertical lines result from a hardware problem. Attempt this when all the other methods prove ineffective. 

Follow the procedure below.

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Using the cotton balls, wipe the screen gently. 
  3. Take care not to damage the laptop further. 

If these fixes do no good, they have a professional technician look at your laptop.

How to Fix Blank Laptop Screen Display

Follow the steps given below to fix the blank laptop screen display.

  1. Shut down your laptop.
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Disengage all external connections.
  4. Remove your laptop battery.
  5. Long press the power button for at least 20 seconds. This will charge from the capacitor. 
  6. Put the battery back and plug in the power cable.
  7. Refrain from connecting other devices like the USB and printers. 
  8. Turn on the laptop. At this point, your laptop should usually start.
  9. Click on Start Windows Normally and press Enter to proceed.
laptop on the desk

This should fix the blank display on your laptop; otherwise, have your motherboard inspected by a professional technician. 

How to Fix Frozen Laptop Screen

You can fix the frozen laptop screen by attempting any of the following fixes.


If your screen freezes off, don't do anything; wait for it to come back. Do not keep on clicking the mouse, as this will only extend the period your laptop (see travel laptops) will take to reform. 

 This happens when an application or a program uses too much RAM and other CPU utilities. 

Flip the lid close and reopen it

If you've waited for more than 10 minutes without the laptop reforming, then proceed to flip the Laptop close and then reopen it. 

This should eliminate the frozen screen.

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc

If you've attempted solutions 1 and 2 without any result, press ctrl+shift+esc to access your Laptop's Task Manager. Go through the task manager to ascertain which program is consuming much RAM or CPU resources. Please select the program taking up many resources, and the task manager will refresh it to get your broken laptop screen working well again. 

A man working on his laptop

Key in Ctrl+Alt+Del

Keying in Ctrl+Alt+Del will display the CAD screen. The CAD screen will allow you to sign out, open the taskbar and also switch user accounts.  

The power options like hibernate, shutdown, and sleep, can also fix this problem. 

Press Windows button+Ctrl+Shift+B 

If all the mentioned fixes don't work out, press the Windows button and Ctrl+Shift+B simultaneously to refresh the screen. This command allows the graphic card to reboot, allowing your screen to refresh. The laptop will beep instantly, and the screen will dim shortly before it gets to work again.  

Hold down your laptop's power button

Holding down your laptop's power button will force the laptop to shut down. But ensure you've saved your work before attempting this fix, as you can lose your unsaved work (see business laptops). 

Wait for a few seconds, then turn on the laptop again. The frozen laptop screen should have gone by now. In addition, also closely related to graphic cards, screen tearing has been reported to happen mostly with a GPU Nvidia graphics card.

How to Fix Touchscreen Issues

You can fix your laptop touchscreen issues by attempting the following fixes.

  • Restart your Laptop
  • Re-enable the touchscreen
  • Update your touchscreen driver
  • Calibrate your touchscreen
businessman on a laptop

How to Re-enable Your Touchscreen:

  1. Click on Windows keys and R key so that the Run box launches.
  2. Input devmgmt. MSC, and press OK.
  3. Navigate the Device Manager and press on the Human Interface Devices to open it.
  4. Right-click the HID-compliant touchscreen.
  5. Choose Disable.
  6. You'll get a prompt message. On it, press Yes.
  7. Press the HID-compliant touch screen and choose Enable.

Your laptop touchscreen issue should be off by now.

How to Calibrate Your Touchscreen

You can calibrate your touchscreen by following the procedure outlined here.

  1. Go and open the control panel of your laptop.
  2. Select the Hardware and Sound option.
  3. Go to the Tablet PC settings and select Calibrate the screen for touch input. In the Display tab, click Calibrate.
  4. Follow the set of guidelines you'll be given on the screen.
  5. Save your calibration data. 
  6. Restart your laptop.

Your touchscreen should generally resume working by now. 

How to Resolve Blurry Laptop Screen Issues

To resolve the blurry laptop screen issue, follow the guide given below.

  1. Shut down your laptop.
  2. Disconnect the AC adapter.
  3. Remove the laptop battery.
  4. Long-press the power button for at least half a minute to deplete your internal battery.
  5. Connect back the AC adapter, but do not return the battery.
  6. Turn on the laptop.

By this time, the blurry screen defect should have gone.

How to Tell if Your Laptop Screen Has Been Replaced?

Press and hold the D key and turn on the laptop to enter built-in self-test (BIST) mode. Continue to hold the D key, until you see color bars on the screen. The screen displays multiple color bars and changes colors to black, white, red, green, and blue. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

Final Word on How to Fix Laptop Screen

If you are stuck on how to fix your broken screen, follow the guidelines given in this article to fix it. Also, if you experience any of the laptop screen problems listed in this article, follow the steps outlined to get your laptop running again.


1. How much does it cost to fix a laptops screen?

Depending on the manufacturer, labor costs are usually $200 but can go as high as $400. Assuming that these are done by trained laptop technicians, it's a guarantee that all repairs will be done professionally. Also, prices can vary at various authorized computer repair shops due to the availability of parts and manpower.

2. Is it cheaper to buy a new laptop or replace a broken laptop screen?

Unfortunately, repair expenses can sometimes exceed the cost of a new, better-functioning replacement screens. A good rule of thumb to follow is — if the cost of repairs is more than 50% of the cost of a new laptop, consider getting a new device. And sometimes, it's just time for an upgrade.

3. Do laptop displays break easily?

Laptop displays are often scratch-resistant, but like smartphones, they can easily crack. If they are struck by something hard at the right angle, they'll shatter like a mirror. You may still be able to see most of your desktop, but obviously not an attractive look.

4. What is the best type of screen for a laptop?

If you don't know a laptop screen's gamut coverage, you can at least see if it is labeled as an IPS or OLED display. Better-quality laptop screens use IPS (in-plane switching) technology, which offers better viewing angles and more vibrancy than standard TN (twisted nematic) panels.

5. Can laptop’s LCD screen be repaired?

LCD screen has many complex components, so it's not unusual for an LCD screen to encounter problems. Most issues short of serious physical damage can be repaired at home. Read the instructions carefully for your own safety, as some LCD screen repairs may expose you to risk of serious electric shock. 

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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