My laptop was fine just yesterday !! But today, I found this on my screen :

enter image description here

The unfocused image shows that the pixels are glowing in different colors. Shouldnt this indicate that there is some power going there and that it is not completely dead ?

I am not sure if this is a stuck or dead pixel. I tried JScreenFix and it didnt really work ... I tried pressuring/massaging the area with a cloth but that didnt do anything either.

Here is a video with different background colors :


You might want to pause at some frames to get whats going on.

What is this exactly ?? Is it a dead pixel ? Can I fix it ? I am in the middle of studies so I can't really send it back to Apple !! Plus I got modules installed for Python and it is a hassle to install them all again.

Update Its a dead pixel, got it repaired at the Genius Bar :

Can I trust Apple Store's employees with my laptop?

  • I can't tell you what's wrong with your Display. I would take it to Apple or a certified reseller. They should provide you a temporary Mac while yours is being fixed. If you have a Time Machine Backup you will not have to do all the reinstallation of Python and whatever again. When my Mac was fixed, they put my hard disc in it, so I had no action to restore my data on the temporary machine at all. If you just call them (Apple or reseller) I guess they will tell you what possibilities they are willing to offer.
    – cyphorious
    Nov 15, 2012 at 10:41
  • 1
    The TLDR answer to "What happened?" is probably a ball bearing (or similar object) was unluckily placed between the display and the topcase/keyboard when the device was last shut and has crushed a localized area of the LCD panel to let backlight leak through.
    – bmike
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:09
  • Maybe .. I have no idea what generated the problem.
    – Render
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


Some general advice - finish your school work and get a good backup as your computer can wait for a week to get service. If you can, call Apple and get the incident on the record now - just in case your warranty expires in the next day or two it's a lot easier to get someone to bend the end date if you did your part in letting them know you want help and have a reasonable situation to not bring it in.

That being said - if you really need this and your Warranty is ending and you don't want to depend on the kindness of someone extending that deadline - get it in for service if that is the most important thing.

As to the problem itself - it's pretty clear that you have a large white spot the size of about 16 complete pixel elements. Since LCD panels have back lit white light and several layers to prevent that light from escaping, it looks like those layers have broken down or not been formed in the first place. Both manufacturing imperfections and failure can cause sub pixel bright spots and even rows of failures if the control wires fail - but for a round spot like this to fail, the cause is almost always a physical damage that cracks the several layers of polarizer and lets light through the LCD assembly despite the transistor signals calling for the pixels to be dark like the surrounding area.

I would expect warranty to cover that sort of thing on either very new equipment or when there is absolutely no sign of external force and the company was being very lenient in not presuming that this was physical damage. I just can't see most people not noticing that size of a defect in a LCD panel at the time of manufacture or when you first started up the mac and had a dark background showing.

I would arrange for service at your earliest convenience - and if it gets repaired under warranty, great. If not, you'll know what a paid repair will cost and you can decide what to do with your time and money. I would ask them to quite you the in-warranty and out of warranty costs if you need to send the Mac in and can't let a trained technician look at it first hand.

In the mean time, you can see more about how sub-pixels are arranged on iOS devices and perhaps that will help you relate to the picture you took of the larger pixel areas on your screen.

And certainly don't try to fix it unless you want to put in a new LCD as a DIY or repair by someone that does that sort of thing. There's a lot of nonsense about massaging pixels and this would get worse if you push on the display - not better.


Try running:

ioreg -lw0 | grep \"EDID\" | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

in Terminal. You will get output like the following:

Color LCD

(not sure what the third code is, so I starred out the last 6 chars just in case)

If the second line does not start with LS, you have an LG panel which have been the source of many, many problems (tons of them are bad, and quality is generally inferior).

If it does start with LS, you have a Samsung panel, but either way it sounds like you've got a bad one. I also noticed some dark spots nearby in your video, so you should be due for a replacement... however you'll need to back up the computer because when you replace a Retina MBP, you replace the entire unit, not just a part (usually). That's why iFixIt gave it such a terrible repair score.

  • It's a big leap to assume this isn't simply physical damage where the LCD was crushed in that small spot. Without knowing how old the model is, whether it's likely / possible / probable a foreign body was near the screen the last time the device was shut - blaming LG seems more reckless than logical given what we know so far...
    – bmike
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:12
  • Starts with LS ... Sadly
    – Render
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:13
  • FWIW, I've not advised to make any assumptions, but if it were an LG panel I would not be at all surprised that this was happening. Given that it's a samsung, however, it's up in the air. Could be physical damage, could be a defective display that finally displayed its defects. In any case, it needs to be replaced.
    – Brendan
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:28

To me, this appears to be a stuck sub-pixel. Since the pixel(s) are not completely dark, and instead continuously on with a certain color, it seems to be a stuck sub-pixel.

Wikipedia describes stuck sub-pixels:

Stuck sub-pixels

A stuck sub-pixel is a pixel that is always "on". This is usually caused by a transistor that is not getting any power, and is therefore continuously allowing light at that point to pass through to the RGB layer. This means that any given pixel will stay red, blue, or green, and will not change when attempting to display an image. These pixels may only show up using certain applications, or they may be on all of the time.

It should be repairable without any hardware involvement. You tried JScreenFix, but how long did you use it for? I would suggest turning off Display Sleep in System Preferences under Energy Saver and leaving JScreenFix to do its work for ~1 hour or so (or at least 20 minutes). Note that the Fix tab, that uses JScreenFix's algorithm for fixing stuck pixels, requires a $3.25 RefundWare license (if it doesn't work, it is refunded).

If this doesn't work, and any other software doesn't either, see this question for Apple replacement. Since it looks like more than one pixel is stuck, you have more reason to argue for your case (but be sure to be nice to the Genius assisting you, according to this answer). And if you're worried about your Python modules lost (or anything else, for that matter), remember that Time Machine is always built-in and is easy to set up.

  • Thank you for replying. I tried JScreenFix for 20 minutes only ... But I did leave the widget Pixel Fix overnight yesterday but nothing happened this morning.. I will redownload JScreenFix and leave that overnight instead.
    – Render
    Nov 16, 2012 at 2:09
  • Sadly that still didnt work ...
    – Render
    Nov 16, 2012 at 10:24
  • This clearly isn't a sub pixel unless the picture is being taken with a microscope like here.
    – bmike
    Nov 19, 2012 at 16:52

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