I'm not sure how to compile a logic title for this question, so if the title is unclear, suggest an edit. Here's a description of the problem I am experiencing:

Whenever my iMac has been on for a few hours the silhouette of the window that has been open for a while is imprinted in the screen. Moving around the window does not help, only when I turn off the monitor and let it cool down for a while the imprint is gone.

Besides a window's silhouette it also seems to imprint directory folder trees, macro, and/or icons sometimes.

I do use a screen saver, however as a developer I sometimes actively work in one window for a few hours.

Since the iMac is 'only' three years old and I haven't had this until last week, I am wondering if anybody has experienced the same issue, before taking it in a repair shop.

Kind regards


The proper jargon seems to be a burn in. This extensive post at the apple forums holds a lot of answers.

  • 1
    It's also called a ghost image May 7 '13 at 12:17
  • 1
    It's more likely to be image persistence; which is typically transient and not permanent.
    – l'L'l
    May 7 '13 at 12:52

LCD displays have short and long term effects due to the physics of how they polarize light and how the transistors turn on and off pixels by passing current through the liquid crystal.

If you were to take a photograph of your screen and show what you are seeing we might know if this is short or long term image persistence or perhaps something else like polarization effects or a defect in the operation of a transistor or the circuitry of the LCD panel.

  • +1 It's definitely short term as it disappears after a while and doesn't seem to be bound to a specific area. The thing is this didn't happen until quite recently. I'll try to add a picture tomorrow for completeness of this post. Thanks
    – Hedde
    May 7 '13 at 20:33

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