Ghost image or Burn-in how to solve? Ghost image or screen burn-in are names given to a permanent discoloration of the smartphone screen caused by uneven pixel usage. Prolonged use of static images can create a permanent shadow or ghost of that image on the screen.
Screen burn-in is not as common in modern display technologies as in the past, but few screens are immune to its ability to ruin a perfectly good display. If you come across this irritating problem, here are some tips and tricks that could help you solve it.
What is screen burn-in?
Screen burn-in is an obvious discoloration or ghosting of a previous image on a digital display. It is caused by the regular use of certain pixels more than others, leaving them to display colors slightly differently. The end result is a clear and often permanent impression on the display.
Time, screen brightness and other factors can cause burn-in, but the circumstances are different for each display technology, as different displays and pixels work differently at the hardware level. For LCD panels, such as those used in many TVs and computer monitors, burn-in can develop because the pixels ultimately fail to return to the off state and maintain a colored profile.
As for the OLED and AMOLED technology, which is now used on some modern smartphones and TVs, the pixels that emit light in the displays can darken faster than others if used more regularly, leaving in their place an obscured ghost of an image.
This problem is more common than you think and occurs more often on AMOLED screens (even if the LCD displays are not always immune). Fortunately, there is a solution to restore the image quality of your device.
The phantom of the screen occurs when phosphorus compounds that emit light to produce images lose their intensity with prolonged use. Furthermore, irregular use can "burn" an image on the screen that will always be visible.
Burn-in how to solve?
How to solve TV screen burn-in
- Brightness settings: try to reduce the brightness and contrast on the TV and watch some different content; it could go away by itself.
- Pixel-Shift: many modern TVs have a built-in pixel shift or screen shift, which constantly shifts the image slightly to vary pixel usage. If not enabled automatically, you should be able to activate it in the settings menu. Other settings offer "Update" functions that can be performed manually to try to eliminate any image retention problems.
- Play a colorful video: running a fast-moving video with many color changes from a few minutes to half an hour can help if the options above don't work.
- Warranty: check your warranty to see if you are covered for a replacement.
How to fix burn-in on your computer monitor
Although most PC monitors are less susceptible to burn-in, it can still happen. If you come across there are some things you can try:
- Disable display: try turning off the screen for at least a few hours or up to 48, ideally.
- Use a white screen saver: try setting your screensaver to a pure white image and let it run for a few hours. This may not completely remove the preservation of the image, but it should dampen how obvious it is.
- Try JScreenFix: some have even found success using JScreenFix. Although designed to fix stuck pixels instead of burn-in, it can help solve problems.
How to solve burn-in on Android or iOS
- Turn off the device: storing images on a smartphone or tablet can sometimes be cured by simply turning off the device for about an hour.
- Try burn-in repair software: there are several fantastic burn-in repair apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. Some, such as OLED tools, will try to correct image retention and verify a more permanent burn-in.
- Try a colorful video: try playing frantic videos with lots of color changes on your device for some time.
- Replace the screen: if none of the above options work, the best solution is to replace the screen by yourself or talk to your mobile provider about a replacement device. Manufacturers like Apple have extended warranties on some devices prone to image retention and burn-in, so if your device is fairly new, you should still be covered by the warranty.
For LCD screens: there is a dedicated app, LCD Burn-in Wiper. However, this tool is not suitable for OLED or AMOLED displays, such as those on Samsung Galaxy devices. For this, you will need a different app.
For OLED/AMOLED: Download OLED TOOLS from the Google Play Store
The concept is simple: the device displays a sequence of primary colors, restoring the "burned" pixels. Indeed, this was the original function of computer screensavers: a dynamic image that appears when the screen is inactive to "exercise" the pixels and ensure that the same area of the display does not remain constantly lit.
Has your smartphone ever had this problem? Did you use another app to solve? Let us know in the comments.