Resolving iPad Pro Display Scratches and Dead Pixels Issues

The stunning Liquid Retina display is one of the standout features of the iPad Pro. With industry-leading resolution, color accuracy, and HDR support, it brings your content to life like no other tablet screen can.

But even the most durable displays aren’t immune to normal wear and tear. Over time, you may notice light scratches, dead or stuck pixels, or other issues that detract from the iPad Pro’s flawless image quality.

Understanding the iPad Pro’s Display Issues: Dead Pixel vs Display Scratches

As a discerning iPad Pro user, it’s crucial to differentiate between dead pixels and display scratches, as each issue requires a distinct approach to resolution. Let’s delve into the characteristics of each problem, ensuring you’re armed with the knowledge to address them effectively.

iPad Pro Dead Pixels:

Dead pixels are like tiny, uncooperative rebels within your iPad Pro’s display. These pixels fail to respond and remain either permanently black or stuck in a single color. They often appear as small, noticeable dots on your screen, disrupting the overall visual experience. Dead pixels can occur due to various reasons:

  • Manufacturing Defects: In some unfortunate cases, iPads might leave the manufacturing line with these non-functional pixels. This is beyond the user’s control and typically falls under warranty coverage.
  • Physical Pressure: Applying excessive pressure on the screen, perhaps unintentionally while using a stylus or pressing too hard, can result in a pixel’s demise.
  • Age and Wear: Over time, pixels can weaken naturally, leading to dead or stuck pixels. This phenomenon is more likely in older devices.

Display Scratches on iPad Pro:

Display scratches are like the inevitable signs of exploration on your iPad Pro’s screen. They can appear as thin lines, rough patches, or subtle distortions, compromising the pristine look of your device. Display scratches have their own set of culprits:

  • Microscopic Particles: Dust, sand, or other debris might come into contact with your screen, causing tiny scratches over time.
  • Abrasive Surfaces: Placing your iPad Pro on rough surfaces or using abrasive materials for cleaning can lead to scratches.
  • Incorrect Handling: Accidental drops, mishandling, or contact with sharp objects can result in visible scratches.

How to Remove Light Scratches from an iPad Pro Display

If you have minor, light scratches on your iPad Pro screen, there are a few DIY methods you can try to diminish their appearance:

1. Use a Microfiber Cloth

Use a Microfiber Cloth

Gently rubbing the scratch with a soft microfiber cloth may help reduce its visibility. The smooth fibers can smooth out and “fill in” very slight scratches.

2. Try Clear Nail Polish

iPad Pro Display Scratches and Dead Pixels2

Apply a very thin coat of clear nail polish over the scratch using a small brush. Let it dry completely, then buff gently with a microfiber cloth to evenly polish the screen and blend the nail polish into the scratch.

  • Make sure the nail polish is completely transparent with no tint or color. You want a polish that will dry perfectly clear.
  • Use a small fine-tip brush to precisely apply the polish only on the scratched area. Avoid getting polish on the surrounding clean areas of the screen.
  • Very lightly brush the nail polish directly into the scratch line, letting capillary action pull it into the width and depth of the scratch.
  • Apply a single thin coat of polish. Don’t overdo it or the extra thickness could actually make the scratch more visible.
  • Let the polish dry fully, about 10-15 minutes. Drying time may vary based on polish brand.
  • Once dry, take a soft microfiber cloth and gently buff over the scratch to evenly blend the dried polish.
  • Buffing helps smooth the polish and feather it out so there is no visible transition between the polished scratch and rest of the screen.
  • When done properly, the clear nail polish will fill in the scratch and become nearly invisible due to light refraction.

3. Use Toothpaste (Gently!)

Use Toothpaste

Believe it or not, toothpaste can also be used to reduce the appearance of light surface scratches on iPad screens. Here’s how:

  • Use a non-gel toothpaste for this method. Avoid whitening or gel types as they can be too abrasive. A classic smooth paste works best.
  • Apply a very small amount of toothpaste to a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth.
  • Gently rub the toothpaste in circular motions directly over the scratched area using light pressure.
  • The mild abrasives in the toothpaste will slowly “sand down” the edges of the scratch, making it look more smooth and shallow.
  • Take it slow and focus on the most visible parts of the scratch to avoid removing too much material around it.
  • Work in short sessions of about 30 seconds, followed by wiping the scratch with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any hazy residue.
  • Check the scratch appearance after each short session. The goal is to reduce the scratch while avoiding damage to the surrounding display.
  • Once the scratch looks significantly improved, clean all toothpaste residue off the screen using an iPad safe cleaner and microfiber cloth.

4. Liquid Glass Screen Protectors

Products like Liquid Glass can create an ultra-thin protective layer over the iPad’s screen, helping to fill in and smooth over scratches through refraction.

Always use a light touch when trying to fix iPad Pro scratches yourself. Aggressive rubbing can actually worsen the problem by grinding debris into the scratch. And be wary of liquid glass products that claim to “repair” cracked screens.

What to Do for Dead Pixels on an iPad Pro

Dead pixels – tiny black or colored dots on the screen – require a different approach. Here are a few options if you have dead pixel issues:

1. Run a Dead Pixel Checker App

Run a Dead Pixel Checker App

One option to fix dead pixels is to use a specialized app designed for this purpose. There are various “dead pixel remover” or “dead pixel checker” apps available in the App Store.

These apps work by rapidly flashing different colors or showing moving patterns on the screen. The changing colors and animations are designed to essentially “massage” the dead pixels and get them to respond again.

The flashing visual stimuli can help un-stick stuck pixels that are frozen on displaying just one color. Running a dead pixel app is most effective for pixels that are stuck on red, green, blue, black, or white.

The key is patience – give the dead pixel time to react to the changing colors and patterns. Don’t press or tap firmly on the screen while the app is running. The light stimuli alone should help revive the pixel’s electrical connection.

2. Try Applying Gentle Pressure

Another hands-on method you can try to revive dead pixels is to very gently massage or apply targeted pressure to the affected area. The key is to be extremely delicate so you don’t cause any further damage.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Make sure your hands are clean before touching the iPad screen. You don’t want to get any oil or dirt on the display.
  • Use a blunt, soft object like a rubber pencil eraser as your massaging tool. Avoid anything sharp or rough.
  • Locate the exact spot on the screen where the dead pixel is.
  • Place the eraser directly over the dead pixel. Apply very light downward pressure for 30 seconds. Just enough to make contact with the screen.
  • After 30 seconds, lift the eraser and wait another 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the press and release cycle 4-5 times. The goal is to gently stimulate the pixel without excessive force.
  • Finish by wiping the screen with a microfiber cloth to remove any smudges.
  • Check if the previously dead pixel now displays normally. If not, you can repeat the process once daily for up to a week.

The science behind this method is that a dead pixel may simply have a loose electrical connection rather than being permanently disabled. Carefully massaging the spot can reestablish the connection and revive the pixel. Just be sure to use minimal pressure to avoid cracking the screen. Patience is key.

3. Adjust the Brightness

Adjust the Brightness

Slowly adjust the iPad’s screen brightness up and down, holding each level for a few seconds. Like a dead pixel app, this can un-stick stuck pixels.

4. Contact Apple Support

Contact Apple Support

For multiple dead pixels or if DIY methods don’t work, make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple store. They can run diagnostics to determine if the screen needs replacement under warranty.

Protecting Your iPad Pro Display from Further Damage

Here are some tips to keep your touchscreen looking pristine:

  • Use a screen protector – they prevent most scratches.
  • Don’t clean with anything abrasive like paper towels.
  • Keep the iPad in a protective case when not in use.
  • Make sure to get applecare+ for cheaper cracked screen repair.
  • Be mindful of objects that could scratch the screen in your bag.
  • Avoid exposing your iPad to temperature extremes.

With care and common sense, you can avoid many scratches and dead pixels in the first place. But if you do notice display issues, use the handy fixes in this guide to get your iPad Pro looking good as new.

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