How Do You Know if Your Laptop Screen is Damaged?

close-up of an individual working on a laptop computer

Dealing With a Damaged Laptop

Do you have a laptop sitting around that was working fine until the screen got damaged? If you’ve never had a broken laptop screen, you may be wondering, “What causes laptop screen damage?” After all, we handle them with kid gloves and TLC, right? 

Well, accidents do happen, and unfortunately, accidents can happen with our laptop computers. No matter how careful we are, they get dragged off the desk, dropped, or something falls on it. The results often include a damaged screen. So, do you just toss it in the electronic recycle bin or can you get laptop screen repairs

Is Laptop Screen Repair Worth It?

When it comes to computer printers and ink, it is often cheaper to get a new printer than to purchase ink. So, with a laptop screen repair, you have to wonder, is it worth fixing a laptop screen? The immediate answer is ‘maybe’, and while we live in a toss-it-and-replace-it world today, laptop screen repair is possible. Whether it is the best choice all depends on these factors: 

  • Cost: The cost may or may not make sense for a laptop screen repair if it is going to cost 50% or more than buying a new laptop. 
  • Content: Is the content or software on the laptop valuable? If you purchased a software program and installed it on the laptop, the 50% economic value theory is null and void. The same goes if you have valuable documents saved on the laptop; in this case, the cost of a laptop screen repair may be well worth the cost.
  • Additional Damage: If there are more parts broken or other kinds of damage on the laptop other than the screen, like a broken hard drive or damaged hinges, all those repairs in addition to the laptop screen repair are going to go over that 50% rule. In this case, it may not be worth the expense, unless the above-mentioned “content” rule applies. 

What Does a Damaged Laptop Screen Look Like?

Laptops today are manufactured with a focus on fashion and not function. This has resulted in slim, sleek designs, leaving laptops vulnerable to being damaged, and especially laptop screens. If the screen glass is broken or cracked, or if the display has black splotches, it may be obvious that laptop screen repair will be needed.

Most laptop owners will take their laptop in for laptop screen repair or replacement with the comment that they don’t know how it got broken. Any experienced technician will tell you that they “don’t just break”. There had to be some type of accident, known or unknown, that broke the screen. 

A laptop screen is typically broken because of an impact from the lid. Another possible factor that leads to a need laptop screen repairs is improperly opening and closing the lid. As an FYI for all laptop computer owners: Never open and close the lid by one corner. Always use one hand to close the lid from the center and keep the other hand placed on the lid palm side down, gently pressing the lid closed, or holding the keyboard as the other hand opens the lid.

A defective laptop screen may be noticeable even if there is no broken glass. Other indications of a broken laptop screen are:

  • Distorted Images
  • Coloring
  • Pixelization
  • Resolution Lines
  • Backlighting Issues
  • A Blank Screen

Can a Laptop Screen Be Changed?

Yes, most cracked or dying laptop displays aren’t an indication to toss the unit. Laptop screen repair is typically a matter of replacing the damaged part. To have it done by a technician, you can expect to pay as much as $300, which is where that 50% rule we talked about comes into play. 

In some cases, you may be able to purchase the screen for under $100 and replace it yourself. If you’re a technically inclined person, it isn’t that difficult and with all the YouTube videos available today, you can find one that will walk you through the process. However, if you don’t already have some experience working with technology, this is a job best left to the experts. There is a lot that can go wrong if you aren’t certain what you are doing. 

Can Heat Damage a Laptop Screen?

Absolutely!  A laptop that gets overheated can damage the internal components of the entire unit, however, a properly working laptop should attempt to shut down before that happens. 

A laptop can run on the warm side, even too much to sit on your lap. Typically, that isn’t a problem. However, if you notice a burning odor or the fan doesn’t turn on or is running constantly, you probably need to shut it down, unplug it, and let it rest. 

And like your children or pets, never leave your laptop locked in a hot car. Of course, the laptop can be replaced, but if you’ve got one or all of these, never leave them in the car! Keep your laptop out of direct sunlight, even indoors, and leave it inside while working out by the swimming pool. 

Why is My Laptop Screen Flickering?

It is unlikely that you need a physical laptop screen repair. For a laptop that is running Windows, a flickering laptop screen is typical of out-of-date display drivers. Simply update the display driver and that should be the fix. Check your owner’s manual or look for online help using another computer. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to have a technician service the computer. 

laptop computer with a damaged screen

Wrapping Up Our Lesson

The first thing to keep in mind when considering why a laptop screen turns black: you’ve got bad news. This is the screen of death. Your laptop has had a critical Windows system error. So, what is there to do when a laptop screen goes black? Either get professional help or it is time to replace the unit. Again, that 50% rule should be used after getting a quote for possible repair.

But what if your laptop screen doesn’t turn on at all? This may happen when there is a corrupt system file that is preventing the operating system from loading. So, what should you do when a laptop screen doesn’t turn on? Restart Windows and hope it is a temporary issue that rebooting will resolve. If not, you may need to erase the hard drive and reinstall Windows.