Easy Fixes for Computer Screen Issues

September 18, 2015

A faulty computer screen can make work or play difficult. The below tips will help with many minor computer screen issues you might be experiencing.

Easy Fixes for Computer Screen Issues

There are tiny spots on my screen

Try massaging your pixels

The pixels of an LCD screen can sometimes become stuck when illuminated — showing up as annoying bright dots of colour — or they can die, appearing as equally irritating black spots.

  • Use online software to identify and deal with affected pixels, such as www.flexcode.org/lcd.html. The software will "massage" faulty pixels, applying a quick-changing pattern to affected parts of the screen. After a few hours of "exercise," the pixel may be restored.
  • If this doesn't work, press down gently on the faulty pixel with the rounded end of a pen, cushioned with a soft cloth. Restart your screen while maintaining pressure. This may "free" the stuck pixel.

The icons on my desktop are tiny

Take control of your display settings

Every computer display has a fixed number of dots (pixels) across its length and height; a screen with 1600 pixels across its width and 1200 along its height is said to have a native resolution of 1600 x 1200. For best screen legibility, set your computer to the screen's native resolution; you can find out what this is by checking the model number on the screen manufacturer's website.

  • If you're using Windows, go to Control panel -> Appearance -> Personalization -> Adjust screen resolution. Set your computer to the display's native resolution. This will automatically adjust the text and graphics to a readable default size.
  • Mac users have the same controls at System preferences -> Displays.

Word to know


The image on a computer screen is made up of thousands, or often millions, of individual picture elements, or pixels — like tiny tiles in an electronic mosaic. Arranged in a grid across the screen, pixels produce red, green or blue light when electrically stimulated; our brains perceive these patterns as a smooth colour image.

It’s still hard to see the text

Zoom in for a better view

If you're constantly squinting at the screen or reaching for your reading glasses when you go online, get relief with some extra magnification.

  • Temporarily zoom in for a closer view using the magnifier tool. In Windows, you'll find this in Start menu -> Accessories -> Accessibility. Macs have similar settings at System preferences -> Universal access -> Accessibility -> Seeing.
  • You can also permanently zoom in on desktop items. If you're a Windows user, select Control panel -> Appearance -> Personalization -> Display -> Make text and other items larger or smaller. Set the best size for your eyes. Mac users can do the same by selecting View -> Show view options when in Finder mode.

The text on websites is too small to see

Adjust text size through your web browser

It's simple to set the size and appearance of the font that appears on websites to suit your own preferences.

  • Using Microsoft Internet Explorer? Select an appropriate text size directly from the View option on the menu bar.
  • For Google Chrome, click on the wrench icon next to the web address bar and select Settings -> Advanced settings, then choose a larger font size.
  • Firefox is a little different. In the Tools menu bar, go to Options -> Content -> Fonts and colours where you can specify the desired font size.
  • Mac users browsing with Safari can find similar controls in the menu bar at Safari -> Preferences -> Appearance.
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