4 Methods for Resolving Dark Shadows on Your TV Display

Finding dark shadows on your TV screen can be a frustrating and unexpected experience. It may appear as if there are dark patches scattered across the screen, affecting your viewing experience.

If you’re unsure of what’s causing the issue or how to fix it, don’t be discouraged. There are steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the problem without needing to purchase a new TV.

We’ll guide you through simple steps to help fix the dark shadows on your TV and get back to enjoying high-quality images and your favorite shows.

Causes of Dark shadow on a TV screen

There are many reasons why a dark shadow has appeared on your TV. We’ll go through the most likely causes.

Dark Shadow on TV Screen
Image: @Cliff Johnson

1. Backlight Issues

Backlight LEDs or strips are cause quite a lot of problems on modern TVs. One or two backlight LEDs might have broken the circuit on the side of your TV showing shadows.

This isn’t a DIY fix if you’re not an expert or very handy. You would need to contact an expert TV technician. Do not turn on your TV until you get it fixed. You might melt the defuser lens sheet if you do so.

You should also know that there’s a possibility the backlight might fail again even after repair. So you might be better off with a new TV if the technician is charging a lot of money to fix it.

2. Burn-In

When you leave a static image on your screen over a long period, your TV will display pixels from the image. Shadowy parts show up on the screen even after removing the image from the screen.

If you’re taking an online class, playing a game, or pausing a movie. It’s essential to look out for screen parts with static images. They’re localized, so you overlook it that instant, but they get visible when you’re viewing something else.

3. Debris, Moisture, or External/On-screen Dirt

The dust and foreign matter build-up on the screen can cause display problems. Wiping your screen with a heavily moisturized cloth can allow water to get inside your screen; this will affect your TV’s display.

This method is by far the most straightforward problem to prevent and fix, just by the simple act of regularly cleaning your TV screen.

You can also remove internal dust accumulated over a long period by taking your TV to a service center.

4. Pixel Failure

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a pixel is: “One of the tiny dots that make up the representation of an image in a computer’s memory.” A dead or stuck pixel signifies that an image can’t portray as it should, hence dark shadows.

A stuck pixel means the pixel is temporarily fixed on displaying a particular color. On the other hand, a dead pixel means the pixel doesn’t work anymore and can not display what it should.

5. Manufacturing Defect

If your TV isn’t correctly assembled, it can affect the display matrix. If this happens to be the case, there’s nothing you can do but send it back to the service center for repair or replacement.

A diagnostic test is run with a PC at the service center to determine the problem the TV has. 

6. High Temperature

High temperature or humidity can adversely affect the display of your TV. Problems include delamination of the matrix (or display screen) or LED failure inside the screen.

That’s why you should provide room temperature conditions for your TV.

7. Blunt or Mechanical Damage

Handle with care! Your TV can suffer mechanical injury in different ways: When transporting it from the showroom to your house, from one room to another, or when your kids are playing football. 

A blow can damage your TV’s CRT or lead to a broken pixel. Never allow your TV to take a hit.

8. Wrongly Mounted TV

The weight of your TV needs to be evenly distributed, or the part that carries the most weight will end up with damaged pixels. Overtightened screens can also cause display issues over time, and the unevenness of the TV’s backlight presents itself as dark shadowy patches on the screen.

Endeavor to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on mounting your TV, or better still, get a TV stand.

A dark shadow may appear on the top or bottom of your TV screen, in a particular corner, or worse still at many places at once. In some cases, the glare might be visible even when you’re not watching anything, i.e, when your TV is off.

What are the Best practices to Prevent Dark Shadows on your TV Screen?

Dark shadows are preventable to a large extent. You don’t want a malfunctioning TV in your hands before you start taking care of your TV. 

So, how do you prevent a dark shadow from appearing on your TV screen?

  • Don’t keep a still image on your TV screen for more than 30 minutes; it might result in a “burn-in.”
  • Proper care of your TV by wiping dust off the screen regularly.
  • Avoid mechanical injury or blunt damage to your TV.
  • Try not to over-tighten the screen during your TV installation.
  • Gamers should avoid games that have a static image—such as a health bar—on the part of the screen.

Adhere to the preventive measure outlined above, and your TV will be miles off from developing a dark shadow fault. You’ll also be saving yourself the burden of trying to fix it. As they say, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

4 Fixes for the Dark Shadow on your TV Screen 

Before you run off to a TV store to purchase another TV, please take a look at the solutions we’ve compiled for you. After hours of research, we’ve assembled the best fixes for the dark shadow on your TV screen.

Fix Dark Shadow on TV Screen

Fix 1: Switch your TV to an Off-Air Channel

Carefully follow the steps below to get rid of temporarily stuck pixels: 

  • Select Input or Source on your TV remote 
  • Select  Antenna.
  • Tune the TV to a non-broadcasting channel. (An off-air channel is the best, it displays only black and white static.)
  • Return the TV to what you watched after nine hours (to be safe).

Fix 2: Wipe your TV screen.

Use a microfiber cloth when cleaning your TV screen. Remember to turn your TV off and unplug it from the power outlet.

Fix 3: Turn on the Light Sensor in Settings.

Follow the steps below to 

  • Press the Menu button on your TV remote.
  • Go to the picture settings or setup menu.
  • Select Light Sensor, and switch it on.

Your TV display should return to normal. 

Fix 4: Loosen the Screws of your TV

  • Please turn off the TV, and unplug it from the power source.
  • Grab a screwdriver and loosen the screws a bit. A 90° turn should do the trick.
  • Plug the TV, and turn it on
  • Check for any shady spots.

You can also provide some support for the back of your TV or get a TV stand.

Suppose a dark shadow was caused by moisture or dirt. But if the pixels were destroyed or mechanical stress caused delamination, you must carry your appliance to a professional TV maintenance specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does clouding on a TV screen mean?

Clouding happens when lighting from your room causes uneven backlighting. When light seeps into your display screen, making it look as if there’s a white shadow or cloudy part on your screen, especially in dark scenes.

Can rebooting my cable box help to remove dark shadows?

Yes, and this is how:

  1. Disconnect the cable box. From the power source or the back of the box.
  2. Plug it back in after 30 seconds. The reboot process will begin.