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Screen burn-in on 24" iMac

16826 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2010 9:18 AM by Beth Tierney RSS
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Lasey L. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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Jan 5, 2010 6:39 PM
I just bought my iMac at the end of August of this year and it's a got a screen burn-in problem. I noticed when watching a movie in full screen that there was a black line across the top of the screen (I'm guessing from the menu bar?). Can this be fixed? Will the warranty/apple care cover it? What can be done to prevent this in the future if I can get it fixed?
24" iMac, 2.93 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
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    Jan 5, 2010 10:44 PM (in response to Lasey L.)
    Image persistence is user caused, so I doubt that the Apple warranty covers it. The source of the problem is a static image which than causes pixels to get stuck on one color. To prevent this happening one needs to use the System Preferences/Energy Saver settings to induce the Screen Saver whenever the Mac is left unused for any length of time. One can set the timer that activates the Screen Saver after so many minutes of inactivity on the Mac or set hot corners to activate the Screen Saver or to put the display to sleep by parking the cursor in the appropriate hot corner.

    To remove image persistence one can use apps such as LCD Scrub to "unstick" the pixels.

    Dah•veed
    Early '09 Mac mini - 2GB RAM - 250GB miniStack v3, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Magic Mouse + BetterTouchTool - Happily using Macs since 1984!
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
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    Jan 6, 2010 8:33 AM (in response to Lasey L.)
    If you Google screen or display persistence you will find that folks report they are told by every computer manufacturer that it is not covered under warranty because it is user caused. Folks report that even the mighty Dell considers it to be user misuse and will not replace displays suffering image persistence.

    As far as your issue there are steps to take to minimize it in the future after you have resolved it with an app such as LCD Scrub linked above. You can configure the Dock to hide in its system Preferences. Then it appears only when you mouse over to its position. The preferences in Desktop & Screen Saver offer a translucent option for the menu bar. I also rotate my desktop image every 15 minutes, which means the image under the translucent menu bar is not the same constantly.

    I have a 17" iMac bought in JAN '06 and it has no signs of image persistence.

    Dah•veed
    Early '09 Mac mini - 2GB RAM - 250GB miniStack v3, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Magic Mouse + BetterTouchTool - Happily using Macs since 1984!
  • ubacruzer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 8, 2010 3:43 PM (in response to Lasey L.)
    Lasey - I'm having the same problem. I also have the screen saver on all the time. Very frustrating.
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • kguy Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
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    Feb 14, 2010 8:26 PM (in response to Lasey L.)
    There are a few things you can try-

    If you can, leave your screen off for a weekend. If that doesn't clear things up, you can try changing your background to a solid color for a few hours, or have it automatically cycle through several different solid colors as you work.

    If you have a screen saver, try an intensive one- one that really forces the screen to change- something like the mosaic iPhoto screen saver.

    You have to 'unstuck' the stuck pixels, and the best way to do that is to 'force' the pixels to change every now and then- or even ideally leave the power off for a while.

    Many users of LCD screens report that eventually the image persistence goes away by following this advice.

    Many, but not all. It is harmless to try, so give it a go and good luck

    Message was edited by: kguy
    iMac 27" 3.06, Mac mini (late 2009) 2.26, iPhone 3GS
  • rayblasdel Calculating status...
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    Feb 14, 2010 9:52 PM (in response to Lasey L.)
    I've been using my 24" iMac for the past year and a half, and this issue is extremely aggravating. Sure, if you leave an image up for a while on a LCD it burns, that I can understand, but the fact that it takes only 1 - 2 hours for my screen to shadow the UI of what ever program I am working in is unacceptable.

    There is a significant design flaw in the iMac's screen. I have done nothing besides use my device in the manor in which is consistent with normal operation, and according Apple its my fault there is image persistence. Well I'm sorry I spent my money on it. My family has 2 other all in one PCs (non-mac), and mine is the only one has ever had an issue with image persistence.
    iMac 24" 3.06Ghz (2008), Mac OS X (10.6.2), Nvidia 8800GS
  • kguy Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
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    Feb 16, 2010 6:20 AM (in response to rayblasdel)
    I've been using my 24" iMac for the past year and a half, and this issue is extremely aggravating. Sure, if you leave an image up for a while on a LCD it burns, that I can understand, but the fact that it takes only 1 - 2 hours for my screen to shadow the UI of what ever program I am working in is unacceptable.


    I agree with you- only 1-2 hours to cause image persistence is NOT normal, and I believe way out of specifications. Especially if powering down eliminates the image persistence for a time.

    You have a legitimate claim here- exercise your rights and call AppleCare for service.

    Explain it just the way you explained it here, and mention that there is no way that image persistence after only a couple of hours of use is normal.
    iMac 27" 3.06, Mac mini (late 2009) 2.26, iPhone 3GS
  • davidmintzer Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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    Feb 26, 2010 7:24 AM (in response to kguy)
    Agree with you entirely. I have had the problem and the only thing that works for me is using SMCFancontrol, running at approximately 2500 rpm. It pretty much takes care of the image persistance, but is quite noisy (like your typical PC). Again, this should not be a problem, but I doubt Apple will ever do anything about it.
    Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • NotoriousT Calculating status...
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    Feb 27, 2010 12:53 AM (in response to davidmintzer)
    1. Create an all-white screen in a graphics application such as AppleWorks or Photoshop, and save it as a JPEG file.

    2. Use this as the image displayed by preview in full screen.

    3. Turn the display brightness down (but not off) to preserve backlight bulb life.

    An now all you have to do is wait.

    A LCD screen can't burn but pixels do get stuck when displaying something for a long time.

    Here is also a link to a java applet called JScreenFix http://www.jscreenfix.com/applet.php?width=2560&height=1440

    GreetZzz T
    iMac, 27" iMac
  • woodie Level 4 Level 4 (1,075 points)
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    Feb 27, 2010 5:14 AM (in response to NotoriousT)
    To add to NotoriousT post
    - put the white jpeg into iPhoto in it's own folder.
    - so it's easy to make it your desktop selection.
    iMac CD, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • CMD Calculating status...
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    Mar 30, 2010 5:05 PM (in response to Dah•veed)
    David.Austin.Allen wrote:
    Image persistence is user caused, so I doubt that the Apple warranty covers it.


    This is just pure foolishness. An LCD screen will not show image persistence after a mere hour or two with a static image. This problem is endemic to the 24" iMac and is caused by excessive heating behind the display. The image persistence can be fixed by simply changing the desktop background to pure white and leaving it sit like that for several hours. You can pretty much remove the problem in the future by using SMC fan control and running the fan speeds up to around 2000 RPM or so. The persistence isn't damaging the screen, but it is indicative of a design flaw due to the obsessiveness with Apple over keeping the computer as quiet as possible. Under normal use in a cool-ish room, the problem will not usually show up. If you are making heavy use of your iMac (like using Photoshop or doing video editing), you'll start to see this problem crop up. If you regularly push your computer like this so that the internal temps often run hot, you definitely need SMC fan control to run the fan speeds up.

    My iMac has had this problem more frequently as the computer has aged. I suspect the continuing build-up of dust in the fans and vents causes higher temps on a regular basis which leads to this issue more frequently. One of these days, I'll have to open the thing up and clean it out. I never saw this problem for the first year or so that I had the computer.
    iMac 24" 2.8, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • davidmintzer Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2010 2:42 PM (in response to CMD)
    Excellent analysis--I agree with pretty much everything you say---This has nothing to do with user error.
    Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • davidmintzer Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2010 2:43 PM (in response to CMD)
    Excellent analysis--I agree with pretty much everything you say---This has nothing to do with user error.
    Mac OS X (10.4.10)
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