Apple’s Dead Pixel & Stuck Pixel Policy

Nov 4, 2010 - 7 Comments


Wondering what to do about a dead pixel or stuck pixel on an Apple device? Apple’s internal policy on dead and stuck pixels has been revealed. Titled “Acceptable numbers of pixel anomalies”, the internal document explains Apple’s policy on what they call pixel anomalies and how they handle repairs or replacements.

Apple’s Dead & Stuck Pixel Policy

Here’s the breakdown from the leaked Genius chart:

  • iPod nano, iPod touch, and iPhone screens: repair or replace after 1 or more dead pixels
  • iPad: repair or replace after 3 or more dead pixels
  • MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″ models: replace after 4 or more bright pixels, 6 or more dark pixels
  • MacBook Pro 17″, displays up to 20″: replace after 5 or more bright pixels, 7 or more dark pixels
  • iMac 24″ and iMac 27″, Apple Cinema Displays from 22″ to 30″: replace after 9 or more bright pixels, 11 or more dark pixels

Of particular note from the memo is the following:

If the number of pixel anomalies is within specifications, explain that to the customer. Further explain that you can replace the product, but the replacement product may have even more anomalies yet still be within specifications, and that Apple will not replace the product again if the number of anomalies in the replacement product is within specifications.

As you can see from the above chart, the smaller the screen the more likely they are to replace or repair the device.

Apple’s Official Dead Pixel Policy vs Real World Experience

While the official guidelines for handling dead pixels seem strict, I suspect there is a larger policy at the Apple Store for ensuring customer satisfaction. Speaking from direct experience, Apple can be far more generous than this support document suggests. Case in point; I purchased a MacBook Pro 13″ earlier in the year and discovered a single dead pixel glowing bright red smack in the center of the screen, you couldn’t miss it. I took the Mac back to the Apple Store and an Apple Genius swapped the machine out immediately, saying he wanted to be sure I was happy with my purchase. The new MacBook Pro’s screen was flawless, and yes, I was happy.

What should I do if I find dead pixels on my Apple device or Mac?

My advice to anyone who is dissatisfied with either a dead or stuck pixel is to talk to Apple Support, express your concerns, and see what type of resolution they offer. At the end of the day customer service seems to always win out over official policy, and you may well have a replacement device or screen offered.

The dead pixel policy is the third internal Apple support document to be leaked in the past week to BGR, the first being that AppleCare warranties can be transferred to new purchases and the second involving a display issue with some of the new MacBook Air models.

Have you encountered dead pixels on a MacBook Pro or Air, iMac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch? Did it bother you enough to talk to Apple Support about the issue? What was the resolution? Share your experiences with dead pixels on Apple products and what happened in the comments below.


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in News, Troubleshooting


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  1. Ansh says:

    This is because apple is just trying to make profit as dead pixels very likely go unnoticed by users as they are so small to be viewed on LCD screens.

  2. Total Legend says:

    What about 21.5″ iMacs? The chart only shows from 20 inch then skips to 22 inch.

  3. Walrus says:

    What I want to know is why Apple screens have *any* dead pixels at all. This hardware comes at a 200% to 400% premium to PC competitors and somehow the Apple manufacturing process doesn’t catch pixel problems before shipping for sale? If I spend $2500 on a laptop you better believe I want a perfect screen!

  4. Jag says:

    What about funeral arrangements? Do they cover those?
    How about the costs of flying in the families of the dearly departed pixels?
    And what about life insurance for the wives and children of the pixels? I don’t see any mention of that…

  5. Ryan says:

    A few weeks ago I found a dead pixel bang in the centre of my iPad, I took it into the store and they swapped it there and then :)

  6. Louis says:

    I’ve had Apple replace several screens with stuck pixels, it has never been a problem.

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