May 1, 2011

How to Check for iPad Backlight Bleeding & Dead Pixels

by Maverick Wil · 27 comments

Backlight bleeding or backlight leakage occurs when light from behind the display panel is not fully blocked which causes spots of lighter areas to appear on a dark or black background.

Imagine shining a torch through your hand. Light will likely come through from the cracks between your fingers. This is similar to how backlight bleeding occurs.

While only a small number of 1st generation iPad users reported having backlight bleeding, this problem seems to have plagued the majority of iPad 2 units in varying degrees.

Since a lot of people have been asking about how to check for backlight bleeding on their iPad unit, we’ve provided a simple way for you to do it. We’ve also decided to include a dead pixels test together for good measure.

You can view this tutorial in text/image after the jump if you prefer not to view the video version.

Instructions (Video Tutorial)

Instructions (Text/Image Tutorial)

Step 1

Screen Brightness Screenshot

From your Home screen, open up ‘Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper’. Turn Auto-Brightness ‘Off’ and set the brightness to maximum. *Remember to revert back to your preferred settings once you’re done with these tests.

Step 2

Safari on Home Screen

Go back to the Home screen, open up ‘Safari’ and load this page if you aren’t already on it. (Short URL:

Step 3

iPad Backlight Bleeding Test - Black

iPad Dead Pixels Test - White

iPad Dead Pixels Test - Red

iPad Dead Pixels Test - Green

iPad Dead Pixels Test - Blue

Individually tap and hold the images above until a menu pops up. Select ‘Save Image’. You only have to save the black color image if you just want to do the backlight bleeding test. In order to check for dead pixels, you will also need the other colors.

Step 4

Return to your Home screen and open up ‘Photos’. Locate the images you just saved.

Step 5

Make sure you are in a dark environment for best results. Make sure you wipe your screen well before continuing to avoid mistaking fingerprint smudges or dust particles for problem areas.

  • Backlight Bleeding Test: Select the black color image and once opened, double tap the image to fill the whole screen. You should now be able to figure out whether you have bleeding problems or not. If you are lucky enough to have a problem free unit, you should not be able to see any abnormal light spots on the edges of your screen.

iPad 2 Backlight Bleed Test

  • Dead Pixels Test: Individually open up each color image (including black) and double tap the image to fill the whole screen. If you spot any odd pixels, that is called a dead pixel. Just make sure it isn’t dust.

Dead Pixel Test

I Have a Problem. What Next?

Get in touch with your retailer to confirm the options you have for your unit. Options may depend on age of unit, which model, warranty, etc.

If you recently purchased an iPad 2, Apple will perform a replacement for backlight bleeding. However, if the bleeding is not severe and you think you’ll be able to live with it, we recommend you stick with the unit you have. There have been many reports of replacement units also having the same bleeding issue so you may just be wasting your time.

Apple also does replacements for units with dead pixels but the rule of thumb is you need to have more than 1 dead pixel in order to ‘qualify’. No harm in trying though.

  • BH

    good stuff! Thanks!

    • Maverick Wil

      You’re welcome. Cool of you to drop by.

  • Kenwei

    Is it different from different colors? I am lucky that mine is just normal.

    • Maverick Wil

      Not really but there seems to be a higher report of backlight bleeding from the white units. I think the problem is there regardless of which colour unit though.

      • Si Panda

        Mine are white and have some issue like above pix…. But, it dont bother me much…

  • Dayday

    Yay, mine is perfect!

    • Maverick Wil

      Lucky you 😉

    • Maverick Wil

      Lucky you 😉

  • Seanlam

    i have a minor screen bleeding issues here.

  • Ypfyong89

    Hi everyone, I bought my iPad 2 from US. My unit is experiencing the backlight bleeding. It’s quite severe. Can I get a replacement unit from Malaysia Apple Retail Store? Thanks in advanced

    • Maverick Wil

      You have a 1 year international warranty so yes you should be able to bring it to any of the Apple Authorized Service Providers in Malaysia to request for a replacement: ( They will check your unit and if they give the green light, the replacement will be facilitated which takes anywhere between 1-3 weeks.

  • Chantelle1202

    Thank you mine is just perfect …. And I went for White !!!!

  • John Yong

    walau more than 1 ah? i yesterday just buy and it got 1 already!!!! tat’s sucks! how m i going to claim it??? i jz buy a ipad2 with a dead pixel :(

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  • Woodken19

    The same happen to my iPad 2 with light bleed. The apple store had no problem replacing the iPad for me. They had to replace it twice and the last time it was replaced the lady at the apple store told me this was the last time they could replace it. The next time they said they would have to refund me $250.00 on a gift card. I was lucky and the last one I got was 100 times better but still had very very little light bleed left of the home button. So I’m dealing with it, it’s not so bad but that $250.00 refund I was told is bull**** cause the iPad was only a month old and cost $399.99 plus tax. So I’m lost on how they come up with that 250 crap

  • Twilight691

    Mine has black light bleeding :(((((((((( and sometimes some of my apps crashes with out a reason :((((((

  • Litsa

    Mine has like a white fingerprint on the screen which is very strange! you can notice this better when the screen is white or grey. It’s like is more brighter on that part. Does anyone has this problem???

  • James Trostel

    My screen is red I have ipad 1gen any tips on how to fix it

  • James Trostel

    Mine is a black ipad

  • Kbwaldrop

    I don’t see a black picture…which one is black, the first one? On my iPad 2, the first image is totally red with a thin black stripe along the right edge…and the last image is purple with a thin blue line on the right edge…so what color is the last picture, blue or purple?

  • Goup

    Thanks a lot for that very interesting tuto 👏👏👏 question : every colors were ok except blue. But the problem appears yesterday morning, disappears during the evening and comes back this morning. So I conclude that blue pixels are not dead but may be a contact problem… Do you have an idea to solve it ? Thanks for your answer 😀😀😀

  • Andre Skinner

    my ipad air 2 has blue finger like marks when i do the black test

    what does it mean