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How to Tell if Your Monitor is Dying: 10 Signs to Watch For

No matter how top-notch your PC monitor is, there comes a time when it starts showing its age, hinting that it’s ready to bow out.

Just like other peripherals, monitors aren’t immune to the wear and tear of time. They have their own lifespan, and knowing when they’re nearing the end can save you from the hassle of sudden breakdowns.

In this article, we will dive into the common signs that indicate your monitor is gearing up for a well-deserved retirement.

Power Cycle Issues

Monitor stuck in booting loop

I remember the frustration when my old monitor began showing signs of wear. It got caught in a relentless on/off cycle, repeatedly flashing its startup logo. Each time, it seemed ready to turn on, but then it looped back to the logo, never fully starting up.

It just couldn’t complete its startup process, leaving it stuck in this frustrating loop and signaling that its operational days were numbered.

Start-Up Delays

Have you ever clicked the power button on your monitor and then waited… and waited? I’ve been there too.

You expect a quick start, but nope, the screen stays dark, or worse, gets stuck showing the logo, teasing you that it might just turn on. Then, finally, it does, but you’ve already spent precious minutes staring at a blank screen.

This isn’t just an annoyance; it’s a red flag that your monitor might be having a tough time keeping up.

Partial Display Loss

PC monitor displaying half of the screen only

Another issue that might signal your monitor is on its last legs is when only part of the screen displays an image. This problem typically appears as either the top or bottom half of the screen staying completely black.

It’s a straightforward yet obvious issue, often resulting from failures in the monitor’s display panel or its backlighting system.

Brightness Issues

Have you ever noticed your monitor dragging its feet to get bright? It’s like it needs a morning coffee to kick into gear.

Basically, an old monitor that is about to give up on you sometimes can take its sweet time to reach full brightness, leaving you squinting at a dimly lit screen.

Presence of Dead Pixels

Gaming monitor with dead pixels

Spotting dead pixels on your monitor can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but once you see them, they’re hard to ignore. These are the tiny dots on your screen that stay unlit, no matter what’s displayed.

They might be few and scattered at first, but over time, their numbers can grow. It’s like a small blemish that gradually becomes more noticeable.

Dead pixels don’t necessarily spell immediate doom for your monitor, but they do hint that it’s not as healthy as it once was.

Inaccurate Color Display

Is your monitor displaying colors that just don’t look right? Because that’s what happened to my old monitor. Out of the blue, everything took on a purple tint.

When your monitor starts showing colors all wrong – blues turning purple, whites going pink – it’s more than just an aesthetic issue. It means the monitor’s having trouble displaying colors accurately, a bit like an artist running out of paint colors.

PS: If your monitor is displaying different colors, flashing one after another, please read this article. This isn’t a sign of your monitor giving up; it’s a different problem.

Display Line Problems

Monitor displaying red line

Similar to the issue of inaccurate colors, but with a more permanent presence, are line problems on your monitor.

Unlike the color distortions that might come and go, these lines are persistent; they’re there as long as the monitor is on.

You might see them as horizontal or vertical lines that stubbornly stay put on the screen, cutting through everything displayed.

Flickering and Blinking

Flickering and blinking on your monitor can be as distracting as a flickering light bulb in a room. This issue, where the screen intermittently goes black or blurs, can be a bit tricky to diagnose.

This issue doesn’t necessarily mean your monitor is about to fail, as it can also stem from problems with the graphics card.

Screen Burn-in

Gaming monitor suffering from burn in

Next, we will discuss a symptom that you’ve probably already seen elsewhere. Have you ever noticed at a restaurant or airport how some screens display faint ghost-like images, even when they’re supposed to be showing something else? That’s screen burn-in. It’s when an image gets ‘burned’ into the screen after being displayed for a prolonged period.

On your own monitor, this might appear as faint outlines or shadows of previous images that linger on the screen.

Burn-in happens when the monitor is frequently displaying static images. It’s like a stubborn memory that the screen can’t let go of.

Monitor Refusing to Power On

The final and most definitive sign of a monitor’s demise is when it refuses to power on. It’s the moment when no amount of button pressing or cable checking brings it back to life. This is the full stop at the end of your monitor’s story.

Unlike the other issues, which might give you a glimmer of hope for a fix, a monitor that won’t turn on at all leaves no room for ambiguity. It’s a clear indication that the internal components have failed completely.


Here we are at the end of this article. I hope you found value in this article.

Now, it’s your turn. Do these symptoms ring true with your current monitor? Are you suspecting it’s on its last leg, or could there be another issue at play? If you haven’t made up your mind just yet, I recommend you read our article about when should you upgrade your monitor.

Feel free to drop a comment sharing the symptoms you’re experiencing and your thoughts on whether it’s your monitor or something else.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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