Laptop Screen Repair

Cracked Laptop Screen? Screen Dim?

Troubleshooting overview

Screen issues are usually easy to fix because they fall into one of two categories:
  1. Cracked laptop screen or has lines across it.. The screen is smashed.
  2. The screen is dim.

The solutions are usually very simple:

Damaged Screen: laptop-cracked-screenRepair-Cracked-Laptop-Screen-

Can a laptop screen be repaired?

Repairing a cracked laptop screen or one which smashed is pretty much impossible and not something I recommend you attempt. So can a laptop screen be repaired? Well, unfortunately the answer is no the screen is not repairable and you should always just REPLACE IT. 

Most screen replacement is straight forward with a few exceptions, following the guidelines found within the 8 steps to taking apart any laptop should give you the confidence to replace any laptop screen. For generic instructions that will apply to most makes and model of laptop please see the next page on laptop screen replacement.

How easy is laptop screen repair / replacement?

It is fairly simple to replace a laptop screen, the first few times you do it you may be a bit unsure but if you follow the guide I have written in the laptop screen replacement and watch the video I have created you should find it easy enough.  In the video I take apart 3 different types of laptop to show you (once again) that there is a PATTERN you can follow when repairing a laptop.
How much are laptop screen repairs
In the 20+ years I’ve spent fixing laptops the number one thing to break is always the screen followed by the charging port. This is because they are the areas on the laptop most susceptible to damage cause by movement. Most people tend to leave something on their laptop keyboard such as a pen and then close the laptop causing the screen to crack. How much are laptop repairs? The charge is made up the cost of the screen + technicians time to fix it.
  • In the UK the average cost is between £70 and £180.
  • In the USA the prices are similar at between $100 and $300.
  • In both instances it depends where you take it and how much their labor charge is.
  • You can expect on average to pay between £40 and £70 in the UK and $60 to $100 in the USA.
  • The laptop screen itself various wildly depending upon your make and model.
  • The whole replacement can take up to an hour but in my many years of experience can be done in as little as 15 minutes.
But before you part with your money you have to consider a few other options:
  1. If you have an Apple Mac then you cannot get it repaired just anywhere it has to go to an approved repair centre.
  2. Check your warranty and/or insurance details before proceeding. You may be covered or you may in fact void both by acting without checking first.
  3. There are now plenty of online places to send your laptop off to for a repair. This has the downside that they tend to offer a more expensive service and the turn around time is longer meaning you will be without your laptop for some time.
  4. If you take it to a high street name such as PC World (UK) or find a local repair service which will tend to be cheaper because of their lower overheads.
  5. More important – do it yourself. Replacing a laptop screen is not as difficult as you may think and there are plenty of YouTube Videos and online guides for your make and model of laptop – plus we have our own guide to replacing a laptop screen right here on Tekmoz which you can follow. Our own guide is aimed at people training to be a technician and so is aimed at generic screen replacement.

How Much Do Laptop Screens Cost?

It depends on your make and model of laptop. I’ve personally used lots of trade suppliers over the years and found that comparing the likes of Amazon and Ebay you don’t save too much really, in fact often the same suppliers sell on these platforms just to compete given that most people will just search for their make and model + replacement laptop screen directly on Amazon for convenience.
E.g try Dell Inspiron 15 5559 replacement laptop screen

What To Look Out For When Buying A Laptop Screen From Amazon

  1. Always look at the sellers rating.
The cost of buying a laptop screen on Amazon varies so always check the sellers rating.
2. Always buy like for like. Don’t go for a generic screen where possible always substitute the same type of screen parts. This goes the same for the matt / glossy finish and obviously size. You don’t have to do this but in my experience it reduces the chance of failure. 3. Don’t always buy the cheapest. Usually cheap is cheap for a reason, make sure you get the right screen from the seller with the best reputation. 4. Search for the part number. If you take your laptop screen apart prior to searching on Amazon (or anywhere on the web) there will be a sticker with the part number on it. If you search for this you are more likely to get the exact make and model screen for your laptop. Not got time to read all of this article? Watch the short video below:

Why Do Laptop Screens Vary So Much In Price?

This is because the age, size and quality is different for each make and model of laptop.

How Much Do Laptop Repair Technicians Charge To Replace A Laptop Screen?

It depends where you are in the world. I’m in the UK and I typically charge £65 per hour for general IT work but I’m experienced enough to be able to change a screen in around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the complexity of the job so I personally weigh this up when dealing with a customer. I also will given discounts to attract repeat custom or for bulk work. The pricing tends to be the same no matter where you are in the world in terms of the exchange rate but you should expect to pay between £40 and £70 per hour (roughly $60 to $100 in the USA).

Can I Repair A Laptop Screen Rather Than Replace It?

Personally I wouldn’t bother and most laptop repair technicians wouldn’t either. The price isn’t worth it and the end result wouldn’t be very good so unless you are an electronics buff then just replace it. You used to be able to replace the bulb when a screen was dim and the FL inverter (power inverter) was not at fault but they are too fragile and not recommended anymore.

Can I Replace My Own Laptop Screen

Yes and there are lots of guides on the internet which you can Google for. Here’s an older video I made which shows you how I do it on 3 different laptops (sorry, I haven’t made a new video in quite some time). This shows you the similarities and differences between different models of laptop, you should be able to use this is a guide for your own laptop. Most laptop screen come apart in the same way and once you’ve done a few they’re all pretty similar and easy to do.

Can I Still Replace My Laptop Screen If It Is Warranty?

The obvious answer is no because you will void the warranty but in my experience time is often of the essence so my advice is yes you can but you will probably void the warranty. If you void the warranty you may regret it later so weigh up whether or not you would prefer to wait for your screen to be replaced and can work on another computer until you get it back.

People also ask:

Is it worth fixing a laptop screen?

In my answers earlier I said it isn’t worth fixing a laptop screen and I stand by this. However, if you can’t afford to replace your screen then you can always plug in an external monitor and use that until you can sort out a repalcement part.

Should I go with the cheapest service?

I recommend you go with the best service based upon customer reviews and also go with a replacement laptop screen which is a like for like of the screen you are aiming to replace. The best way to find this is to often take it apart yourself and search for the part number on the sticker you will see stuck to the back of the screen.

Can I replace my laptop screen with a generic one?

Some screens are advertised as generic and these are generally fine except you may find that the quality is lower or there may be dead pixels on them. This is the trade off for a cheaper or more generic screen. As a laptop technician I usually give the customer the choice of both and adjust the guarantee for my work accordingly. Most good laptop repair technicians will stand by their work but not a cheap part and I would always recommend the right part for the job, however, in my many years of experience people often go for the cheaper option which is fine as long as expectations are set correctly.

Remember there is a PATTERN between the different manufacturers

Each brand / manufacturer has slight differences but on the whole they are put together in a similar way, so similar in fact that removal of a bunch of screws and unclipping the screen surround will become second nature after you have done a few.
Here a few questions that I get asked quite often (please remember that I show you the steps for laptop screen replacement/repair in the next page): Question: What size screen and type etc can I use to replace my laptop screen?
Answer: Like other components in a laptops they usually have a sticker on them with their part number.  You can Google this number to find a replacement part.  There are COMPATIBLE screens too and these will be fine to use, the person selling them usually indicates that they are compatible screens.
Question: Can I replace any parts of the screen rather than replace it?
Answer: You can replace the VGA cable (see the next page) and the bulb (I do not recommend you replace the bulb as it is too fragile, you may as well just replace the whole thing).  You can also replace the metallic arms which hold the screen in place but the simple and short answers is NO.  I personally always replace the screen and bill the customer then move onto the next job, time is money, move on.
Question: What are the laptop screen price and costs?
The price of a replacement screen varies by size and type.  Replace like for like screens, don’t upgrade, it isn’t worth the hassle.  I originally wrote Tekmoz with the idea that people could be able to take my training and use the information to earn money from the skills they can learn, with that in mind you should price your labour charges to what you want to earn and put the price of the replacement screen on top of that (remember to include your postage and packing costs). I am based in the UK and I normally charge my labour at between £35 and £65 (in U.S dollar that’s about $60 and $100). Check the local competition for competitive prices and set yours accordingly.

Dim Screen: A dim screen is usually caused by a faulty power Inverter (also called the FL Inverter) or the cable that leads into it. When you remove the screen you will see the FL Inverter attached (usually by a single screw), here is an image of one: FL Inverter

Here’s how to test a dim laptop screen

Plug in an external monitor and power the laptop up. (I recommend you have a monitor in your toolkit if you are repairing laptops for customers). If you see a normal picture then use the laptop screen replacement guide to remove the screen cover. The chances are is that the FL Inverter has failed or has a loose cable attached to it.  The FL Inverter is very simple to replace, it is held in usually be a single screw or occasionally stuck with glue.  If you come across an FL Inverter which appears to be attached in some bizarre when then you can always find many YouTube videos or blogs that will show you exactly how to disassemble your laptop screen and remove the FL Inverter. Type in the specific model of laptop into a search engine along with the words ‘screen replacement tutorial’ or something similar. This may sound like cheating but it’s what all technicians do so I see no reason to advise you otherwise.  I have been repairing laptops for many years and I still do this on the odd occasion. However, having said that you should have no problems whatsoever replacing any laptop screen having followed my guide. If you have any problems or questions then please get in touch and I will do my best to assist you.
  1. Check the cable to the inverter for a loose connection.
  2. If you have a spare that you know works then swap them over and power the laptop up.  If it works then order a replacement part.
Again, Google for the part number which you will find on the inverter and choose the best source based on reputation and price.  Many sellers on places such as Ebay are cheaper than trade suppliers.  For this reason my own advice is to go with whatever you think is best  – but be aware that trade supppliers are not always the best option!

Typical faults with a laptop screen

I get a lot of emails with very specific problems and makes and model of laptop.  One of the core things I like people to understand is that the purpose of Tekmoz is to show you that can apply a set of rules to almost ANY MAKE, ANY MODEL OF LAPTOP.  The steps for repair or replacement are not always the same but they are very similar.  But below are a typical list of questions and problems that I have answered.  My answers may help you to fix a specific problem or if you get stuck, but as usual please feel free to ask a question:
Question: My laptop screen is dim, I can see the picture but it’s very faint, what’s the problem here?
Answer: Before assuming it is a faulty part, check your function keys for a brightness control…this does happen that the user has accidentally turned the brightness down too far.  Also check that there is no FN+Function Key combination that will turn the screen off.
Question: How can I tell if it’s the FL Inverter at fault or the graphics chip?
Answer: The simple answer here is to put an external screen onto your laptop as shown above, if you see an image upon the external monitor then it’s the laptop screen or Inverter at fault. On the other hand if you put an external screen on (and make sure that you have either rebooted your laptop or pressed the appropriate FN+Function Key to show dual displays) and you still cannot see an image, then the graphic chip is suspect.
Question: My screen keeps going dim and then bright again at random times.
Answer :This is most likely a loose wire on the FL inverter or the VGA cable is loose. Test with an external screen to begin with – if it doesn’t keep happening on the external monitor then it’s not the graphics chip. In this instance remove the screen bezel and ensure that the cables to the FL Inverter are secured properly. If they are definitely secure and the problem persists and the image is still fine on the external monitor then next you must test the VGA cable. Use the laptop dissemble guide to remove the keyboard where you fill find one end of the VGA cable, the other end is plugged into the rear of the screen, my experience is that the end under the keyboard is more likely to be the problem – further to this it usual happens after somebody has attempted to repair the laptop beforehand. Check your problem persists, if it does then remove the screen itself and check the other end of the cable.


Tekmoz is a website that is the culmination of over 15 years experience and counting in the computer repair and technology industry where you can learn from our experience and apply it to your own life.