Monitor Burn-in HOWTO

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This HowTo describes how to burn-in monitors for long-term use.


After the monitor is powered up, go into the Menu Settings & select in this order:

  1. the Recall or Reset function (it may be a separate button or it may not exist)
  2. Color Temperature to 9300K
  3. Degauss
  4. Adjust Color and Brightness to a maximum of 85
    • if the Color or Brightness need to be higher than 85 to meet "Keeper" standards, then RECYCLE IT
  If the picture is looking good (can you see the 3 black/gray bars in the middle?) then let the monitor burn-in for AT LEAST AN HOUR (longer is better)
  If the picture is not looking good, RECYCLE IT


(1) Double check for initial quality

Recycle if...

  • Monitor is ugly (i.e. dirty, covered in stickers, dingy, yellowed, etc.)
  • Plastic case is cracked or damaged
  • Year on back is 1998 or before
  • The base is missing, leaving a round unstable bottom
  • Monitor is 17" or less AND is manufactured before 2000
 For recycled monitors, if it has a detachable cable then remove it (otherwise, leave the cable attached)

(2) Testing

  1. Put monitor on testing shelf
  2. Plug in a power cord to the back of the monitor
  3. Plug the monitor's signal cable into one of the nearby signal sockets
  4. Power up the monitor
  5. In the Menu setting, select in this order:
    • the Recall or Reset function (it may be a separate button or it may not exist)
    • Color Temperature to 9300K
    • Degauss
    • Adjust Color and Brightness to a maximum of 85
 If the Brightness or Contrast must be set above 85, then recycle it

(3) When to Recycle a Monitor

After adjusting the Menu Settings listed above, look for the following:

  • Picture clicks or jerks around
  • You cannot clearly differentiate between the 3 black/gray stripes in the middle
  • Picture is darker than the reference monitor even when brightness/contrast turned up to 85
  • Picture is black or doesn't show the Linux desktop
  • Picture is blurry and text is difficult to read (wipe dirt off screen with cloth to be sure)
  • Color is uneven across the screen
  • You are unable to center the picture properly with the controls
  • The picture is warped and not fixable with the controls
  • You smell BURNING or hear SQUEALING
 Note: If any of the monitors fail while setting them up (see criteria above) recycle them & replace them with potentially good monitors until there are 8 on the shelf worth testing.  Make sure to safely stack the monitors in the Recycle Gaylord.

(4) Burning in the Potential Keepers

 Note: Monitors must "burn in" for AT LEAST AN HOUR (although longer is better)!!!!!!!!!
  • If you are not going to stick around for the whole burn in process, record the time you set up each Monitor on the clipboard so the next person knows how long they've been running.
  • What to do with KEEPERS: After 1 hour, if the monitor picture is still good, bright and not jerking around, and you do NOT smell BURNING or hear SQUEALING:
    • Put an orange sticker on the front of the monitor (NOT on the screen).
    • Put the monitor on the shelf and continue with another.