Do Magnets Ruin TV Screens? (Answered)

In most cases, a magnet will not damage a TV screen. The only time that this is the case is when you have a CRT TV screen. The new LCD and Plasma TVs will not be damaged by a magnet because they are not made in the same way as older TVs. Older TVs were made with cathode ray tubes which is part of why a magnet can damage them for good.

In some cases, you might be able to use a magnet to correct the problem, but many CRT TV screens which have been exposed to a magnet will be ruined. The CRT display is polarized, so a magnet can interrupt the phase of the beams inside the TV, and this will ruin the screen. This is older technology, but some people are still using CRT TVs and will want to avoid this problem.

What Happens When a Magnet Touches a CRT TV Screen?

The reason that older tube-style TVs can be ruined by a magnet is due to the cathode ray tubes inside the TV. These tubes told the TV screen which colors to display, and if you were to break the polarity of the tubes and the screen, you could cause the image on the screen to be distorted for good. Some people will use another magnet and try to run it back and forth across the screen rapidly to try and correct the polarity.

This can sometimes be successful, but it can also just cause further distortion in the display. This is due to the cathode ray tubes being disconnected in their polarity with the screen, which can be tough to fix even if you think you are reversing it. There is no risk to TVs without cathode ray tubes because they are not polarized as older TV styles are.

People who used to work on fixing older TV will tell you that trying to resolve an issue like this could take hours and might still never return the TV’s display to the former quality. Technology changes over time and the risk of magnets damaging the TV is a thing of the past. The technology that is used to make modern TV screens function does not depend on magnetic polarity, which makes a magnet no threat to these TVs.

CRT TVs Can be Damaged by Magnets

While new TVs cannot be damaged with magnets, any CRT TVs that you own can be. Make sure that you do not expose cathode ray tube-style TVs to magnets at any time. In most cases, this kind of TV cannot be repaired if a magnet has impacted its display. You will need to replace a TV that has been damaged in this way. And honestly, since these CRT TVs are becoming quite elderly as far as technology, you might want to go ahead and replace this TV anyway.

This article was last updated on January 26, 2023 .

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By Adam

The Display Blog staff account. We know display.