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There are few things worse than coming home with plans of watching your favorite show only to find that your TV has a crack in the center. While the most common reason for broken screens is a fall, other things can lead to damage. Find out if a TV can break on its own and what you can do.

AdobeStock_529839123 Smart TV on the two tone color wall in living room,minimal design

Can a TV Break On Its Own?

While a TV can break on its own, this is very rare. You’ll usually find that the damage occurred because of a fall. If you have a TV mounted to the wall, vibrations caused by people and pets running around your home can dislodge it. 

It can also fall because you didn’t use the correct hardware or forgot to mount it to a stud. TVs that sit on tables and in entertainment centers can also fall. A frisky cat or dog can easily knock it over. 

What Can Cause a TV Screen to Crack? 

There are many reasons a TV screen will crack. But the most common reason is an accident. Remember how many people broke their TV sets playing Nintendo Wii? Or perhaps your kid threw a toy or kicked a ball. It was not their intention, but the object went straight to the TV set. And before you know it, the damage has been done.

Aside from human errors, there are other factors why a TV screen can break on its own. We list down a few reasons below:

1. Temperature Changes

Many modern TVs have either an OLED or LED glass screen. Have you ever put a glass bottle in the freezer and forgotten about it? Then, when you opened the freezer door, you found frozen liquid and shards of glass looking back at you.

Extreme and sharp temperature changes can do the same thing to your TV. For example, let’s say you keep your home at a high temperature during the night while you sleep. And then, you lower it when you head to work. These changes from hot to cold and vice versa can cause the screen to crack.

Thermal shock also affects TVs and causes cracked screens. Your Tv will operate fine as long as temperature is between 50 to 104°F or 10 to 40°C. Thus, leaving your TV in a very hot or cold room increases the risk of thermal shock.

2. Factory Defects

While popular brands are reputable, not all of them are free from manufacturing errors. For example, quality assurance inspectors might miss a hairline crack. And that damaged unit can make its way to the consumers.

When it comes to you, you most probably won’t notice that teeny-tiny crack. You might even think the screen looks fantastic. But that could all change when the damage appears a few months after.

Therefore, always register a new TV with the manufacturer when you buy a new one. That helps you take advantage of your warranty, which covers factory defects for a year or longer. It’s helpful to invest in an extended warranty, too

3. Delivery Issues

Just because you didn’t see the crack before does not mean it wasn’t already there. In addition, cracks can often worsen with time and pop up due to delivery issues.

Even the packing materials won’t guarantee the TV set arrives safely. All it takes is one person dropping the TV out of the truck or storing it on its side with another box on top for the screen to crack.

You can set up the TV and watch it without knowing the crack is even there. However, the damage can grow and become visible over the coming months. You might have a cracked screen because you bought the TV from a local store and didn’t care when you moved it.

4. Human Error

Did you move to a new home and suddenly find a crack on your TV screen? Instead of blaming the temperature or the manufacturer, you might blame yourself.

Human error and improper handling are common causes of cracked TV screens. For example, you might lose your grip for a fraction of a second when moving the TV to a different room.

The damage is already done even if you think you grabbed it in time. Bumping the TV when you set it up can cause other types of damage, such as blurred lines or dark spots on the screen.

Does Turning TV On and Off Damage It?

You usually turn your TV on when you’re home and shut it off when you head to bed. Some people even let theirs run for hours at night because they fall asleep to their favorite shows. 

Turning your TV on and off a few times a day should not damage it because this is a normal part of owning and operating one. In addition, many models come with a standby mode, which uses less power. 

Can I Run It All Night?

Yes. You can let your TV run all night without worrying about damaging it. Using the standby mode is helpful, but you can also use the sleep timer. It lets you tell it how long you want it to run.

When you set a 30-minute timer, the TV will shut off after 30 minutes. Most streaming apps have a “continue watching” feature that pops up after a few episodes. It will stay on this screen until you make a choice. If you leave your TV on this feature for too long, it can burn the image on your screen.

Can I Damage My TV by Turning It On and Off?

The only time using the power button on your TV will damage it is when you pull the power cord. For example, your TV is stuck on a specific setting, and you can’t get your remote to work. As a result, you might feel tempted to grab the power cord and pull it right out of the wall. 

When you turn the TV back on, don’t be surprised if you see some dark spots or lines on the screen. The energy that shoots back through it can damage the screen. Always use the remote or the buttons on the TV to turn it on and off.

Is Using Standby Mode Safe?

Using standby mode is perfectly safe and will not harm your TV. It also allows a SmartTV to update itself. SmartTV models connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and use the connection to update as needed. 

So, you don’t need to wait for your TV to download a firmware or app update. You can catch the big game or watch a Netflix show because it will update itself in the middle of the night. Using standby mode can also help your TV use less power at night.

AdobeStock_204762818 Broken wall tv, books and a lamp on a shelf, white wall background. 3d illustration

5 Things to do if You Have a Cracked TV Screen

How maddening can it be when you discover your TV has a cracked screen? No one can blame you for reacting that way. While TVs today cost less than ever, you may not have an extra $200 or more to spend on a new one. Look at some of the different things you can do with a cracked TV screen.

1. Replace It

Check the manual and paperwork that came with your TV. Most models have a one-year warranty covering delivery errors and manufacturing defects. Some brands require you to register your TV as soon as you buy it. Others can use its serial number to see if your warranty is valid.

As long as you prove that you did not cause the crack, the company should either pay to repair or replace it.

2. Repair the TV

You don’t need to throw your TV in the trash because it has a cracked screen. Check with local shops to see if a tech can repair the damage. Most repair shops charge high. It is almost as much as a new TV. If you have a newer model, do a quick Google search for replacement screens.

You can also search the web for helpful videos showing how to replace the screen. This takes a lot of time and requires some knowledge, so you should talk to a pro first. The cost of replacing a cracked TV screen can hit $500,

3. Recycle Your Old Screen

Electronic recycling centers are convenient places to bring an old TV you no longer want. Many cities and states even have rules about what you can and cannot throw away. If you put your TV out with your trash, don’t be surprised if it’s still there the next morning. Even if the TV fits in your garbage can, the city has no obligation to take it.

Leaving it sitting outside can also result in someone cutting off the cord for the copper inside and breaking the screen, leaving glass all over. Take your old TV to an electronic recycling center, instead. Many stores such as BestBuy will accept TVs and other electronics, too.

4. Try Craft Ideas

There are tons of DIY and craft projects that use broken screens. When you flip it over and attach legs to the back, you get a funky side table or coffee table for your living room. You can turn it into a light display for your home using tape and lighting strips. If you have anything on the TV that you want to remove, you can connect it to a laptop or another device and transfer the data.

5. Sell Your Broken TV

Some people buy broken TV sets. While you may not have the skills to repair the screen, others do. They often buy broken TVs and spend a little time fixing them. Then, they sell it to other people. Some sellers also buy broken TVs, fix them, and donate them to shelters and non-profit organizations.

Remember that you won’t get anywhere near the price you paid for your TV. Always check the market in your area. If you see people selling working models for $100 or less, you need to price yours much lower. Some top places to sell a TV with a cracked screen include eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.


TVs can break on their own, especially if you use them in rooms with extreme temperatures or if they suffer any damage during shipping or delivery. Replacing the screen or paying a professional to handle the job are some things you can do with the old TV. You can also sell the TV to make a little extra money.