Dark Shadow on Samsung TV: Causes and Fixes

This is an era of 8K or 4K TV resolution; therefore, unpleasant screens cannot be tolerated. Such as Dark Shadow on Samsung TV can be an unprecedented problem for you. Depending on your TV model, the appearance of the shadow can be different.

So, is it a software problem, or is it normal behavior that fixes itself? A lot of question arises when you spot such a terrible screen. This article has tried to cover the same issue in detail and their respective fixes. Note that a complete black or dark screen is a different matter of discussion.

Understanding the Dark or Black Shadow on Your Samsung TV

Speaking of such problems, it is mostly due to hardware issues. But you cannot deny the fact that sometimes normal changes in settings or software glitches could give such a Dark Shadow effect.

As said above, depending on the TV model, whether Edge Lit or Back Lit LED TV, the appearance may vary. The images shared below show the shadow issue in various TV models. Edge Lit TVs are the most common design to encounter such issues. However, Back Lit LED TV may also have seen such cases.

You might have wondered what are the basic differences between these two. Well, casually speaking, Edge Lit TV has an LED strip on the edge of the TV Frame. It might be either on top & bottom or side to side. In contrast, the Backlit TV has LED Strips on the back of the LCD screen.

In the case of an Edge Lit TV, normally this shadow appeared as horizontal or Vertical black gradient strips. There is some evidence that such an issue covers half of the TV screen. In contrast, the shadow appeared in a circular manner or at the corner of the TV in the case of the Back Light LED TV.

Samsung TV Dark Shadow issues Images
Credit: Reddit

What Causes a Dark Shadow on Your Samsung TV Screen?

When you see a horizontal shadow on your TV, it could be the defective LED strip on the left or right side. In contrast, the vertical dark strips could mean that the top or bottom Strip may have an issue. On the other hand, if your TV formed a shadow from the corner or at the center in a circular manner, it could possibly mean the Back LED Strip has any abnormality.

The majority of such problem occurs due to defective LED Strips. Now, you can have many reasons for those defective LEDs. For example, over current, Overvoltages, sticking to a particular screen for a long duration, etc. However, there are other factors which possibly the root cause of the problem.

Well, then, how do we identify the problem? Is it a software or hardware issue? The simple answer will be running a Self Diagnosis Test. Although, hardware issues are not perfectly detected by performing a diagnosis test. But if the issue is due to a normal loose connect issue, it can be identified. There are some TV model that comes with feature HDMI cable Test.

Another way to check is to Press the MENU button of your TV Remote and observe if the black shadow is over the Menu screen. If it cuts off the menu, there is a defective LED Strip or hardware issue. Otherwise, it could be a software issue, a setting issue, or a connected source issue.

Run a Self-Diagnosis Picture Test

Samsung Smart TV includes this self-diagnosis feature to identify common issues and troubleshoot them. Under the diagnosis test, Samsung includes a wide range of tests like video, pictures, audio, signal strength, smart hub connections, HDMI, etc.

Follow the steps to run a Picture TEST (TV model after 2015)

  • Press the HOME Button on your remote and navigate to Settings
  • Now go to Support & select the Device Care option
  • It  will run an overall test, and the health of the TV will show
  • For particular picture tests, Select Self Diagnosis
  • After that, select the Picture TEST and follow the on-screen instructions.
Samsung TV Picture TEST short steps
Credit: Samsung

During the picture test, if the shadow doesn’t appear on the screen, then it is confirmed as a software issue. Then, you must check the other possible factors causing the issue.

Fixing a Dark Shadow on Your Samsung TV

Before proceeding with the fixes, let me tell you that if you have any experience opening a TV apart, only go for replacing the LED Strip. Otherwise, try the normal fixes as explained below. Moreover, it is worth trying the easy fixes if you are unsure of the problem rather than doing the hard labor work.

Explore and try these fixes below! For issues with the LED strip, go for the last fix else try the rest of the fixes to rule out the issue from the software point of view.

Fix 1: Soft reboot your TV

Any abnormality with your TV due to a software glitch can be resolved with a soft reboot. It is the primary step to fix the Dark Shadow on your TV screen. Follow the simple steps to perform a soft reboot-

  • Turn Off your TV
  • Unplug from the Power source
  • Wait for 3-5 minutes
  • Plug it back into the power source
  • Turn ON the TV

Now check if the issue is resolved, or else proceed to the next fix!

Fix 2: Check Software Update

Another reason behind the problem could be outdated software updates. Samsung’s Tizen OS can face bug issues, which can only be resolved by updating to the latest OS. Although Samsung has a good track record of timely updates for any bug issue. In case you want to check your TV software update, here are the steps below-

  • On your remote, press the Settings button
  • Navigate to Support
  • Then select Software Update
  • Select the Update Software

Steps to update Software on SamsungTV

It might take a while to check the update. If any update is available, download and install it. After that, check if the issue gets resolved or remains as it is.

Fix 3: Examine the External Source

You can encounter gradient issues if your TV is connected to any external device like Roku, Xfinity DVR Box, or Samsung One Connect Box. Therefore, checking the HDMI port, cable, or device for further query is mandatory.

First of all, disconnect all External devices and reconnect them to check if the Dark shadow appears. If no improvement is seen, next, perform an HDMI Cable test. Yes, as mentioned earlier, TV models with the feature of HDMI Cable test come in handy in this particular situation. Note that the HDMI Cable Test gives a good result if the cord is less than 2m long. Follow the steps below to perform the test-

  • Press the Settings button on your Remote or Navigate to Home> Settings
  • Navigate to  Support> Device Care
  • Now Select Self Diagnosis
  • Then Select HDMI Troubleshooting
  • Select the HDMI port that your device is connected
  • Follow the on-screen instruction
Credit: Samsung

During the test, if there is any problem with the HDMI cable or device, it will be detected by the smart feature of the TV. Then, try properly connecting the HDMI cable to the port and run the test again. However, not all the time, your TV might get it right.

If you have doubts about the HDMI device, then try another device to connect with the new HDMI port. Check if the issue appears.

Fix 4: Try Changing the Display Settings

Due to some display settings, dark shadows can give a poor viewing experience. Adjusting such settings can solve the issue. Note that Samsung smart TV has inbuild energy efficiency features to customize the display according to the content playing or ambient lighting.

Now, there are various aspects to look into and check if reversing it can solve the issue. If none of them works, we will try resetting the picture settings.

Changing Picture mode:

In Samsung smart TV, you can have various picture modes depending on the model, such as Standard, Movie, Dynamic, Natural, etc.

  • On your Remote, Press the HOME Button
  • Using the directional button, navigate to Settings
  • Now go to the Quick Access panel and select Picture Mode
  • Press the Select button to change the picture mode.

Follow the image below if the option is unavailable in the quick access panel.

Changing Picture mode to dynamic in Samsung TV

Adjusting Expert Settings:

Samsung also has the feature to set the TV Screen to expert mode, which simply means you can adjust everything from brightness to darkness to gamma settings. Check the Shadow option on expert settings to see whether it is in balance. Here are the steps-

  • Press the Setting Button
  • Navigate to Picture > Expert Settings
  • Check the Shadow balance and adjust it

Expert settings Shadow balance Samsung TV

Disabling the Motion Lighting function:

An interesting feature under the power saving option of Samsung TV is the Motion Lighting Function. Its function is to adjust screen brightness in response to the movement. This might create a dark shadow or flickering image. Try once disabling this function with the steps as follows-

  • Navigate to Settings > General & Privacy
  • Next, navigate to Power & Energy Saving (In some models, it might be as ECO Solution)
  • Turn off the Motion Lighting function

disabling Motion lighting Function

Check if the issue has gone, or else try resetting the Picture settings.

Reset Picture settings:

  • Go to Settings Option
  • Navigate to Picture > Expert Settings
  • Scroll down and select Reset Picture Option

If the picture reset doesn’t work, perform a factory reset on your TV.

Fix 5: Perform a Factory Reset

If none of the above works, it is worth factory resetting your TV. Follow the steps below-

  • Press the HOME button and go to Settings (Or else press the Setting button )
  • Navigate to Support >Self-diagnosis
  • Go to the RESET option and select ‘OK’
  • Enter the four-digit TV PIN “0000.” 
  • Confirm the Reset by selecting the YES option

After the TV completes the Factory reset, inspect if the Shadow has gone. If not, then you have only one option i.e. disassemble your TV.

Fix 6: Totally change the LED Strip of your TV

As mentioned earlier, changing the LED strip is the most successful fix for the Dark Shadow problem. But you might have expertise opening up a TV or else have any expert to provide assistance. However, the most suitable option is to seek help from customer care support and replace the LED strip with a Samsung service person.

CAUTION!!! Opening apart your TV on your own can null and void the Warranty of Samsung TV. Therefore, use the warranty option to replace your TV instead of going for such labor work.

How to change the Samsung TV LED Strip? Here, we are covering the strip-changing process for Edge Lit TV. For changing the LED Strip of the Backlit TV model, follow our earlier guide post. Explaining the Process in three parts-

  • Disassembling the Samsung TV
  • Replacing the LED Strip
  • Reassembling the Samsung TV

Disassembling the Samsung TV:

Power off and unplug the TV and start dismantling it from the Wall in case it is wall-mounted. Put it face down on a flat table; a towel on the table will be nice to keep the TV Screen. Follow the below steps for further disassembling the TV-

NOTE: Edge Lit TV is thin compared to Backlit; therefore, it works gently.

  • Unscrew from the back. Use a tray to keep the screw in order, or it can be easily misplaced
  • Pull the back cover and inspect the main board, control board, etc
  • Inspect for any burning smell (Brusting capacitor etc)
  • Remove the brackets (if any). Disconnect the ribbon Cable, speakers connected to the drive board
  • Now flip the TV gently and mind the circuit boards behind. You can use the TV packing foam that comes with the TV
  • Using a flat putty knife or any such tool, start Prying the front Bezel from the chassis. Don’t put much pressure, as it is a fragile frame
  • Remove the buffer board cover
  • Disconnect the rest of the ribbon cables or buffer boards from the Display unit and loosely tape them to the TV Screen. You can mark the LCD screen for future reference.
  • Use a pair of suction cups and carefully lift and keep aside the LCD Screen unit in a safe place
  • Remove the Reflector Sheets carefully. Also, mark them for future assembly work
  • Now gently pry the mid frame holding the Display Unit
  • Remove the Light Diffusion panel unit and keep it aside in a safe
  • Next, locate the LED Strip on the side of the frame

Replacing the LED Strip:

Locate the LED Strip, then it’s time to replace it. Note that your new LED strip is identical to the Old one, or else all the hard work will be pointless. Proceed further with the steps below-

  • After locating the LED strip, track the connected power cable and disconnect it
  • Now, pry the LED Strip which is glued in the main chassis frame
  • Remove the excess glue stuck to the frame, as it is important the new one is attached in a flat-positioned
  • Now stick the new LED Strip against the side frame
  • After positioning the LED Strip in place, reconnect it with the Power Cable

Reassembling the Samsung TV:

After replacing the LED Strip, we are good to go for the reassembling part, reversing the process.

  • Reconnecting the Power cable to the new LED strip, put the Light diffusion unit back. Note that the diffusing unit should be properly aligned with the chassis.
  • Reinstall the supportive frame pieces by pressing firmly to hold them in place
  • Now, place the reflector sheet in position as marked earlier
  • Next, carefully position the LCD Unit above the Filter sheet
  • Reconnect the buffer board in place
  • Put back the buffer board cover
  • Reinstall the bezel and press firmly to hold everything with the chassis
  • Reconnect the rest of the ribbon cable, speakers, and metal brackets (if any)
  • Mount back the rear cover and plug into the power source

That’s it, you are good to go! Turn the TV ON and observe if the Dark Shadow is gone.

Useful Links: 


I hope you have found this article helpful. Overall, the Dark Shadow on Samsung TV can be ruled out easily by adjusting a couple of settings. However, you might need to change the LED Strip in severe hardware cases. Defective cases are unfortunate and can be solved only with the help of Samsung Service Care.

About: Manajit

With a passion for technology and a keen eye for detail in Samsung Products, Manajit's writing is always well-researched and easy to understand. When Manajit is not busy writing, he can be found sketching cartoons. Email: manajit8@gmail.com (Follow on X/Twitter)

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