Problem with key and trackpoint markings on the display

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Problem Description

You may discover markings on your display that match the positions of the TrackPoint or/and some of the keys.

This is a known phenomenon that is caused by the display having contact with the TrackPoint or keyboard. The input elements of your ThinkPad gather oil from your fingers. When you carry your ThinkPad around with the display closed, i.e. in a bag, it is very likely and normal, that the display is exposed to small amounts of pressure. Since the space between display panel and keyboard is very tiny, it can happen that they have contact. In that case, parts of the oil on your keys and TrackPoint are transferred to the display. If this happens often, it becomes more difficult to remove mark from the display.

Affected Models

  • all models except TransNote



You can avoid getting these markings by putting a very thin layer of textile or paper between your keyboard and the display before closing it. Take care that the layer you put in between is thin enough to not put pressure on the display panel. A great example is the ShaggyMac Screen Protector.

Another option is to use a transparent LCD protection film that attaches to the screen. These can be found from around $10. They won't prevent the markings from appearing but they will appear on the film and not the screen itself so you can just replace the film to get rid of them, and you don't need to insert and remove a sheet of textile or paper each time you open and close the laptop. On the downside, a protective film may affect the visual quality of the screen.

Or try using a couple of self-adhesive felt pads applied to the top corners of the case above the screen. The pads maintain a minimum distance between the display and the keys, even when the laptop gets squeezed in your briefcase.


  • Wipe the display gently with a soft patch of dry, lint-free textile. Make sure the textile is clean, since hard particles of dirt will cause scratches.
  • If the markings are too resistant, moisten the textile with LCD-Cleaner. If you don't have LCD-Cleaner, water is ok, as well, but don't wetten the textile, you don't want any liquid to drop or flow into the casing. Remember to wipe the display dry afterwards.
  • If the markings still resist, DON'T increase the pressure, but be patient and wipe longer. Switching between moist and dry wiping might help as well.
  • A camera lens cleaning kit is also helpful - the cleaner is designed to be gentle on coated optics, and won't attack plastics.

External Sources