Earlier this week, I ran into an issue copying Adobe Creative Cloud package files from my iMac to a server share. The copying process ended halfway through with an error -36 “The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in (filename) can’t be read or written.” I rebuilt the package, in case it was corrupted, which were several GB in size. I let the copy process continue running as I headed home for the evening. I came back in the next morning and walked in to the same error. The worst part was that the display was on as I walked in and assumedly had been for several hours even though the energy saving settings should have turned off the display after 15 minutes.
I moved some windows around and sure enough, they ghosted on the screen with outlines of the windows and the copy message. Switching to a lighter scene like a light-colored wallpaper or the white new tab page in the browser just made it more pronounced.
Investigating, Apple has a support article “Avoiding image persistence on Apple LCD displays“. It recommends displaying an all-white image and keeping it on the iMac for the same amount of time as the burnt-in image was there.
I did that for a little bit of time but I also enabled the built-in screensaver, the one that looks like colored tendrils flying around, as seen below. The thought was that the rapidly changing colors would “exercise” the pixels and reverse the image burn in.
Sure enough, after a few hours of the screensaver going over and over the spot the persistent image was gone. I pulled up the white image and you could no longer see the borders of the windows that had previously been burn in.