Privacy screen protectors for your laptop

Whether you use your laptop for work or entertainment, a privacy screen protector is essential for hiding your screen from prying eyes. Even if you don’t have sensitive or confidential information on the screen, this accessory can give you extra security and privacy. Plus, similar to a standard screen protector, it can also cut down on glare and help prevent eye strain while using your computer.

How to use a privacy screen protector

Privacy screen protectors for laptops are similar to smartphone screen protectors in many ways. They’re designed to cover the main display and act as a physical filter to keep others from easily seeing what you have on the screen.

In terms of application methods, there are two main options:

  • Attach it directly to the physical screen. Be sure to apply it evenly and carefully to avoid damaging the display.
  • Position it on the frame and bezels of the laptop. If you’re concerned about messing with the display, apply the screen protector to the frame instead.

Some privacy screen protectors have an adhesive quality that lets you apply them without any tools or equipment. Others require strips along the borders or strategically placed suction cups. A few use clips or magnets are especially useful if you only want to remove the screen protector occasionally.

How privacy screen protectors for laptops work

Privacy screen protectors use the same technology found in polarized glasses. It keeps your computer’s screen hidden from nearby visual hackers.

The screen protector starts preventing visibility at around a 30-degree angle. This means you can still see whatever is on the screen while sitting in front of your laptop. However, anyone sitting nearby or beside you won’t be able to read the display.

Screen size and measuring

Laptops range in size, and so do privacy screen protectors. Before getting one, make sure it’s the right size, or it might not fit or work properly.

If you’re not sure what size to get, measure the height and width of your screen. Then, compare these dimensions with the screen protector you want. Some manufacturers also use diagonal measurements, so measure that, too.

Many laptops have raised bezels around the main display. Avoid including these in the measurement, as most screen protectors can’t be applied to them. Some laptops have very thin bezels, which can be included in the measurement as they add to the total viewable display area.

Common privacy screen protector sizes for laptops are:

  • 13.3 inches
  • 14 inches
  • 15.6 inches
  • 17.3 inches

Some manufacturers measure screen protectors by their aspect ratio instead of in inches. The most common aspect ratio for laptops is 16:9. Make sure to cross-reference this when determining the right size for your screen.

Construction

Most privacy screen protectors are made from thin, durable plastic such as polyethylene terephthalate. A few use tempered glass. If you plan to remove and reattach it repeatedly, go with a thicker one that can withstand handling. Otherwise, a thinner one blends in more easily with the computer screen.

Other main benefits

Besides keeping away unwanted eyes, here are the other main benefits of privacy screen protectors:

  • Anti-glare: Many screen protectors have a coating that keeps environmental light from reflecting on the display. This is especially useful if your laptop is positioned near bright indoor lights or in the sunlight.
  • Blue light protection: Blue light can cause blurred vision, eye strain and negatively affect sleep quality. Unfortunately, it’s prominent in many digital devices and certain types of light bulbs. Privacy screen protectors can often cut down on blue light exposure.
  • Scratch-resistance: Having any kind of screen protector on your laptop or monitor can protect the display from scratches. Some screen protectors indicate how hard they are on the Moh scale, which ranges from 1 to 10. Most screen protectors are around 9H, meaning they’re durable and unlikely to tear.
  • Smudge-resistance: Some privacy screen covers have a hydrophobic coating that makes them resistant to smudges or oils. This is helpful for those who use a touchscreen display, as it can keep marks from appearing on the screen and improve the image’s crispness.

Disadvantages

Privacy screen protectors are mostly beneficial, but they’re not meant for everyone. Here are the main disadvantages:

  • They can slightly reduce the visual clarity or brightness of whatever is on the screen, especially if you don’t apply it correctly.
  • Using one in a coworking space could be tricky if your colleagues need to view the screen next to you.
  • They can get dirty, which can further affect the laptop’s display.
  • Some are difficult to remove or may leave a slight residue.

Cleaning the privacy screen protector

Before cleaning the screen protector, carefully remove it from the laptop. Then, use a lint-free or microfiber cloth with some glass cleaner to wipe it down. Make sure the cleaner doesn’t have ammonia. Let it fully dry before reapplying.

Longevity

High-quality privacy screen protectors will last as long as your laptop does. Some should be replaced more often, though, especially if they have scratches or smudges you can’t remove.

8 best privacy screen protectors for laptops

Best 14-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen

14-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen

This privacy screen protector is compatible with six different widescreen sizes, from 13.3 to 27 inches. It can shield the display from passersby while reducing blue light by up to 65%. It’s easy to attach to the display or the screen’s outer edges using double-sided tape.

Sold by Amazon

Best ProCase Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 And 1 12.4-Inch Privacy Screen Protector

ProCase Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 and 1 12.4-Inch Privacy Screen Protector

Compatible with the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 12.4-inch and the Surface Laptop Go 12.4-inch displays, this tempered glass screen protector has a 9H surface hardness and is highly durable. It’s also resistant to oils and scratches. It’s only .2 millimeters thick, so you can open and close the laptop while it’s on.

Sold by Amazon

Best SightPro 14-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen Filter

SightPro 14-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen Filter

This filter comes in 14 sizes, ranging from 13.3 to 27 inches. It’s compatible with many laptop brands, including Lenovo, Dell and Asus. It offers protection against glare and blue light to reduce eye strain. It’s easy to apply with either double-sided adhesive or mount tabs.

Sold by Amazon

Best Kensington MP13 MacBook Magnetic Privacy Screen

Kensington MP13 MacBook Magnetic Privacy Screen

Made for 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air systems, this magnetic privacy screen protector is effective and easy to apply. It has one glossy side and one matte side. It can filter rays up to 22%, preventing headaches and easing eye strain.

Sold by Amazon

Best High Clarity Laptop Privacy Screen Filter For Widescreen Laptop Monitors

High Clarity Laptop Privacy Screen Filter for Widescreen Laptop Monitors

This filter is perfect for laptops ranging from 13.3 to 17.3 inches. It’s scratch-resistant, offers UV protection, filters out blue light and doesn’t have any pixelation. It can also prevent others from seeing the screen at around 30 degrees and beyond.

Sold by Amazon

Best Kensington MagPro 15.6-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen

Kensington MagPro 15.6-Inch Laptop Privacy Screen

Compatible with 12.5-, 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch laptop screens, this filter is easy to attach and remove with magnetic strips. It can reduce glare and prevent up to 22% of blue light. It’s also reversible and scratch-resistant.

Sold by Dell

Best Stary Laptop Privacy Screen 14Inch Widescreen Display Privacy Screen For Laptop

Stary Laptop Privacy Screen 14-Inch Widescreen Display Privacy Screen for Laptop

Resistant to scratches and glare, this screen protector comes in 14- and 15.6-inch sizes. It’s made from durable polyethylene terephthalate. It’s great for busy workplaces and can keep your display private at a 60-degree viewing angle.

Sold by Amazon

Best 14Inch Privacy Screen Filter For Widescreen Laptop

14-Inch Privacy Screen Filter for Widescreen Laptop

This privacy screen protector can reduce eye strain, keep your information safe from passersby and it cuts down on glare. It uses attachment strips and slide-mount tabs that are easy to apply and remove.

Sold by Amazon

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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