How to Fix Screen Flickering Problems in Windows 10

Screen won't stop flickering? Try these fixes

An outdated or corrupt display driver usually causes screen flickering problems in Windows 10, but this issue has also been traced to some apps. Incorrect refresh rate settings can also cause this problem.

To fix screen flickering in Windows 10, you need to narrow down the cause and then either update or replace the driver or app that’s giving you trouble or set the correct refresh rate for your monitor.

Screen Flickering in Windows 10

When a Windows 10 computer suffers from a screen flickering problem, it manifests by the display rapidly flashing or flickering. The entire screen may flicker as if the display is turning on and off rapidly, or specific elements of Windows 10 like the desktop, taskbar, and application windows may flicker.

What Causes the Screen to Flicker in Windows 10?

Windows 10 screen flickering problems can be caused by a few different things, including a bad display adapter driver, a problematic application, and incorrect display refresh settings. Bad graphics drivers and incorrect display refresh settings result in the entire display flickering, while problematic apps usually only cause specific elements to flicker.

When the entire screen appears to shut off and turn back on rapidly, it’s usually caused by a bad graphics driver. The graphics driver controls the display's operation, so an outdated or corrupt driver can prevent it from working correctly. This can manifest in some graphical glitches, including a flickering screen.

If your monitor refresh rate is set to the wrong value, that can also cause the entire display to flicker. The refresh rate, given in hertz, refers to how many times per second the display refreshes with a new image. A higher refresh rate translates to smoother movement when watching videos and playing games, but you can’t just set any refresh rate you want. Every display has a maximum refresh rate it’s designed to work with.

When only certain elements on your screen flicker, that’s usually caused by a problematic app. This isn’t very common, but some apps have caused this issue in the past. To fix this problem, you can uninstall the problematic app or update it if an update is available.

How to Fix Screen Flickering Problems in Windows 10

Since screen flickering problems in Windows 10 can be narrowed down into two general categories, you will need to check your computer and see exactly what it looks like when the screen flickers. Once you’ve done that, follow these troubleshooting steps in order:

  1. Check to see whether the Task Manager flickers. Turn your computer on, and wait for the desktop to load. Then press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task Manager.

    If the Task Manager flickers along with the rest of the display, proceed to the next step. If the Task Manager doesn’t flicker along with the rest of the display, skip to the next section.

  2. Check your monitor refresh rate. This isn’t the most common cause of a flickering screen in Windows 10, but it is straightforward to check and correct. Check the refresh rate setting on your computer and verify it matches the monitor's refresh rate. If you can’t find the monitor's refresh rate, you can try different refresh rates to see if any of them fix the flickering problem.

    If your screen goes entirely blank while changing the display settings, wait for a few seconds. The settings will revert, and the display will come back if you don’t confirm the change.

  3. Update your graphics driver. Check for any available updates for your graphics driver, and install them. Depending on how severe your problem is, you may need to boot into Safe Mode before you can update the driver.

  4. Roll back your graphics driver. If there aren’t any available graphics driver updates, then you may need to go back to using an older driver. This is especially likely to be the issue if your screen started flickering after an update. The next time your graphics card manufacturer releases a new driver, you may be able to upgrade without the screen flickering problem.

How to Fix Screen Flickering Caused By Problem Apps in Windows 10

If you were able to determine that Task Manager doesn’t flicker along with the rest of your screen, then you might have a problematic app. The most common culprits include antivirus apps and apps originally designed to work with earlier versions of Windows.

Here’s how to fix screen flickering caused by an app:

  1. Check for known problem apps. In the past, these apps have been known to cause screen flickering: Norton Antivirus, iCloud, and IDT Audio.

  2. Update problem apps. If you have any problem apps installed, check for updates. Updating the app may fix your screen flickering issue.

  3. Uninstall problem apps. If updating the app doesn’t fix the problem, then try uninstalling it temporarily. If that fixes the problem, then contact the app developer and let them know about the problem you’re having. You will probably need to wait for a patch before reinstalling the app.

  4. Check for other problem apps. If you don’t have any apps installed that are known to cause this issue, you will have difficulty fixing the problem. Start by checking your most recently installed applications, and disable or uninstall any apps installed shortly before the screen flickering issue appeared. Pay special attention to antivirus apps and apps that weren’t designed specifically for Windows 10.

  5. Attempt a system restore. Think about when you first noticed the screen flickering, and then check to see if you have a system restore point from before that day. If you do, use the System Restore tool in Windows 10 to roll your computer back to that point in time. This should uninstall any apps you installed after that date, which may include the one that’s causing your screen flickering problem.

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