How to fix laptop screen flickering

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Screen flickering is often caused by problematic drivers or certain apps.
  • The glitchy computer screen can be fixed by updating your drivers.
  • You can also check Task Manager to fix screen flickering or at least diagnose the problem.
  • Identify the app that may be causing this problem and uninstall it.
How to fix laptop screen flickering
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If you’ve been using your computer and suddenly you notice there’s an element of the screen flickering, there are solutions to fixing the issue.

In Windows 10, the problem is usually caused by either of these two things: an incompatible app or a display driver.

In order to know for sure that the screen flickering issue is caused by an app or display driver, you need to check if your Task Manager also flickers.

This will determine whether you need to update the application, or update the display driver altogether. Here are four tried solutions to fix the screen flickering issue.


Why is my laptop screen flickering and what can I do?

  1. Check Task Manager to fix screen flickering
  2. Update incompatible apps
  3. Update display driver
  4. Disable Windows Desktop Manager

1. Update the display driver

1.1 Boot your PC in Safe Mode

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Select Settings – the Settings box will open up.
  3. Click Update & Security.
  4. Select Recovery from the left pane.
  5. Go to Advanced startup.advanced startup windows 10
  6. Click Restart now.
  7. Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options.
  8. Go to Startup Settings and click Restart.
  9. Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  10. Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode.
enable safe mode PC

Safe mode starts up your computer with limited files and drivers but Windows will still run. To know whether you’re on Safe mode, you’ll see the words at the corners of your screen.

If the screen flickering issue persists, check whether it occurs while your computer is in Safe mode.

There are two versions:

  • Safe mode
  • Safe mode with Networking

The two are similar, though the latter includes network drivers and other services necessary to access the web and other computers in the same network.

If you want to know how to add Safe Mode to your boot menu in Windows 10, check out this step-by-step guide.

On the other hand, if you’re having trouble opening the Setting app once you’re in Safe Mode, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

And if the Safe Mode is not working, this step-by-step guide will help you get past the booting problems.


1.2 Uninstall the display driver

  1. Right-click Start.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Expand Display adapters.
  4. Right-click the listed adapter and select Uninstall device.
  5. Choose the Delete the driver software for this device box.
  6. Select Uninstall.
  7. Reboot your computer

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered


1.3 Update Windows 10

  1. Click Start, choose Settings, then select Update & Security
  2. Click on Windows Update, then click on Check for updates.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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Note: If you’re having trouble updating your Windows 10, check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.


1.4 Disable the added display adapters

  1. Right-click the added adapter from Device Manager.
  2. Select Disable and click Yes.
  3. Turn off your computer.
  4. Disconnect installation or recovery media (if using it).
  5. Turn on your computer.

If this doesn’t fix the screen flickering, do the following:

  1. Restart in Safe Mode
  2. Re-enable the added display adapter
  3. Disable the other adapter

Once you’re through and the screen flickering is sorted, exit safe mode so you can get your computer back to normal mode.


1.5 Exit Safe Mode

  1. Right click Start button
  2. Select Run.
  3. Type msconfig.
  4. Go to the Boot tab
  5. Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option box.
  6. Restart your computer.

1.6 Use third party software to update the graphics driver

You can go through all those steps above or you can try using specialized software that can update the drivers and fix the existing ones automatically. We recommend DriverFix for this job as it’s very reliable and fast.

The first step is to download and install DriverFix. The tool will start automatically and search for issues or missing drivers and in a couple of seconds it will provide a report.

You will have to either hit the Update all button above or check the individual boxes for the drivers you want to update.

DriverFix

DriverFix

DriverFix will solve the flickering issue with your laptop by updating your drivers automatically and fast.
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2. Check Task Manager to fix screen flickering

  1. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC at the same time to open the Task Manager.
  2. If the Task Manager isn’t flickering, then the problem could probably be caused by an app.
  3. If the Task Manager is flickering, a display driver could be the cause.

If you can’t open Task Manager, we’ve got a great guide to help you fix this problem.


3. Update incompatible apps

There are three applications that have been known to cause screen flickering on Windows 10:

  1. Norton Antivirus
  2. iCloud
  3. IDT Audio

Updating the incompatible application (or getting in touch with the manufacturer of the specific app to get an update) usually fixes the problem.

If the issue can be isolated on a certain individual app, it’s easy. This, of course, isn’t always the case so we can’t say with certainty whether it’s more of a general problem or just a rogue outdated app misbehaving.


Need additional info about msconfig and how it works? Find out more right here.


4. Disable Windows Desktop Manager

  1. Type services.msc in the Search box and click on the Services app from results.
  2. If prompted to provide a password or confirmation, click Continue.
  3. Scroll down and locate Desktop Window Manager Session Manager.
  4. Right-click on it and select Stop from the menu.
  5. Right-click on the entry again and select Properties.
  6. Under General Tab, change the startup type to Disabled.
  7. Click OK or press Enter.

We’d love to hear from you whether any of these solutions worked. Let us know by dropping your response in the comments section below along with any other question you may have.

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1 comment

Hello,

I think that depends on what type of software is it. If it is a third-party software like a game or a visual-design software – no. But best of all, do a backup of your system before that.

Cheers!

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