Screen constantly flashes in Windows 10 [STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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After upgrading to Windows 10, some users have reported that they are experiencing a problem with a flashing screen. Fortunately, we are here to solve your problem, just follow some of these further instructions and your screen won’t flash ever again.

On top of that, here are some more issues or error messages you may encounter on the way:

  • Windows 10 screen flashing on and off – Your screen may not flash constantly, but only in certain time intervals.
  • Windows 10 flickering start menu – There’s a chance your screen will flash only when you open the Start Menu.
  • Windows 10 flickering screen Lenovo – The screen flickering issue is more common on Lenovo devices.
  • Windows 10 flashing screen Dell – The screen flashing problem is also common on Dell devices.
  • Windows 10 taskbar flickering – Once again, there’s a chance only one part of the screen will flash, in this case, the taskbar.
  • Windows 10 flashing screen on boot – Screen flashes on boot are also common in Windows 10.
  • Screen flashing Windows 7 – Although more users experienced this problem in Windows 10, it’s also common in Windows 7.

How to deal with screen flashes in Windows 10:

Table of contents: 

  1. Enter the Safe Mode and Clean Boot
  2. Scan the computer for viruses
  3. Update GPU drivers
  4. Update monitor drivers
  5. Disable Windows services
  6. Update Windows
  7. Update Windows Apps
  8. Delete Windows Apps
  9. Change the monitor refresh rate
  10. Perform a Windows Recovery

Fix: Screen flashing problems in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Enter the Safe Mode and Clean Boot

First thing first, check if the problem still appears in the Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a troubleshooting option for Windows, that starts your Windows with limited amount of features, so you’ll be able to see if some of Windows features is causing the problem.

Here’s how you’re going to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode:

  • Restart your PC
  • While your PC is booting, Press and hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and click the Restart option while still holding down the Shift key
  • Click the Troubleshoot icon
  • Click the Advanced options iconWindows 10 screen flashing on and off
  • Then, on the next screen, click the Startup options icon
  • Select Safe Mode with Networking
  • Click the Restart button and your PC will reboot
  • After reboot, you will see the Startup settings screen
  • To enter Safe mode, press the appropriate function key, for example F4.

Safe mode is not working on Windows 10? Don’t panic, this guide will help you get past the booting problems.

If the issue doesn’t occur in Safe Mode with networking, then proceed to Clean Boot steps given in the link below. If the issue doesn’t appear in the Safe Mode, then perform a Clean Boot in order to determine which software is causing the flashing screen problem.

To perform a Clean Boot, follow these steps:

  • Go to Search
  • Type msconfig in the search box, and then click msconfig.
  • On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then go to Disable all.
  • On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager.
  • On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable.
  • Close Task Manager.
  • On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click OK, and then restart the computer.

But before performing a Clean Boot you should know that it might damage your system is something goes wrong, so be very careful while performing it.

If you’re interested in how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

Solution 2 – Scan the computer for viruses

It is always a good idea to scan your computer for viruses or other malicious software. You can use your antivirus software, of course, but if you don’t have any paid antivirus, the great alternative is Microsoft’s Safety Scanner.

The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free-to-download security tool which scans your computer for viruses or spywares and helps you to get rid of them.

Also, you can run it along with your existing antivirus software. But, The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after download, so you’ll need to download it again in order to use it after that.

You can download The Microsoft Safety Scanner from this link.

Perform a full system scan directly from Windows Defender. Find out how it’s done right here!

Solution 3 – Update GPU drivers

The next logical cause of the screen flickering problem is an outdated graphics card driver. So, we’re going to update the GPU driver, and see if there are any positive effects.

In case you’re not sure how to update your GPU driver, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Display Adapters
  3. Right-click your graphics card, and go to Update driver software.Windows 10 flickering start menu
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions
  5. If a new update is available, wait for the process to finish and install the update
  6. Restart your computer

Want the latest GPU drivers? Bookmark this page and always stay updated with the latest and greatest.

Solution 4 – Update monitor drivers

The same thing applies to your monitor drivers, as well. Outdated monitors can cause the flashing screen problem as often as outdated GPU drivers. Here’s how to update your monitor drivers:

  • Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager.
  • Expand Monitors
  • Right-click your monitor, and go to Update driver software.Windows 10 flickering screen Lenovo
  • Follow further on-screen instructions
  • If a new update is available, wait for the process to finish and install the update
  • Restart your computer

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

Solution 5 – Disable Windows services

Some users also reported that disabling ‘Problem Reports and Solution Control Panel ‘and ‘Windows Error Reporting Service‘ services also solves the problem. Here’s how to disable these services:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Services
  2. Find Problem Reports and Solution Control Panel, right-click it, and choose Stop
  3. Do the same thing for Windows Error Reporting Service
  4. Restart your computer

Update drivers automatically

It is very important to choose the right driver versions from the manufacturer website. In case you choose and install the wrong one, this will not only be an issue for the GPU but may harm all your system.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. 

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.
Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

Solution 6 – Update Windows

It’s not always a good idea to install the latest Windows 10 updates. Because some of them may seriously disrupt your operating system. For instance, a bad update may cause the screen flashing problem.

So, what’s the solution in case of a bad update? Well, install some more updates! If the screen flickering problem was indeed caused by a Windows update, Microsoft will eventually acknowledge it, and release a fixing patch.

To install latest updates, go to Settings > Update & Security, and check for updates. If a new update is available, your computer will download, and install it automatically.

Having trouble updating your Windows 10? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

Solution 7 – Update Windows Apps

Some users have also said that it’s possible for some Windows apps to cause the screen flashing issue. So, we’re going to apply the same practice as for Windows Update. We’re going to update all your apps.

Windows 10 flashing screen Dell

To update your Windows apps, simply go to the Windows Store, click the three-dotted menu, and go to Downloads and updates. If any new updates are available, simply click Get Updates, and the updating process will begin.

Want to automatically update your Windows 10 Apps? Check out this article and find out how to always stay up to date.

Solution 8 – Delete Windows Apps

If updating Windows Apps didn’t get the job done, we’ll get more extreme, and delete the troublesome app(s). Since this can be a difficult and time-demanding task, check out our article about deleting Windows Apps to make your life easier.

Solution 9 – Change the monitor refresh rate

Another cause of the flashing problem could be a wrong monitor refresh rate. So, search through your monitor‘s manual for the best refresh rate it’s compatible with, and change it accordingly.

Here’s how to change the refresh rate of your monitor:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Now, head over to System > Display > Display Adapter Properties.
  3. Go to the Monitor tab.
  4. Change Screen refresh rate according to your monitor‘s capabilities.Windows 10 flashing screen on boot

Solution 10 – Perform a Windows Recovery

If none of these steps helped you with your flashing screen problem, you might try with performing a System Recovery.

Recovery is different from installing a new copy of the system, because it doesn’t affect installed files, so you can perform a Recovery without a fear of using your files or settings. To perform refresh your PC without affecting your files, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start menu
  2. Click on PC Settings
  3. Go to Update and Security, and choose Reset this PC
  4. Under Reset your PC click on Get Started, click Keep my files and follow further on-screen instructions

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

If you need more info on how to use the Reset this PC feature on Windows 10, take a look at this complete guide that will help you better understand how it works and what it does.

We hope that these steps helped you to solve the problem with a flashing screen. But, if you have any questions or suggestions, please express your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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