Taskbar icons flashing & flickering on Windows 10 [Fixed]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

  • A flashing or flickering taskbar might not seem like the end of the world, but it can get really annoying and fast.
  • Here's how to quickly fix this display issue and enjoy a smooth Windows experience once again.
  • A graver situation is when the taskbar goes missing and it occasionally does so. Check out this amazing Taskbar Recovery Guide.
  • Explore our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub as well for more useful PC tips and tricks.
how to change the width of taskbar buttons in Windows 10

A not so frequent but extremely annoying issue in Windows 10 is the taskbar flashing.  This issue occurs especially if the multimedia applications are incompatible, got outdated or the Graphics Card Driver is corrupted.

Rebooting the PC doesn’t seem to make a difference and this problem is especially irritating and visually challenging for users.

The first step you can take when determining the exact problem of your system is finding out if this issue only affects the Taskbar or if it’s a general problem.

You can figure this out easily opening the Task Manager by right-clicking the Taskbar and selecting Task Manager, or you can use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.

If everything on the screen flickers, but the Task Manager doesn’t, then most likely you’re dealing with an incompatible application issue.

In the case that Task Manager flickers along with everything else on the screen, then the problem is most likely to be the graphics drivers.

Here are some easy to apply solutions that may set your system back to its functioning state.

How do I fix taskbar flashing/ flickering?

  1. Uninstall problematic apps
  2. Use System File Checker
  3. Run DISM
  4. Check if the flashing taskbar appears in Safe mode
  5. Update your display driver
  6. Create a new user account

1. Uninstall problematic apps

Try to boot into Safe Mode with Networking and perform the Clean Boot.

  • Press and hold the shift key while clicking on Restart at the login Screen (Bottom right corner).
  • Select Troubleshoot and click on Advanced Options.

  • Select Startup Settings and click on Restart.
  • After restarting, choose Enable Safe mode with networking.
  • If the issue does not persist in Safe Mode, then perform a Clean Boot to check if any third party application is causing it, as Clean Boot helps in eliminating software conflicts.

Having troubles booting in Safe mode? Check out these easy steps to fix it.

Alternatively, you can use specialized removal software to uninstall a problematic desktop application.

Run Revo Uninstaller

If you managed to identify the problematic app, it is best to use professional tools to make sure you completely remove it from your PC, including any stubborn leftovers that might cause issues later on.

Revo Uninstaller is your best bet when dealing with problematic apps that simply won’t be deleted as it eliminates any remnants that generate clutter over time and takes care of the uninstall process end-to-end.

It even brings bonus features to the table such as a pro-level clean-up tool meant to sanitize your PC and keep it working properly.

The best part is that you will get to test Revo’s excellent capacities as extensively as you like before making the purchase thanks to its incredible 60-day money-back guarantee.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Bonus cleaning tools included
  • Professional technical assistance free of charge
  • Classic, Quick/Multiple and Forced Uninstall features available
  • Deep scans to remove software remnants after uninstall
  • Browsers Extensions Manager
  • Real-Time monitoring of system changes
  • Lightweight portable version available that does not require installation
Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller

Uninstall, remove software leftovers, and sanitize your system with a powerful all-in-one tool!

2. Use System File Checker

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Select Run as Administrator.
  3. Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.SFC scan
  4. Now check if the taskbar icons are still flashing.

3. Run DISM

If the issue persists, you can run the DISM tool to check the system health and will try to restore the files.

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Enter Command prompt in the Search box.
  3. In the list of results, swipe down on or right-click Command Prompt, and then tap or click Run as administrator.
  4. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following commands. Press the Enter key after each command:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Checkhealth
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /RestorehealthDISM windows 10
  5. To close the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type Exit, and then press Enter.
    Note: The tool might take 15-20 minutes to finish running, so do not cancel it or don’t stop the system in the middle of the process.

Looking for a way to disable Taskbar transparency in Windows 10? Check this out!

4. Check if the flashing taskbar appears in Safe mode

We do suggest you to check if the flickering of the icons occurs in Safe mode. Follow the steps below to start Windows 10 in Safe mode:

  1. Search for Settings from the taskbar and select it from the search results.
  2. Select Update & security and click on Recovery.
  3. Go to Advanced Startup and select Restart now.
  4. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings >Restart.
  5. After your PC restarts, select a startup setting as Safe Mode by pressing the corresponding number.

5. Update your display driver

You may update the display driver from Device Manager manually and check if this helps.

  1. Open run command by pressing Windows key + R and type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  2. Spot and expand the Display Adapter.update display adapter
  3. Right-click on the video driver and select Update Driver Software. Once this is done, restart the computer to check the problem fixed.

We suggest downloading and installing the latest graphics card driver from the graphics card manufacturer’s website.

6. Create a new user account

Some users confirmed that creating a new user account solved this problem. So, if nothing else worked so far, go ahead and create a new user account. For more information on the steps to follow, go to Microsoft’s support page.

Does the issue still persist?

If the issue persists, you can try to find out what happened to your system before the flashing taskbar appeared:

  • Do you see any error code or error message on the screen?
  • Have you made any changes in settings prior to the issue?
  • You should also investigate if the issue has anything to do with an upgraded or a new version of web applications, such as Chrome. Some users have reported that this problem occurred when incompatible updates affected this application.

Let us know if the solutions listed above helped you fix the problem. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

FAQ: How to fix taskbar blinking/ flickering & flashing on Windows 10

  • Why does my taskbar keep flashing?

This happens either because of apps incompatibility or outdated graphics drivers. We suggest you use a specialized driver updater tool to keep your drives up to date and corruption-free.

  • How do I fix the unresponsive taskbar in Windows 10?

If you’re unable to access the taskbar at all, restart the File Explorer. Check out how to do that and get more solutions to fix the unresponsive taskbar in this complete guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Was this page helpful?
Thanks for letting us know! You can also help us by leaving a review on MyWOT or Trustpillot.
Get the most from your tech with our daily tips
Tell us why!