- Windows 10 desktop and taskbar icons are flashing due to outdated drivers or incompatible apps.
- If you moved to Windows 10 and the icons and taskbar are flashing, upgrade your drivers.
- When the taskbar is flickering in Windows 10, check for any problematic apps.
- Use a dedicated tool to completely uninstall any incompatible software and fix the Windows taskbar flashing issue.
A not-so-frequent 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 This issue occurs especially if the multimedia applications are incompatible, got outdated or the Graphics Card Driver is corrupted.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 by 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. Update your display driver
- Open run command by pressing Windows key + R and type and hit Enter.
- Spot and expand the Display Adapter.
- Right-click on the video driver and select Update Driver Software. Once this is done, restart the computer to check the problem fixed.
You may update the display driver from Device Manager manually. We suggest downloading and installing the latest graphics card driver from the graphics card manufacturer’s website.
However, there are tools that will automatically scan your computer and install all the necessary drivers, so you won’t have to lose time updating them manually.
To make sure that everything goes smoothly and avoid any kind of GPU driver errors, be sure to use a complete driver update assistant that will solve your problems with just a couple of clicks, and we strongly recommend DriverFix. Follow these easy steps to safely update your drivers:
- Download and install DriverFix.
- Launch the software.
- Wait for DriverFix to detect all your faulty drivers.
- The application will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
- Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
- Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
Keep you GPU on the peaks of their performance without worrying about its drivers.
Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.
2. Uninstall problematic apps
- 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.
3. Use System File Checker
- Open Command Prompt from Windows search bar.
- Select Run as Administrator.
- Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
- Now check if the taskbar icons are still flashing.
System File Checker ( SFC) is a Windows 10 built-in utility that allows you to scan system files and restore the ones that are corrupted.
4. Use a third-party uninstaller tool
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.
Such tools are your best bet when dealing with problematic apps that simply won’t be deleted as they eliminate any remnants and take care of the uninstall process end-to-end.
They even bring bonus features to the table such as pro-level clean-up tools meant to remove clutter from your PC and keep it working properly.
Uninstaller software utilities are generally very easy to use. You just have to select what app you want to remove. They will remove the app and all files and folders related to it from your computer.
5. Run DISM
- Click on the Start and Enter Command prompt in the Search box.
- In the list of results, swipe down on or right-click Command Prompt, and then tap or click Run as administrator.
- 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 /Restorehealth
- To close the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type Exit, and then press Enter.
If the issue persists, you can run the DISM tool to check the system’s health and will try to restore the files. The tool might take 15-20 minutes to finish running, so do not cancel it in the middle of the process.
6. Check if the flashing taskbar appears in Safe mode
- Search for Settings from the taskbar and select it from the search results.
- Select Update & security and click on Recovery.
- Go to Advanced Startup and select Restart now.
- After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
- Select a startup setting as Safe Mode by pressing the corresponding number.
We do suggest you to check if the flickering of the icons occurs in Safe mode. Follow the steps above to start Windows 10 in Safe mode.
7. Create a new user account
- Open the Settings app and choose Accounts.
- Go to Family & other users from the left pane.
- Click on Add someone else to this PC.
- To skip the Microsoft sign-in information, click on the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
- If you don’t want to create an account, click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
- Complete the name and the password for the new user.
- After the user is created, click on the Change account type, and make it an Administrator.
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.
If the issue persists, you should investigate if the issue has anything to do with an upgraded or a new version of web applications, such as Chrome. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
This happens either because of app incompatibility or outdated graphics drivers. We suggest you any of these best driver update software for Windows 10.
You should start by identifying the cause. You can follow our guide on what to do if taskbar icons are flickering.
If you’re unable to access the taskbar at all, restart the File Explorer. If this doesn’t work, check our guide on how to fix unresponsive taskbar in Windows 10.