FIX: Taskbar icons flashing in Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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Taskbar icons flashing 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  This issue occurs especially if the multimedia applications are incompatible, got outdated or the Graphics Card Driver is corrupted.

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

Why is my taskbar flickering?

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 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 Task Manager doesn’t, then most likely you’re dealing with an incompatible applicationissue. 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

Solution 1 – Uninstall problematic apps

Step 1:

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

If you have trouble booting in Safe mode, the steps for fixing this issue are listed in this guide.

Alternatively, you can use Control Panel to uninstall a problematic desktop application.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Uninstall a program.uninstall program control panel
  3. Select the application you want to remove.
  4. Click Uninstall and go through the uninstall process.

— RELATED: Full Fix: Unresponsive Taskbar in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

Step 2

Put the computer in Clean Boot and check if it helps. Setting your system in Clean Boot state helps in identifying if any third party applications or startup items are causing the issue.

Solution 2 – Use System File Checker

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Select “Run as Administrator”.
  3. Type “sfc /scannow” without quotes and hit Enter.SFC scan
  4. Now check if the taskbar icons are still flashing.

Solution 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 please do not cancel it or don’t stop the system in the middle of the process.

— RELATED: How to Disable Taskbar Transparency in Windows 10, 8.1 or 7

Solution 4 – Check if the flashing taskbar appears in Safe mode

We do suggest you to check if the fickering 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.

Solution 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” (without quotes) 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 graphics card manufacturer’s website.

— RELATED: Enjoy full Windows 10 taskbar transparency with TranslucentTB

Solution 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.


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