How to fix screen flickering in Windows 11

Kazim Ali Alvi
by Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take a look at the hardware, although... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Screen flickering is a common issue faced by users which can be caused by faulty, corrupt, or incompatible drivers, incorrect refresh rate, and not only.
  • It doesn't render your PC unusable but considerably affects your concentration and lowers productivity. 
  • Of all the fixes, reinstalling the graphics driver has worked for most users. Don't hesitate to see which one works for you. 
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Many of us have had issues with the display, and frankly, there’s a plethora of them out there. But screen flickering is a common occurrence and is encountered by a lot of users.

Screen flickering, basically, is the change in display brightness at quick intervals. Usually, it’s a sign of an underlying issue that requires your immediate attention.

In some cases, the entire display is affected while there may be cases when the problem is confined to a specific section, say the Taskbar or a particular program. This aspect can be used to identify what’s causing the issue, and we have discussed it in detail in the later sections.

When the display starts to flicker, it tends to affect your concentration and productivity. And, it’s certainly not something you are willing to compromise with.

There are a bunch of issues that lead to this problem, and we have identified and listed the fixes for each in the following sections. However, before we head over to them, it’s imperative that you have a basic understanding of the underlying issues, an important aspect when troubleshooting errors.

What causes the screen to flicker in Windows 11?

There are a bunch of problems that cause screen flickering in Windows 11. Listed below are the ones that users generally encounter:

  • Issues with the display adapter or graphics driver: In this case, the entire display is likely to be affected
  • Problematic or incompatible program: The issue should be confined to the particular program, or section of the screen
  • Incorrect refresh rate: The entire screen flickers
  • Loose or incorrect connections: Entire screen to be affected

You must have noticed above that a problematic application or program either causes that particular program to flicker or a specific section of the screen, which helps you identify the underlying issue in your system.

How to check if a program is causing screen flickering?

It’s fairly simple to identify whether the issue lies with a program or the display adapter and refresh rate. Here’s how you can do that.

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to launch Task Manager, and check if it flickers along with the rest of the screen.

If that’s the case, the problem either lies with the connections, graphics driver, or refresh rate while in case Task Manager doesn’t flicker, it’s an incompatible or malfunctioning application.Task Manager

By now, you must have identified what’s causing screen flickering on your Windows 11 PC. Head over to the relevant fix to resolve the issue.

How do I fix screen flickering on Windows 11?

1. Check for loose connections or damaged cables

The cable connections between the CPU and the monitor tend to loosen up over time which can cause screen flickering.

If the issue persists, the cable itself may be damaged, in which case, you will have to replace the cable with a new one.

But before you go ahead with the replacement, use the cable on another setup just to be sure that it’s indeed faulty or damaged. If it turns out faulty, replacing the cable should resolve the issue.

2. Update the graphics driver

Running an outdated version of the driver is one of the common reasons behind screen flickering on Windows, and updating the driver to the latest version should resolve the issue.

There are three ways you can update any driver on Windows 11, using the Device Manager for installing updates that are already downloaded to the system, via the Windows Update section, and manually downloading the driver update from the manufacturer’s official website and installing it.

We will walk you through each of the methods in the following sections.

2.1 Using Device Manager

  1. Right-click on the Start button in the Taskbar and select Device Manager from the Quick Access menu.launch Device Manager
  2. Double-click on Display adapters to expand and view the devices under it.Display Adapters
  3. Right-click on the listed display adapter and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver
  4. You will now have two options, either to let Windows search for the best available drivers on the system or to locate and install one manually. Select the first option, i.e. Search automatically for driver, and wait for the installation to complete.Search automatically for drivers
  5. If Windows is able to locate and install a better driver, check if the issue is fixed. In case the screen reads The best drivers for your device are already installed, it implies that the best available driver on the system is currently installed.
  6. But, you can still look for driver updates with the other methods mentioned next.
Note icon
NOTE
This is probably the simplest and quickest of all the methods but has its share of limitations. The major drawback here is that only updates available on the system can be installed since it doesn’t scan the relevant servers or the web for updates.

2.2 Using Windows Update

  1. Right-click on the Start button in the Taskbar to launch the Quick Access menu, and select Settings.
  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed on the left. Settings app
  3. Click Advanced Options on the right.Advanced options
  4. Select Optional updates under Additional options.Optional Updates
  5. Select Driver updates to view the available updates.
  6. If you find an update for the graphics driver, tick the checkbox for it, and click on Download & install.

Driver updates submitted to Microsoft are listed in Windows Update after testing and verification for you to download. While Windows is likely to automatically install it in most cases, there’s no harm in verifying if there’s an available update.

After updating the driver, restart the PC for the changes to come into effect. However, if an update isn’t listed here, you can still check the manufacturer’s official website for it.

2.3 Via the Manufacturer’s Website

  1. Launch the Device Manager, expand the Display adapters, right-click on the installed display adapter, and select Properties from the context menu.Graphics adapter properties
  2. Navigate to the Drivers tab and jot down the Driver Version. Once you have the current driver version, you can easily identify if there’s an update available.Note driver version
  3. Go to Google and search for the device manufacturer’s website along with the driver name and version. Given below are the links to the download pages of the three main graphics adapter manufacturers.
  4. After downloading the update, double-click on the downloaded file to run the installer, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
  5. Once the update is complete, restart the computer for to changes to come into effect.

After updating the driver, check if the screen flickering issue is resolved. In case it persists, move to the next fix. If you are unable to download and install the driver update, there are a bunch of methods to fix things.

Many manufacturers, instead of submitting the driver update to Microsoft, directly upload it to their official website for the users to download. If you were unable to update the graphics driver with the methods mentioned earlier, this one should work for you.

Moreover, keep in mind that we recommend using a dedicated tool such as DriverFix for automatic scans of missing or outdated drivers.

3. Roll back driver updates

  1. Launch the Device Manager, click on the down arrow before Display adapters to view the devices under it, right-click on the graphics driver, and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver.Roll back driver
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the roll back process.

If you started encountering the screen flickering issue after updating Windows or the driver individually, it could be a bug in the driver itself that’s causing the issue. In this case, you can simply roll back the driver update and revert to its previous version, one that worked fine.

4. Reinstall the graphics driver

  1. In the Device Manager, expand the Display adapter, right-click on the installed graphics adapter, and select Uninstall device from the context menu.Uninstall device
  2. Tick the checkbox for Attempt to remove the driver for this device and click on Uninstall.Uninstall driver
  3. After the device is uninstalled, restart the computer. Once it restarts, Windows will automatically install a fresh driver for the graphics adapter.

Check if the screen flickering issue is resolved. In case it isn’t, you are not encountering the problem due to an outdated, faulty, or corrupt driver.

A corrupt driver is also a likely cause for screen flickering on Windows. It’s fairly simple to identify a corrupt driver, just look for a warning sign. Any device with a warning sign at the corner is likely to have a corrupt driver.

5. Select a lower refresh rate

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings, and select Display from the right.select Display
  2. Scroll down and select Advanced display under Related settings.Advanced Display
  3. Click on the drop-down menu next to Choose a refresh rate, and select a lower value from the available options.Change refresh rate

After changing the refresh rate, verify if the screen flickering problem is fixed.

If you set a high refresh rate, the monitor may start to exhibit issues with the display, screen flickering being one of the common ones. But, before we head to fixes, let’s first understand the concept of Refresh Rate.

A refresh rate is the measure of the screen’s ability to quickly change the image on the screen. It’s measured in Hz (Hertz). Higher is the refresh rate, more images can be loaded on the screen in any given second.

A higher refresh rate generally enhances our experience but it’s known to be counterproductive at times, as is the case here.

6. Update the incompatible/problematic apps

Note icon
NOTE
We have taken Google Chrome as an example to demonstrate the process of updating an app. The process for other apps may vary but this will provide you with an understanding of the concept.

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the ellipsis at the top-right corner, hover the cursor over Help, and select About Group Chrome.Update Google Chrome
  3. Any available updates are listed here and will be downloaded.Download Updates

In most cases, updating the incompatible/problematic apps will fix the issue. The method to update an app is different for each, but it’s fairly simple and can be found on their official website. Mostly, you will find a section or button to update the app in the settings.

But the real task here is to identify the malfunctioning app. A simple trick is to recollect when you first encountered the issue and make a list of apps that were installed around the same time.

If you are able to come up with a list, start checking for updates for the individual apps and update them if an update is available.

After updating the apps, check if the screen flickering issue is resolved on Windows 11. In case the issue remains present or an update is not available, head to the next method.

7. Uninstall the incompatible/problematic apps

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Apps tab on the left and select Apps & features.Uninstall app
  3. Identify the problematic app, click on the ellipsis next to it, and select Uninstall.select Uninstall
  4. Click Uninstall on the prompt that pops up.

Similarly, keep uninstalling the other problematic apps until the screen flickering issue is fixed.

If updating the apps didn’t work, you can always uninstall them. And, you most likely have a list of probable apps that are causing screen flickering from the previous fix.

8. Perform a system restore

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Create a restore point in the text box, and click on the relevant search result.Search menu
  2. Click System Restore.System restore
  3. Click Next in the System Restore window that appears.Click Next
  4. Select a restore point and click on Next.select a Restore point
  5. Review the restore settings and click on Finish to start the process.Click Finish
  6. After the system restarts on completion of the restore process, check if the screen flickering is fixed.

If nothing else works, you can always perform a system restore. But, the catch here is that the restore point must be created prior to the time you first encountered the error.

When performing system restore doesn’t resolve the issue or there isn’t a restore point, you can always reset Windows 11 to its factory settings.

If it’s an issue with the software or misconfigured settings that’s causing the screen to flicker, resetting the Windows will fix it.

What can I do if I am unable to execute the fixes due to screen flickering?

Several users reported being unable to execute the fixes due to excessive screen flickering. If it’s a software issue that causing the screen to flicker, you can launch Windows 11 in Safe Mode and get done with the troubleshooting.

Moreover, if none of the fixes here work, it’s recommended that you seek professional help since the problem most likely lies in the hardware itself. It could be a faulty monitor that causing screen flickering and there’s nothing you could do except repairing or replacing it.

Screen flickering is irritating and takes a toll on your productivity which calls for an immediate fix and this article will help you troubleshoot the error.

The solutions listed here will in all likelihood solve the screen flickering problem on your Windows 11 PC. Apart from the screen flickering, some users reported the screen flashing issue that can easily be resolved with the right set of fixes.

An important tip when troubleshooting errors is to first identify the underlying cause, do thorough research, and then execute the right fix for it. This might take a bit longer but will ensure that problem is eliminated.

Let us know which solution worked for you and share your experience in the comments section below.

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