MacBook Pro Screen Flickering: What Causes It and How to Fix It

Imagine this: you’re working on an important project on your Mac, watching your favorite show on Netflix, or browsing the web. Suddenly, your screen starts to flicker or flash, making it hard to see what’s on it. The problem of a flickering screen on a Mac refers to when the display flashes or blinks on and off, either randomly or constantly.

So, what’s going on? Why is your Mac screen flickering? How can you fix it?

Screen flickering on a Mac can show as:

  1. Random colored lines or boxes pop up.
  2. The screen brightness alters by itself.
  3. Displaying static or white noise after waking from sleep.
  4. Glitching or shimmering while using specific apps or browsers.

Mac screen flicker problem

If you’ve ever experienced this problem, you’re not alone. Screen flickering is a common issue that affects many Mac users, especially those who use MacBook Pro or iMac.

In this blog post, we will show you how to troubleshoot and fix screen flickering issues on Mac, MacBook Pro, and iMac in 2023.

Why Is MacBook Pro Screen Flickering?

Screen flickering can be caused by various factors, such as hardware malfunction, software problems such as outdated macOS, compatibility issues between OS & GPU, extreme heat, etc.

Quickest Way To Resolve MacBook Flickering Screen Problem:

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to fix screen flickering on Mac, you can try restarting your device. This simple step can often resolve most graphical anomalies that occur on your Mac. To restart your Mac, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen, and select Restart.

If restarting your Mac does not help, you can also try shutting down your device completely before turning it back on. To do that, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen, and select Shut Down. Again, disable the option that reopens your windows when logging back in.

How To Stop Screen Flickering on Mac, iMac, and MacBook?

Since each Mac responds uniquely to hardware and software, various ways exist to stop the screen from blinking on Mac. So, it’s a good idea to try all the solutions. You might be lucky, and the first one could work to stop the screen flickering.

1. Update macOS

Sometimes, screen flickering issues on mac occur due to corrupt OS updates. Hence, updating to the latest version is suggested. To update macOS, follow the steps below:

Before updating macOS, we suggest backing up data.

STEP 1 – Click Apple Menu > System Preferences > Software Update.

System Preferences in mac

STEP 2 – If an update is available, you will see the information. To update macOS, click Update Now and follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: If you want to see each update’s details, click More info… here, and you will get all the information about specific updates.

STEP 3 – Once done, your Mac will restart. Now check the screen blinking issue should be resolved. However, if none of the steps have helped so far, try using the following fixes.

2. Reset the PRAM (or NVRAM)

PRAM or NVRAM non-volatile random-access memory is a small memory used by Mac to store certain settings and access them. When it gets outdated or cluttered, too, you might face screen flickering issues. To resolve it, we suggest resetting PRAM. To do so, follow the steps below:

STEP 1 – Shut down the Mac.

STEP 2 – Now reboot the machine and press the P+ R+ Command Option keys together for 20 seconds.

reset PRAM

STEP 3 – This will reset the PRAM (or NVRAM) reset.

STEP 4 – You should now no longer face the issue.

However, if this doesn’t help, let’s move to the next step to get rid of the MacBook screen glitching & flickering issue.

3. Adjust Energy Saver Settings

If you use a MacBook Pro, sometimes the screen flickering on it is caused by due Energy Saver working inappropriately. To resolve it disable “Automatic graphics switching” this will stop Mac from switching between different graphics chips. To do so, follow the steps below:

STEP 1 – Apple Menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver.

STEP 2 – Uncheck the box next to “Automatic graphic switching.”

Automatic graphic switching

STEP 3 – Restart your computer and see if the MacBook screen flashing has stopped or not.

4. Clean Junk Files and Unwanted Cache Files (Recommended)

Unwanted data, junk files, and even app and user cache also lead to screen flickering issues. To get rid of this data, we suggest using an app that helps clean the cluttered data that damages system performance.

STEP 1 – Download, install and run CleanMyMac X.

STEP 2 – Click the System Junk tab and run the scan. Wait for it to complete.

STEP 3 – You will not see all the detected junk files, select them, and clear all the data.

STEP 4 – Alongside, run Smart Scan and clean junk files, check the system for malware and other threats in a single click.

CleanMyMac X

STEP 5 – Reboot Mac; you should now experience a performance boost, and no longer screen blinking issues should occur on Mac, iMac, or MacBook.

5. Run Maintenance Scripts

Using Maintenance Scripts, you can fix various system malfunctions and discrepancies. To run them, we suggest using CleanMyMac X. This will help stop screen glitching on Mac. To run it, follow the steps below:

STEP 1 – Download, install and launch CleanMyMac X

STEP 2 – Head to the Maintenance module.

STEP 3 – Select Maintenance Scripts and run it.

Select Maintenance Scripts

STEP 4 – Once done, reboot Mac to apply changes and see if screen flickering has stopped or not on MacBook, iMac, and Mac.

Combining several fixes like running maintenance scripts, clearing junk files, cache files, and removing malware helps fix several issues. To perform all these actions in a single click, give CleanMyMac X a try. This tool will resolve all your problems quickly.

6. Boot Mac in Safe Mode

Often third-party services affect screen parameters. Hence to make sure screen glitching is not caused by them, try booting Mac in safe mode. To do so, follow the steps below:

MacSafeMode

STEP 1 – Power Off Mac.

STEP 2 – Reboot it and hold the Shift key; keep it pressed until you see Login Screen.

STEP 3 – This will boot the Mac in Safe Mode.

Now see if the screen flickering continues or has stopped. If this too doesn’t help and you are using a 2018 Mac, newer follow the next step.

7. Disable True Tone

The True Tone technology offered in the 2018 Mac and newer versions makes your screen colors look more natural. But sometimes, it creates screen flashing issues on Mac, iMac, and MacBook. To resolve it, follow the steps below:

  • Click Apple Menu > System Preferences > Displays.
  • Uncheck the True Tone box.

True tone

The screen blinking should stop now!

8. Disable Hardware Acceleration on browser

The latest web browsers take up hardware acceleration to improve performance and rendering for the applications which might interfere with the Mac display. You can try this method to disable hardware acceleration on the browser if you are particularly facing issues while running videos and games on it.

For Chrome:

Open Chrome> Settings> System and turn off the option for Use hardware acceleration when available.

For Firefox:

Open Firefox> Settings> Performance and disable both – Use recommended performance settings & use hardware acceleration when available.

9. Run Apple Diagnostics

By running the Apple Diagnostics you can easily determine the reason behind the screen flickering issue on your Mac and if it is due to a hardware issue.

For Apple Silicon Macs, follow these steps –

STEP 1 – Turn off your Mac

STEP 2 – After a few moments, to turn it on press the Power button and release it after Startup options appear.

STEP 3 – Now press Command + D on your keyboard.

For Intel processors, follow the instructions –

STEP 1 – Turn off your Mac.

STEP 2 – Turn it on while holding the D key on your keyboard.

STEP 3 –  Release the D key when you see the progress bar on your screen.

progress bar

Once the Apple Diagnostics shows you the results for the checkup, you can confirm and fix the hardware issues.

10. Replace MacBook’ Old Battery

If your older MacBook has a removable battery that’s almost worn out, it could lead to power fluctuations causing screen flickering. To address this, replacing the battery is a viable solution. Follow these steps:

STEP 1 – Shut down your MacBook by clicking the Apple icon in the top-left corner > Shut Down.

MacBook

STEP 2 – Disconnect external devices and the power adapter from your MacBook.

STEP 3 – Flip your MacBook and find the battery latch underneath. Slide it to free the battery.

STEP 4 – Replace the old battery with a new one, ensuring proper alignment and a snug fit.

STEP 5 – Reconnect the battery to the motherboard and firmly secure it. Put back the cover and screw it in place.

If you are uncomfortable with self-replacement or owning a newer MacBook with a non-removable battery, professional assistance is available at Apple stores or authorized service providers. While this option may be more expensive and time-consuming, it ensures quality service and warranty coverage.

To initiate battery replacement with Apple, visit their Mac Service and Repair website and click “Send in for Repair.” If no Apple stores are nearby, the site suggests authorized third-party options, are equally skilled and reliable.

Before visiting Apple or an authorized provider, remember to back up data, disable Find My Mac, and sign out of iCloud. For sensitive data, consider erasing the hard drive. After the service, data restoration from a backup is possible.

MacBook repair

Conclusion

Screen flickering on Mac can be a frustrating and annoying problem that can affect your productivity and enjoyment of your device. However, there are some possible solutions that can help you fix it yourself or with professional help. One of the most effective solutions suggested by a lot of computer users to fix the screen flickering issue is to update or uninstall an incompatible app.

We hope these solution helps you resolve your screen flickering issue on Mac. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading! Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is my MacBook screen flashing?

Sometimes due to software issues, you might face flashing screen issues. To resolve it, we suggest closing all unknown processes. For this launch, Activity Monitor and Exit all unwanted processes. In addition to this, use CleanMyMac X to clean junk files, unwanted data, and cache files, and fix other problems that might cause screen flickering.

2. Which is the easiest way to fix the MacBook screen flickering issue?

One of the most effective solutions to fix screen flickering and glitching issues on Mac is to comprehensively clean and optimize your machine. Take the help of the Best Mac Cleaners to get the job done!

11 COMMENTS

  • comment_avtar
    Anamika Sinha
    Will try this guide. I was facing this issue from a long time

    3 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Amara Smith
    can you please explain Why do MacBook screens flicker?

    3 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Camila Saunders
    Windows also have the same flickering issue but now I can resolve the flickering issue in Mac too.

    3 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Brian Hay
    Simple step (restart) and it fixed my flickering screen, thanks.

    2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    GILBERT SSENYONJO
    Hi. Thanks alot. I disable automatic graphics switching in the system preferences -> battery . It worked! Thanks very much

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Glad it worked for you.

      2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Valentina
    I restarted my mac 2 times and it still has a flicker on my screen it didn’t work and Im also scared because if i close my laptop and open it again it will have that glitch again. 🙁

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Hello, In that case, contact the authorized service center. Thank you

      2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Elden
    But I can’t even open my Mac it flickers every time before I get to press a thing in my Mac.

    2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Jay
    What a relief. Thank you so much!

    1 year ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Glad it helped

      1 year ago

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