15 Fixes: MacBook Screen Flickering

There may be times when you face the issue of your Macbook Screen flickering on numerous occasions. This flickering occurs both on non-retina and retina screens. This may also lead to damage regardless of whether the user has enabled or disabled their graphics. 

At other times, this issue might worsen so much that you will not be able to see the screen properly. Along with the numerous reasons for this issue to crop up, there are several reasons to fix the same.

macbook screen flickering

You might want to resolve it as soon as possible so that it does not disrupt your processes or hardware.

Why is my MacBook Screen Flickering?

Before getting into the details of how to fix the issue, there are a few reasons why this happens often. Most of the time, the graphics processing unit and the new operating system may not be as compatible. 

Due to this reason, there are bugs and glitches which avoid proper display on the retina or non-retina screen. Updating your macOS will help resolve this incompatibility between the graphics processing unit and the new operating system. 

Aside from software issues, hardware issues such as a faulty graphics card, display module, or a loose screen connector can also cause your Mac screen to flicker.

How to fix MacBook Screen Flickering

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. Disable Shake Mouse Pointer 
  3. Update your macOS
  4. Uninstall heavy applications
  5. Reset PRAM and NVRAM
  6. Enter a Safe Mode
  7. Clear Cache
  8. Disable True Tone
  9. Run Maintenance scripts
  10. Change Display Resolution
  11. Adjust Energy Saver Settings
  12. Reset your Mac’s SMC
  13. Turn off Dark Mode
  14. Optimize Mac system
  15. Contact Apple Support

1. Restart your Mac

Sometimes all you would require is to restart your device so that certain glitches are out of the way. Restarting also involves you rebooting your device so that certain issues can get resolved on their own.

This is one of the main reasons why this is one of the first and easiest methods to address and possibly resolve the issue. You can follow these steps to restart your device. 

  • Go to the Apple Menu at the screen’s top left corner. 
  • Click on Restart from the menu. 

You can either do this or Shut Down the system itself and switch it on again. Once you switch on the computer, you can check whether the screen is still flickering or not. If this issue persists, you can try other methods as well. 

2. Disable Shake Mouse Pointer

The Shake Mouse Pointer can be a very useful feature on your Macbook. However, the display modules can get interrupted because of this feature itself. Hence, there is a high possibility that your Macbook Screen is flickering because of this Pointer. 

Once you disable the same, it may also resolve the issue. 

  • Open the System Preferences on your Macbook. 
  • Click on Accessibility. 
  • Select the Display tab and click on the Shake Mouse Pointer. 
  • Restart your Macbook. 

Once you switch on your Macbook, you can open a few other applications and check whether the screen is still flickering when you are using it. If not, the issue may have been because of the Shake Mouse Printer. 

However, you can update your macOS if it is still not resolved. 

3. Update your macOS

Sometimes due to several glitches or bugs within the software itself, there may be certain issues that you come across. This is one of the main reasons why updating your device’s software regularly is integral. 

Updating your macOS might help you resolve the issue. You can do so by following these steps. 

  • Click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of the screen. 
  • Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu. 
  • Once you open the menu, you will be able to still whether there is a new update or not. 

If your system is still running on the old software, you will see a new update, and you can install the same. Apart from this, you can also turn on the Automatic updates so that it is easier for you to install the new updates whenever they are available. 

After updating your system with the new version, your Macbook will automatically get restarted. After this, you can check whether the screen is flickering after updating and restarting your system. 

To be safer, you can back up your data either in your iCloud drive or external hard drive. 

4. Uninstall Heavy Applications

In case you have downloaded or have been using many applications recently, there are high chances that those are causing a glitch resulting in your screen flickering. Sometimes, these applications are not only heavy on the system but may also have viruses. 

Downloading from unknown sources can be a big threat to any system, especially if there is no proper malware or antivirus to protect it. These include not only applications but also files that are stored in your downloads. 

You need to uninstall these applications and files so that it doesn’t cause any further damage to your system. All you have to do is click Control on the said application or file and press Delete. 

You can also follow a few steps if you want to delete the files and applications from your Macbook permanently. 

  • Locate the folder from the dock or through Finder. 
  • Drag the application to the trash bin. 
  • Click on the trash bin after that and select Empty. 

If you have a running anti-virus program, it might be able to delete all the remaining cache and other files that will potentially harm your system. You can also scan your system from the same and manually delete the remaining files. 

You can restart your system if you want; if not, there is a good chance that the issue of your screen flickering will also get resolved. 

5. Reset PRAM and NVRAM

A majority of the time, a corrupted Macbook can be the reason for your flickering screen. You might have to resort to restoring the entire hardware settings. This can be done by resetting PRAM or NVRAM. 

Once you reset PRAM and NVRAM, the internal hard drive will also be set up as a startup disk. You can follow these steps to reset PRAM or NVRAM. 

  • Use the Apple Menu to shut down your Macbook. 
  • Once the system is completely shut down, press Option, Command, and P+R, for 20 seconds. 
  • You will have to hold down these keys without any interruption. 

After you do this, your Macbook will automatically restart with PRAM and NVRAM being reset, which will also help you fix your flickering screen. 

6. Enter Safe Mode

The Safe mode feature enables users to enter a mode where several services are muted. The other features are also switched to low-key mode. Enabling safe mode on your Macbook would also mean that certain screen parameters and other display features will also be affected. 

Your screen graphics will stabilize once you enter the safe mode, and you can do so by following these steps. 

  • Shut down your Macbook. 
  • After completely shutting down your Macbook, press the Shift key and turn the Power on. 
  • Long-press the shift key until you see the Login Screen. 

Once you do this, you will automatically enter the Safe Mode, and you can now check whether your screen is still flickering. 

7. Clear cache

After using your Macbook for quite some time and downloading several applications and files, your system is bound to have a lot of cache and junk. An accumulation of that cache and junk takes a lot of space and, at the same time, also affects the performance of your Macbook. 

Even if you have recently purchased your Macbook, over time, there will be a lot of redundant caches that can also be one of the reasons for your screen to flicker. However, to ensure that these cache and junk files are not the reason, you can clear it out relatively simply. 

You can use the Finder, go to the Library, and search for the Caches folder. You can check all the files and folders you do not require and delete them from there. Once you clear all the cache from your system, the issue of your screen flickering might get resolved. 

Apart from this method, you can also clear your cache and junk with the help of a third-party application. However, you will have to make sure that you download the application from a reliable source to be safe for your system. 

With the help of those third-party applications, you can easily scan all the junk and clear it off. 

If this method does not work for you, you can try and disable True Tone on your Macbook. 

8. Disable True Tone

This method generally works on the newer models of Macbook, especially after 2018. The True Tone feature on your Macbook gives you more natural colors. However, if you disable this feature, the issue of your Macbook screen flickering might also be resolved. 

To disable True Tone, you can follow these steps. 

  • Click on the top left corner of your screen on the Apple icon. 
Apple icon
  • Select System Preferences and click on Displays. 
System Preferences and click on Displays
  • Locate the True Tone option and uncheck the box. 
True Tone

Once you disable the true tone feature, lesser screen display features are running on your system. Due to this reason, there may be fairly less 

9. Run Maintenance Scripts 

You can fix various malfunctions within your system with the help of maintenance scripts. Older Macs are running Mac OS X risk accumulating log files, which consume valuable free space and lead to excessive burden. 

This, in turn, may also result in your Macbook screen flickering repeatedly. One of the simplest ways to clear these caches is to use Terminal to run maintenance scripts. You can follow these steps to run maintenance scripts. 

  • Navigate to the Utilities folder and launch Terminal. 
  • Type
  • periodic daily, weekly, monthly, and enter in the command window. 
  • You will be prompted to enter the admin password of your Macbook. Then hit Enter again. 

When the process is complete, the maintenance scripts will run in the background and return the Terminal prompt. 

10. Change Display Resolution

Another option is to change your screen resolution. Navigate to System Preferences and then to Displays. You can experiment with the Resolution settings and also try disabling the default option which is displayed there. 

11. Adjust Energy Saver Settings

Inefficient Energy Saver can also be a major cause for your Macbook screen flickering all the time. In case you can switch the Automatic graphics to Energy Saver, your Macbook will switch between the two different graphics chips based on how much you use it. 

The system will use an Intel-integrated graphics card for light tasks, while the dedicated graphics card will handle intensive tasks. Only Macs with Intel CPUs will be able to do so. 

Follow the steps below to adjust the Energy Saver settings and switch the graphics on your Mac.

  • Click on the top left corner of your screen on the Apple icon. 
  • Select System Preferences. 
Apple icon
  • Click on Energy Saver, and you can easily turn off the automatic graphics. 
Energy Saver

12. Reset your Mac’s MAC

Another simple method of fixing your screen flickering is resetting your Mac’s SMC. SMC is the System management controller, mainly responsible for the processes within the system. 

Another reason for your screen flickering time and again could be because of the low-level processes as well. The system management controller takes charge of several autonomous functions. These functions also include the power and battery of the system. 

You can reset the System management controller of your Macbook and resolve the issue in case it has gone corrupt. Follow these steps to reset the system management controller of your Macbook. 

Before proceeding with this method, you will have to ensure that all your files and other tasks are saved. Close all the running applications as well. After you do this, shut down your Mac. 

After completely shutting down, long-press the Control, Option, and Shift keys for about seven seconds. Once you do this, press the power button for seven more seconds. Wait for a few seconds and turn on your Macbook again after that. 

13. Turn off Dark Mode

Turning on the dark mode on your MacBook can also be the reason for your screen to flicker. You can try disabling it and checking whether that is the cause of your screen glitches. You can follow these steps to disable the dark mode on your Macbook.

  • Click on the top left corner of the screen on the Apple logo. 
  • Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu and click on General. 
  • Navigate to the Appearance section, and click on Light mode. 
Turn off Dark Mode

Once you switch this on, dark mode is automatically turned off. This would also mean that you will have to restart your Macbook. You can check whether the issue is still there after this method. 

14. Optimize the Mac system

Your Macbook screen may be flickering due to several reasons. If the issue is not resolved through multiple methods or simply restarting the system, you will have to optimize your system thoroughly. 

The methods mentioned above may be tedious and you will have to check every issue manually. Moreover, if the issue is slightly more serious, you may have to handle it more carefully. 

Additionally, while trying to delete certain applications or files, you may end up uninstalling or removing an important file. To avoid such situations, you may resort to a third-party application. 

While clearing cache and junk files, a third-party application is much easier. However, using a third-party application is also ideal when optimizing your software. Besides clearing cache and junk files from your system, you can also check whether there is a serious issue with your RAM. 

With the help of a third-party application, you can also check your hard drive and reindex the spotlight. Addressing the main cause of this issue will allow you to save more time and resolve your Macbook screen flickering. 

Apart from these features, a third-party application will also allow you to track updates and other applications. Especially if you have a malware issue, the third-party application can detect the issue quicker and avoid these issues occurring in the future. 

15. Contact Apple Support

If you’ve already performed a factory reset and the flickering screen issue persists, it may be due to hardware issues. In this case, the best course of action is to contact Apple support and have your device repaired. 

A loose screen connector, bad display modules, or a problem with the graphics card are some possible hardware factors that can cause this problem. Running Apple diagnostics on this device will reveal what is causing this issue.

Conclusion

Your Macbook screen flickering may get frustrating and harmful to your system. Your screen flickering could hint at your display or graphics malfunctioning, which is a serious issue. Hence, resolve it as soon as possible so that it does not harm your processes and hardware. 

Most of the time, you can fix the problem by changing the display settings or even resetting certain processes. However, if you cannot do so, you can also try and check the hardware like the screen connector, display modules, or graphics card. For these, you will have to visit the nearest service store, but the sooner you address it, the lesser damage your system will be. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Mac Screen Flickering?

Your Mac screen may be flickering due to several reasons. Most of the time, it happens due to certain glitches or bugs within the software, resulting in the screen flickering. However, display features or features that take a lot of energy could also be the reason. 
Apart from the software, hardware issues can also be a reason for your Mac screen flickering; some include a faulty graphics card, display module, or loose screen connector. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Flickering MacBook Screen?

The cost of fixing your Macbook screen flickering mainly depends on the model. One of the main reasons for this is because of the retina display that is present in certain models. Roughly the cost may be somewhere around $400 to $800. 
If you have to replace the entire screen, the cost may be slightly inclined more on the expensive side. Along with the labor charge, it might reach $750 approximately. However, you must remember that it is only if your hardware or software is severely damaged.

Why Is My Screen Suddenly Flickering?

A lot of junk files and cache leading to taking up more space on your Macbook can be one of the reasons for your screen flickering a lot. Additionally, if there is malware in your software or you haven’t updated it, your screen may sometimes flicker due to glitches or bugs. 
You must note that hardware issues could also be the reason for your screen suddenly flickering a lot. System junk clean-up or reset NVRAM may help you resolve the issue.

Why Is My MacBook Pro Screen Flickering Lines?

If you have recently dropped your Mac or accidentally slipped it from your hands, you may also experience the MacBook pro flickering black issue. This can also damage the screen, causing it to flash black or multiple colors due to the mishap. 
Also, ensure you’re getting the correct voltage for your device, as lower or higher voltage can negatively impact your Mac’s display. Apart from these reasons, the flickering screen may be because of external monitors or a lack of software updates. If you disable automatic graphics switching or reset SMC, you may be able to resolve this issue.