How to Fix "MacBook screen flickering issue" [Easy Solutions]


Now a days, MacBook users observing screen flickering issue after using it for a while is becoming common. In this issue, screen suddenly turns black for a second or so (in some case up to 30-40 secs) before coming back to normal and it keeps on happening after certain interval of time. You might think there is some hardware problem started occurring in your screen and you might immediately want to contact Apple care for support. You will be amazed to know that majority of the times(if not every time) users can fix this issue by themselves without taking the burden to contact Apple service center.

This issue may happen in old as well as in new MacBook Pro or in any other MacBook with apple silicon. The cause of this issue could be multiple. It may arise due to compatibility issue between OS and GPU. Sometimes it may also happen due to glitches in software or missing updates in system. Some other factors like loose wired connection in case of external display, power adapter fluctuations, duplicate color profiles can't be ruled out. In the worst case, flickering might happen due to hardware damage as well.


What is MacBook screen flickering

Before diving deep into the issue, let's first understand what is MacBook screen flickering problem. In some cases, it is a sudden appearance of black screen for few seconds and in other cases it is sudden appearance of glitching lines on retina and non-retina screens for few seconds to few mins. It can happen any moment with uncertain number of frequencies and might stay for longer than expected. It might occur during the usage of terminal or GUI mode. It can become bad to worse very quickly, in some cases it might take few months before getting complete worse which means impossible to use screen anymore.


How to Fix "MacBook screen flickering issue" [Easy Solutions]

How to Fix "MacBook screen flickering issue" [Easy Solutions]

Also Read: How macOS is different from other Operating Systems?

Although there could be quite a few solution to solve this flickering issue but you would need to check which one works for you. Here I am going to explain some of the best and practical solutions that is quite easy to follow.


Solution 1: Restart Your System

Most of the time a simple restart can solve your problem. So you must restart your system first before checking anything else to fix your screen flickering problem. You can restart by following below steps:-

  • Go to Apple Menu on top left corner of your screen.
  • Click on Restart

Another way to restart your system is from command line. If you would like you can follow below steps from command line:-

  • Go to Terminal
  • Run "sudo shutdown -r now" command to restart your system.


Solution 2: Update Your System

If restarting system does not work then the next thing you can try is check and install latest available updates. To do that, follow below steps:-

  • Go to Apple Menu
  • Click on System Preferences
  • Click on Software Update
  • Install all latest available updates

You can also use terminal to update all the formulae. Follow below steps:-

  • Go to Terminal
  • Run "brew update && brew upgrade" to install all latest upgrades


Solution 3: Uncheck Automatic Graphics Switching

Majority of the times, you just have to disable the Automatic Graphics Switching to fix MacBook screen flickering issue. Here are the steps to disable:-

  • Go to Apple Menu
  • Click on System Preferences
  • Click on Battery
  • Go to Battery section showing on the left side
  • Then uncheck Automatic graphics switching
  • Restart your system

For those of you who don't know, automatic graphics switching is a feature in some MacBook models in which system will switch between different graphics processing unit (GPUs) based on demand. This feature is used for enhancing battery life without compromising the performance. By default, this feature will be checked and enabled which means GPUs are managed by the system. Unchecking this option will make use of discrete GPU only which may increase the performance but at the cost of battery life. So make note of this.


Solution 4: Check for loose connections

If you are using any external display then flickering might happen due to loose wired connections to the port. You can verify this by gently shaking the wire yourself and see if it is indeed the culprit. You can also unplug and re-plug the connections and make sure it is plugged properly to the port. This is such a small cause of the problem but often it goes unnoticed.


Solution 5: Reset NVRAM or PRAM

If you are using intel based MacBook system then resetting nvram or pram might also help in solving screen flickering problem. To perform reset, follow below steps:-

  • Shutdown your Mac system completely.
  • Power on the system and immediately press Option+Command+P+R simultaneously for 20 seconds.
  • System should restart with nvram or pram reset.


Solution 6: Change Screen Resolution

Sometimes changing screen resolution will also help solving the problem of flickering issue. If you already tried previous steps and did not helped much then I would recommended you to do the following:-

  • Go to Apple Menu on top left corner of your screen.
  • Select system preferences from list of options
  • Go to Displays
  • Change Resolution to Scaled and try different resolutions.


Solution 7: Disable True Tone

If changing screen resolution also did not helped much then I would next suggest you to try disabling True Tone and see if this helps. For that you have to perform below steps:-

  • Go to Apple Menu on top left corner of your screen.
  • Select system preferences from list of options
  • Uncheck True Tone

For those of you who don't know about True Tone, it is basically a features in Mac devices to automatically adjust colors and intensity of your displays based on different ambient lighting conditions.


Solution 8: Delete duplicate colour profiles

Many times it has also been observed that duplicate colour profiles tends to cause screen flickering issue. So if the previous solutions did not worked then I would recommend to try deleting the duplicate color profiles using below steps:-

  • Go to Apple Menu on top left corner of your screen.
  • Select system preferences from list of options
  • Go to Displays and click on pop ups next to Colour Screen
  • If you see same colour profile then delete one of them.
  • To delete select the duplicate colour profile and click on (-) button
  • Click on Done 


Solution 9: Disable Dark Mode

In many cases there could also be a situation where user is using dark mode appearance and getting this screen flickering issue. In such cases, user should try to disable dark mode and see if it helps solve the problem. To disable dark mode, follow below steps:-

  • Go to Apple Menu on top left corner of your screen.
  • Select system preferences from list of options
  • Go to General
  • Change Appearance to Light


Solution 10: Reset SMC (System Management Controller)

If none of the above given solutions worked, then you can next try to reset system management controller in your MacBook and see it was indeed a hardware problem instead of a software issue. Except on Apple silicon where SMC reset can be done by simply restarting the system, you can follow below steps to reset SMC on Intel-based MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models:-

  • Click on Apple Icon in top left corner of your screen.
  • Select Shutdown to power off your system
  • Connect the power adapter to your system if not connected.
  • Hold down the Shift+Control+Option Keys along with the Power Button at the same time.
  • Hold all the keys for about 10 secs.
  • Then release all the keys including power button
  • Finally press the Power button to turn MacBook on.


Solution 11: Contact Apple Service Provider

If you reached to this solution then it means none of the above given solution worked out so now you have to mandatorily contact apple service provider to check for the problem. You can check and locate the near by service provider. They will guide you the next steps to fix the problem.

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