Computer problems are a headache, and a flickering laptop screen can definitely cause one. It can destroy productivity in the office, and turn a couch-cinema experience into a royal inconvenience. The constant blinking only serves to distract and frustrate, so the moment it starts, you’ll be in need of a quick solution.
Fixing a flickering laptop screen doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the PC repair shop. Solutions as simple as lowering and raising the screen repeatedly or updating your graphics card drivers may solve your blinking screen dilemma. But what causes a laptop screen to flicker and what are the many fixes that work to stop it? This guide will answer all of your burning questions.
Why is my laptop screen flickering?
The causes behind laptop screen flickering on Windows 10 PCs can be boiled down to a few common culprits. An aging PC shows signs of regular wear and tear as years pass by, and loosened internal cables can create a number of nasty glitches. Newer computers with screen flickering problems may be the victims of incompatible applications or defective hardware. Let’s deep dive into the many reasons why your laptop screen has started flickering.
1. App incompatibility
Personalizing your PC into your own unique digital hub means downloading all of your favorite applications and programs. In certain cases, your PC won’t be able to handle the parameters and specs of certain applications which can cause screen flickering.
In order to figure out if an incompatible app is responsible for your laptop screen flickering, follow these three easy steps.
Step 1. Access your task manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL and selecting “Task Manager.” You can also right-click the Windows taskbar and find the task manager there.
Step 2. With the task manager open, watch your screen for any flickering. If everything on the screen flickers except the task manager, then you’ve got an incompatible app living on your PC.
Step 3. If the task manager flickers during your observation then you’re likely dealing with a separate issue.
2. Outdated PC display drivers
It’s easy to neglect Windows software updates, especially when you know how long they’ll take. Those in the habit of putting their computer to sleep rather than shutting it down are more susceptible to the effects of outdated drivers.
Malfunctioning internal devices can lead to poor display resolutions, glitchy internet connectivity and of course, a flickering laptop screen. Both visual aspects and functionality in PC components suffer the consequences of outdated drivers when patches, updates, and bug fixes go by the wayside.
Wondering if your PC is due for an update? Check the status of your Windows 10 operating system in five easy steps.
Step 1. Press the Windows taskbar button and press the gear symbol to access your PC settings.
Step 2: Select “Update & Security” tab.
Step 3. If your PC has scanned for available updates recently, you may see a list of pending installs alongside the names of programs, extensions, or drivers that need immediate updating.
Step 4. If your PC has not completed an automated scan, you will be able to select “Check for updates.” This will sweep your hardware and operating system for any necessary updates.
Step 5. Click “Install updates” and let your PC do the rest.
Pro tip: Be sure to have your PC plugged in while updating - running out of battery in the middle of an update process could corrupt or damage your operating system.
3. Loose or damaged wires
Characterized by their clamshell form, the laptop computer is the ultimate portable PC that lets you take all of your digital processing on-the-go. Unfortunately, the rigor of your commute or careless opening and closing of your laptop can take a toll on your computer’s physical condition.
Wires connecting your laptop screen to the base keyboard chassis can become loose or damaged over time, potentially resulting in a flickering laptop screen. In order to test if your problem stems from malfunctioning wires, lower and raise your laptop screen repeatedly to check if the flicker is related to movement. If certain angles flicker while others don’t, chances are you’re dealing with faulty internal wiring.
A loose or damaged screen cable, inverter, or backlight are all possible culprits behind your particular laptop screen flickering woes.
How do I fix a flickering laptop screen?
Figuring out the reason behind your flickering laptop screen will better assist you in your efforts to finding an easy DIY solution. Since a blinking screen can ruin the PC user experience, you’ll want a quick-fix ASAP. Use these 5 solutions to nip that buggy screen in the bud.
1. Update your display driver
In order to properly update your computer’s display driver, you’ll need to start your computer up on Safe Mode, uninstall your current display adapter, and check for driver updates. This three-part, 10-step process will do the trick.
How to boot in Safe Mode
Step 1. Press the Windows taskbar button and press the gear symbol to access your PC settings.
Step 2. Select “Updates & Security.”
Step 3. On the left-side taskbar, select “Recovery.”
Step 4. Under “Advanced startup” select “Restart now.” This will reboot your computer and send you to a blue troubleshoot screen that lets you manage everything from startup repairs to system restores.
Step 5. Select “Advanced options.”
Step 6. Select “Startup Settings,” and press “Restart.”
Step 7. Once your PC reboots, select option #4 using number keys or function keys 1-9 to “Enable Safe Mode.”
How to uninstall the current display driver
Step 1. To uninstall your current display driver in safe mode, right-click your Windows taskbar to access the Power User menu.
Step 2. Select “Device Manager.”
Step 3. Within the device manager window, extend the “Display adapters” tab to reveal your PC’s active display devices.
Step 4. Right-click the name of your current display adapter to access an operations task list.
Step 5. Press “Uninstall device.”
Step 6. A new box will pop-up, giving you the option to “delete the driver software for this device.”
Step 7. Check this box off, and press “Uninstall.”
Step 8. Restart your PC.
How to reinstall display drivers
Step 1. Open settings from the Power User menu again (right-clicking the Windows taskbar icon).
Step 2. Select “Update & security.”
Step 3. Under the “Windows Update” tab, select “Check for updates” to download and install the most up-to-date display driver.
2. Download latest drivers directly from the manufacturer
Windows 10 does an excellent job of updating your PC with necessary fixes and patches but some important drivers go by the wayside. If your laptop screen has started flickering, you may be overdue for a manual driver update.
If you’re unsure of your display card’s manufacturer, you can check it by following these easy steps.
Step 1. Access the Power User menu by right-clicking the Windows taskbar icon.
Step 2. Select “Run.”
Step 3. Type “dxdiag” into the Run dialog box.
Step 4. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool window will pop up, granting access to all of your PC’s hardware information. On the top toolbar, you’ll see a number of tabs.
Step 5. Select “Display 1.”
Step 6. The name, manufacturer, device type, and all other related display information will be readily available.
With the manufacturer and device name information, you’ll know exactly where to look for direct driver updates and downloads. The vast majority of HP laptops are supported by the following display driver manufacturers:
Each manufacturer will have a page dedicated to driver updates and downloads to best service your specific driver.
3. Disable Windows Desktop Manager
Windows 10 is lauded for its innovative visual effects and elements that set it apart from other competing operating systems. Desktop Window Manager is an all-encompassing window manager that makes all of those appealing transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails and high-resolution monitor support features possible.
Unfortunately, there is a small chance that the window manager’s processes are responsible for your laptop screen flicker.
To disable Desktop Window Manager follow these steps:
Step 1. Access the Power User menu by right-clicking the Windows taskbar icon.
Step 2. Select “Run.”
Step 3. Type “services.msc” into the Run dialog box.
Step 4. Locate “Desktop Window Manager Session Manager.”
Step 5. Right-click on it and select “Stop.”
Step 6. Right click “Desktop Window Manager Session Manager” again
Step 7. Select “Properties.”
Step 8. Under the “General” tab, modify the start-up type to “Disabled.”
Step 9. Press “OK.”
4. Modify the refresh rate
If you’re finding that your laptop screen flicker only occurs when you’ve linked your PC to an external monitor, the problem could be the refresh rates. A device’s refresh rate is a measurement of the number of times the screen redraws in one second. A laggy refresh rate can look like flicker when in reality you’re just dealing with slow video processing.
Follow these steps to align your laptop’s and external monitor’s refresh rates.
Step 1. Open the Power User menu by right-clicking the Windows taskbar icon.
Step 2. Select “Settings.”
Step 3. Within settings, select “System.”
Step 4. On the side taskbar, click “Display.”
Step 5. Under “Multiple displays,” select “Advanced display settings.”
Step 6. Observe the refresh rates under the display information for your laptop and external monitor.
Step 7. Click “Display adapter properties” for either device to modify settings.
If your display supports a higher refresh rate but the rate is not available on your PC, reinstalling the latest driver will be your quickest fix. (See #2 above)
5. Take it to an expert technician
If you’ve tried these many solutions and find yourself stuck with a flickering screen, taking it to an expert PC technician may be your best solution. Computers are complex. Sometimes leaving your PC problems in the hands of an expert delivers the results you’re looking for faster and more efficiently than simple DIY tutorials can.
Make sure you look for a certified technician who knows your brand of computer. Often you can find a list of authorized repair shops sanctioned by your brand on their website under “support.”
An expert will be able to open your computer safely, evaluate the wiring and find all of the manufacturer drivers needed if an update is required. Be sure to explain your computer’s unique situation so your technician knows exactly what to look for and what to fix.
About the Author
Tulie Finley-Moise is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tulie is a digital content creation specialist based in San Diego, California with a passion for the latest tech and digital media news.
Screen flickering in Windows is usually caused by display drivers. To update your display driver, you'll need to start your PC in safe mode, uninstall your current display adapter, and then check for driver updates. Start your PC in safe mode, then select and hold (or right-click) Start and select Device Manager.Why is my laptop screen glitching with lines? ›
Your drivers are outdated or incorrectly installed. The monitor is short-circuiting because of residual power. The cables aren't connected properly or are damaged. The refresh rate of your monitor isn't synchronized.How do I stop my screen from glitching? ›
- Reboot Your Phone. ...
- Perform a Hard Reset. ...
- Boot Into Safe Mode (Android Only) ...
- Disable Auto-Brightness (Adaptive Brightness) ...
- Disable Hardware Overlays. ...
- Check for Device Updates. ...
- Get Your Phone Checked by a Professional.
The average price of a laptop screen replacement is 3000 - 6000.Can overheating cause laptop screen flickering? ›
Solutions for hardware malfunctions
An obvious symptom that the screen is flickering due to graphics card overheating is the absence of this problem when working “cold”, that is, immediately after turning computer on.
If Windows Update recently made updates to your device, roll back your display driver. Otherwise, try updating or uninstalling your display driver to fix the flickering or scrambling problem. In the search box on the taskbar, enter device manager, and then select it from the list of results.Can you fix a laptop screen with lines? ›
If the lines only appear in Windows, the problem is a Windows setting -- most likely the refresh rate. Right-click on the Desktop once Windows loads and choose “Screen Resolution.” Click “Advanced Settings,” “Monitor,” and then lower the refresh rate to see if the lines disappear.Can RAM cause screen flickering? ›
Not enough RAM cause flickering and stutter. - CPUs, Motherboards, and Memory - Linus Tech Tips.What causes a computer glitch? ›
What Does Glitch Mean? A glitch, in technical terms, refers to a small and fleeting error in a system that occurs due to unknown causes. While the actual cause of a glitch is unknown, it can potentially cause serious harm to the system, including power failure, temporary loss of service or data loss.What is the cause of glitch on the screen? ›
Most times, your phone screen glitches because of software issues, which are relatively minimal and fixable at home. And other times, it could be a hardware issue that needs a technician's intervention. Typically, your phone's GPU is supposed to render the graphic images an app requires to function perfectly.
The display adapter will directly affect the computer display, and when your display adapter driver is outdated, incorrect or becomes incompatible, it may cause the problem that the screen goes black for a second in Windows 10. For this reason, you need to update, roll back or reinstall the display adapter driver.Does screen damage come under warranty? ›
A standard phone manufacturer warranty does not cover accidental damage. That means if you damage the phone yourself, any repair or replacement costs will not be covered by the manufacturer and you'll have to pay out-of-pocket. A manufacturer warranty also does not cover damage from unauthorized modifications.How much is a HP laptop screen replacement cost? ›
Here are several examples of screen replacement costs based on industry leading laptop manufacturers. HP Laptop: The price for replacing an HP broken laptop screen varies based on the model, parts, and labor. Typical HP laptop screen remains will run you between $30 – $300.How much is a HP laptop screen? ›
Laptop screen replacement price starts from Rs. 4399 - Rs. 9000 and varies based on model number.Is screen flickering a hardware or software problem? ›
Hardware failure is the likely cause when flicker occurs only when the laptop moves. Most likely, the screen cable is loose or damaged, but the inverter and backlight can also cause this problem.How do I fix my HP laptop screen from flickering? ›
- Update your display driver. ...
- Download latest drivers directly from the manufacturer. ...
- Disable Windows Desktop Manager. ...
- Modify the refresh rate. ...
- Take it to an expert technician.
Signs of an overheating computer include a device that's hot to the touch, a fan running in overdrive, and loud whirring noises coming from your machine. You may also experience slowdowns or shutdowns as your computer tries to end tasks to cool down and prevent internal damage.Is it worth fixing a laptop screen? ›
If a laptop repair costs half as much as a new laptop—or more—consider getting a new one, especially if your machine is more than a few years old. If your computer is only 1 or 2 years old, it's probably worth fixing. At our stores, for instance, the average laptop repair is about $150.How do you know if your laptop screen is damaged? ›
You'll know if a screen is defective because there isn't any physical damage to the device, but it is also either not showing the picture at all or there is discoloring, irregular pixelization or resolution, or problems with the backlighting.Are laptop screens worth replacing? ›
There are several factors to consider: Cost - It may or may not be economical to replace the screen. Typical rule-of-thumb is that if the cost of the repair is less than 50% of the purchase price of the laptop then it's worth it.
To restart your computer, press the start button in the bottom left corner of your monitor and then click on restart. If that's not possible, press the power button in and hold it for several seconds until you hear the machine turn off. It should be the first thing you try before doing any other troubleshooting.What are the signs of broken RAM? ›
- Bluescreens (bluescreen of death)
- Random crashes or reboots.
- Crashing during heavy memory use tasks, such as gaming, Photoshop etc.
- Distorted graphics on your computer screen.
- Failure to boot (or turn on), and/or repeated long beeps.
- Memory errors appear on screen.
- Search for "Windows Memory Diagnostic" in your start menu, and run the application. (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
- Select "Restart now and check for problems." ...
- Once restarted, wait for the result message.
One of the most tell-tale signs of RAM failure is diminishing performance over time. If you find that your computer is running perfectly after you first power it up, but the longer you use it, the slower it becomes—you could be in trouble.What is it called when a computer glitches? ›
Stemming from the first bug, today we call errors or glitches in a program a bug.What's the difference between a bug and a glitch? ›
A glitch, which is slight and often temporary, differs from a more serious bug which is a genuine functionality-breaking problem.Why is my monitor flickering? ›
The most common cause of a flickering monitor is a faulty power supply. Other potential causes may be due to your video card. Monitors can also start flickering if they are overclocked. If you believe that your monitor is at the end of its life, then the cause may be due to dead pixels or burn-in (image sticking).What does it mean by glitching? ›
/ɡlɪtʃ/ to experience a small fault or problem, especially one that stops something from working: The mail system has glitched a couple of times recently.Why is my screen flickering Chromebook? ›
If you experience screen flickers when using Google Chrome, your primary suspect should be your display drivers. This issue often comes up when your drivers are incompatible with your system. Another cause can be your Windows background and color settings.What is it called when your laptop screen goes black? ›
The Windows black screen, often called the black screen of death, is a critical Windows system error that your computer displays when a major problem forces the operating system to shut down.
A monitor that keeps going black is an obvious sign that something's wrong with your computer. The question is, is the problem trivial or serious? Often, the culprit is a loose or broken cable – an easy fix. Sometimes, however, you're looking at a bad monitor or damage to the computer itself.How do I fix random black screen on Windows 11? ›
Restart the computer
Whether the black screen issue began before or after login, you should first try to restart the computer. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reboot to get the system back on track. If you can't restart the computer the normal way, try to access the power button by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete.
Cracks, Scratches, or Broken glass
In general, cracked, or broken glass is considered accidental damage and is not covered under the standard warranty.
The guarantee or assurance covers the state of the equipment as well as the manufacturer's policies for product repair or exchange if it is damaged or has a manufacturing defect. On average, one year is the industry norm for new laptop warranties.Does warranty fix everything? ›
Your vehicle warranty does not cover parts made to wear out, like brake pads in normal use. Buying a car extended warranty is a strategic financial choice that may give peace of mind but might not pay for itself. A warranty is not insurance and does not cover accidents or abuse.Is HP laptop screen covered under warranty? ›
The physical screens of the laptops are covered by the standard warranty for specified types of failures. For a notebook, the battery is covered against failure during the warranty period.Can an HP laptop screen be fixed? ›
Cracked screens, dead backlights, or broken LCD displays are common screen problems that HP users sometimes have to deal with. At Cell Phone Repair, we have the technology available to completely replace your HP laptop or desktop screen, if necessary.Does HP warranty cover screen damage? ›
Am I covered by an HP warranty? Accidental damage, such as spilling liquid on or dropping your PC is called Customer Induced Damage (CID) and is not covered under a standard warranty.Which laptop display is best? ›
- Dell XPS 13 Plus (OLED) The best OLED laptop. ...
- Dell XPS 15 OLED. ...
- Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED. ...
- MSI Raider GE67 HX. ...
- Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5. ...
- Asus ZenBook Flip S OLED. ...
- Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15. ...
- Dell Inspiron 16 OLED.
Every screen installed in any laptop has a screen model number on the back of the LCD screen. This is without a doubt the best way to order replacement screens. The model number denotes the size, the resolution and the backlight type.
On the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics (UEFI) main menu, click System Tests > Extensive Test. Click either Run once or Loop until error. While the test is running, the time remaining and test result for each component displays on the screen.How do I fix a flickering screen on my HP laptop? ›
If Windows Update recently made updates to your device, roll back your display driver. Otherwise, try updating or uninstalling your display driver to fix the flickering or scrambling problem. In the search box on the taskbar, enter device manager, and then select it from the list of results.Why is my laptop screen going black randomly? ›
We'll look at some things that can cause a black or blank screen: Connection problems with your monitor or screen. Display adapter driver update issues. Issues with recent system updates or installations.Why does my laptop screen flicker on 144Hz? ›
How do I fix this? This can be caused by the monitor's higher pixel clock needing the card to run at a higher speed. If the card's GPU downclocks too far, or if your frame rate drops too far below the 144Hz refresh rate of the monitor.Why is my Chromebook screen flickering? ›
If you experience screen flickers when using Google Chrome, your primary suspect should be your display drivers. This issue often comes up when your drivers are incompatible with your system. Another cause can be your Windows background and color settings.Why is the light flashing on the side of my HP laptop? ›
Those pancake icons with the blinking light mean your hard drive is being used to read/write info at the moment. It can be entirely normal for it to blink for long periods of time through out the day. But if you are concerned, you can run the Task Manager and monitor the disk usage to get an idea of whats using it.How do I fix a black screen with blinking cursor on my HP laptop? ›
Select the Repair option and then head to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart and select Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Your laptop will boot-up in safe mode allowing you to fix any items that you think may be causing the HP laptop black screen issue.How much does it usually cost to fix a computer? ›
In general, computer repair costs can range from around $50 to $100 per hour, with the average rate being around $75 per hour. It is also worth noting that some computer repair shops may charge a flat fee for their services, rather than an hourly rate.Why is my monitor flickering on and off? ›
The most common cause of a flickering monitor is a faulty power supply. Other potential causes may be due to your video card. Monitors can also start flickering if they are overclocked. If you believe that your monitor is at the end of its life, then the cause may be due to dead pixels or burn-in (image sticking).How to reset laptop? ›
- Select Start > Settings > System > Recovery . Open Recovery settings.
- Next to Reset this PC , select Reset PC. Then choose from the options and/or settings in the table below.
Check Display Settings (Windows)
Within the graphics control panel, click on Change resolution. Select the flickering monitor in the options and make sure the refresh rate is at least 60Hz. If you have a 100Hz monitor, set it to that. Save any changes and retest.
A refresh rate of 60 Hz on most screens will produce a visible "flickering" effect. Most people find that refresh rates of 70–90 Hz and above enable flicker-free viewing on CRTs. Use of refresh rates above 120 Hz is uncommon, as they provide little noticeable flicker reduction and limit available resolution.Does overclocking monitor cause flickering? ›
If the monitor has an Overclock feature and it is turned on, try to turn it off. Operating the monitor at a refresh rate higher than the panel specification can cause flicker. If the monitor has a Moving Picture Response Time (MRPT) or Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) feature and it is on, try to turn it off.How do I get rid of the glitchy screen on my Chromebook? ›
- Turn off your Chromebook, then turn it back on.
- Close all your apps and browser windows.
- If a specific tab in your browser causes your Chromebook to crash or freeze, hard refresh the page: Ctrl + Shift + r.
- If you've installed any new apps or extensions recently, uninstall them.
- Reset your Chromebook.
Ghost Tapping on the Touch Screen/Touch Pad
Your Chromebook 3189 may encounter a situation where the touch screen makes un-commanded system inputs, commonly known as "Ghost Tapping" or "Ghost Clicking", and this can cause disruption in system usage.
Locate the debugging keyboard shortcuts and click Disable. (Disable is the selected Default.) Select the Relaunch Now icon to restart Chrome to apply the changes.