MacBook screen flickering isn't unheard of. Most commonly, it can happen when you're watching videos and moving/shaking your device or disconnecting it in the middle of a YouTube clip, for instance.
Usually, it's nothing to worry about.
However, if the glitch happens frequently enough to interrupt you or happens randomly without any apparent cause, it could be a sign of a bigger underlying issue. The good news is that there are a few things you could try to solve it.
Learn how to fix the MacBook screen glitch and ensure you never encounter it again.
Table of Content
- Restart Your Mac
- Update Your macOS
- Turn Off True Tone and Dark Mode
- Turn off Automatic Graphics Switching
- Turn off Hardware Acceleration
- Boot in Safe Mode
- Clear Cache to Fix MacBook Screen Flickering
- Get Rid of MacBook Screen Flickering by Resetting PRAM/NVRAM
- Reinstall Your macOS
- Seek Professional Help (if all of the above methods fail)
Why Is MacBook Screen Flickering?
MacBook screen flashing, flickering, bImage nameing, shaking, or otherwise glitching can happen for various reasons. Some of the most common ones are listed in the table below.
|Malware/virus attack||Malware and viruses work by overwriting your files with malicious code. The malicious code can wreak all kinds of havoc on your Mac, including causing severe screen glitches;|
|Software problems||Outdated or bugged software can prevent many of your apps from working properly, corrupt your files, and even affect your computer monitor;|
|Hardware problems||Hardware problems and connection issues between your monitor and your computer are perhaps the most common culprits when your MacBook screen is glitching;|
|Outdated macOS||Outdated or poorly installed macOS can affect your entire computer's performance and lead to your screen flickering or glitching;|
|PRAM/NVRAM issues||PRAM and NVRAM are memory storage systems that contain important information. If they're filled with old entries and settings, they can cause screen glitches, among other things.|
MacBook Screen Flickering Doesn't Mean You Have a Serious Issue
While your MacBook Pro screen flickering can be nerve-racking, it's not always a sign of critical failure. Many MacBook owners experience this issue occasionally, the problem being most common with the 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2016.
Of course, just because it's not always a sign of bigger underlying issues doesn't mean you should ignore it when it happens. Even if it's a minor thing causing your screen to misbehave, it could spiral out of control unless you take the steps to solve it quickly.
Therefore, it's always in your best interest to look into a MacBook Pro or Air flickering screen fix as soon as you encounter the issue for the first time.
Ways You Can Fix Screen Flickering on MacBook
There could be a few different solutions depending on why your MacBook screen is flickering. In general, if you aren't sure what's causing the issue, you should start with simpler solutions, such as restarting your Mac or updating your software. If the issue persists, you could then try the more advanced fixes. Take a look.
Fix 1: Restart Your Mac
While it might seem silly, sometimes turning your Mac off and back on or simply restarting it could be just the thing you need when your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air screen is flickering or glitching.
Sometimes, display glitches are caused by your computer getting confused about all the processes it needs to perform. In a sense, it's similar to losing your way while wandering around in an unfamiliar city - returning to your starting location can help refresh your memory and allow you to find your way.
Restarting does the same thing for your Mac. It clears its Random-Access memory (RAM) and helps your computer start all processes from scratch.
- Go to the Apple Manu;
- Click Restart;
- See if that solves your screen issues.
If your MacBook screen is still flickering, you can try one of the other solutions mentioned below.
Fix 2: Update Your macOS
Using an outdated OS presents unique risks - not just for your display. Apple's updates commonly come with essential fixes and features that improve your devices' performance, enhance security, increase privacy, and ensure compatibility with new software/hardware. They also come with important patches and bug fixes that could help you solve your MacBook Pro/Air display flickering issues.
To update your macOS, just follow these few steps:
- Go to the Apple Menu > System Settings;
- Select General;
- Click Software Update > Update Now.
On older Macs, the software update will be available under System Preferences instead of System Settings.
Fix 3: Turn Off True Tone and Dark Mode
True Tone and Dark Mode are becoming increasingly more popular features that more and more Mac users are starting to take advantage of.
Dark Mode is just what the name suggests - a dark color scheme for your display designed to be easier on your eyes by reducing your exposure to blue light. True Tone, on the other hand, adjusts the color and intensity of your display to match your ambient lighting, thus reducing eye strain as you look at your screen.
While useful, these features can make the screen of your MacBook Pro or Air flash and glitch. Therefore, it might be in your best interest to turn them off.
To turn off Dark Mode, follow these steps:
- Go to the Apple Menu > System Settings > General;
- Select Appearance;
- Select Light.
To turn off True Tone, follow these steps:
- Go to the Apple Menu > System Settings > Displays;
- Choose your display;
- Toggle True Tone off.
If it was True Tone and Dark Mode that caused your MacBook screen to flicker, this should solve the problem in its entirety.
Fix 4: Turn off Automatic Graphics Switching
In all likelihood, your MacBook has two graphics systems and the automatic graphics switching option enabled by default. This feature helps you improve battery life and overall computer performance, as your Mac will automatically switch between the graphics systems to better suit whatever app you're using at the moment.
Unfortunately, this feature can also cause Mac screen glitching, so you might be better off turning it off.
To turn off automatic graphics switching, follow these steps:
- Go to the Apple Menu > System Settings/System Preferences > Battery;
- Scroll down and click Options;
- Deselect Automatic graphics switching.
If you don't have this option, your Mac has only one graphics system, and this solution won't be effective for your device.
Fix 5: Turn off Hardware Acceleration
If you're using browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, you might have hardware acceleration enabled. This feature is designed to offload some computing tasks to specific hardware and thus improve rendering efficiency.
In some instances, it can also cause your MacBook display to flicker, flash, and glitch.
To turn hardware acceleration off on Chrome, you'll want to follow these steps:
- Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner;
- Go to Settings > System;
- Toggle Use hardware acceleration when available off.
To do the same thing in Firefox, follow these steps:
- Open Firefox and click on the three lines in the upper right-hand corner;
- Go to Settings;
- Uncheck Use recommended performance settings and Use hardware acceleration when available.
Hopefully, the problems with Mac screen flashing should be solved after following these steps.
Fix 6: Boot in Safe Mode
Another solution to fixing your MacBook monitor that's flickering is booting your Mac device in safe mode. The safe mode gives you an array of repair options that can help you troubleshoot common issues like MacBook Air black screen of death and screen flickering. Here's how you can enter this mode:
- Turn on your Mac and hold the Shift key;
- Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo appear;
- Enter your password.
Once your Mac boots up, it should all work perfectly. Check to see if your monitor is still glitching.
Fix 7: Clear Cache to Fix MacBook Screen Flickering
Cached data helps ensure you can access any app or program quickly on your device. However, if your Mac has corrupt cache files or is simply filled with cache, you could encounter a wide variety of issues, not least of which is your MacBook screen glitching.
To clear cache on your Mac, follow these steps:
- Go to Finder;
- Press Shift + Command + G keys;
- Type /Library/Caches and press enter;
- Select the files you want to remove and click Delete.
As a nice bonus, clearing the cache will also create more room in your storage.
Fix 8: Get Rid of MacBook Screen Flickering by Resetting PRAM/NVRAM
PRAM and NVRAM are parameter and nonvolatile random access memory solutions that store some of your system settings information. When they get full, you can encounter a wide variety of issues that affect the performance of your Mac, such as MacBook white screen and screen flickering. So, you might want to reset them when your Mac screen is bImage nameing.
The steps for resetting PRAM and NVRAM are the same:
- Turn off your MacBook;
- Wait a moment, then press the Power button;
- Immediately press and hold Command + Option + . + R keys;
- Release the keys after approximately 20 seconds.
Your device will turn on, and your PRAM/NVRAM will be reset. Check to see whether your MacBook screen is still flickering.
Fix 9: Reinstall Your macOS
It might not be enough to reset your PRAM/NVRAM or update your macOS. You might need to completely reinstall your macOS to eliminate the issue of your MacBook screen glitching.
Remember that this will delete all your data, so before attempting this, you'll want to extract and save all your essential information. You can do so with solutions like Wondershare Recoverit.
Once you've extracted all your data, you can reinstall your macOS through Recovery Mode. To enter Recovery Mode on Mac with Apple silicon, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the power button to start up your Mac;
- Release the power button when you see Options;
- Click Options > Continue;
- Select User, click Next, and put in your password.
To enter Recovery Mode on Intel-based Macs, follow these steps:
- Press the power button, then immediately press and hold the Option + Command + R keys;
- Wait until the Apple logo appears, then release the keys;
- Select your WiFi network.
From there, you can move on to reinstall your macOS:
- After entering Recovery Mode, select Reinstall macOS;
- Click Continue.
Give your device some time to reinstall your OS. Afterward, check to see whether your screen is still glitching.
Fix 10: Seek Professional Help (if all of the above methods fail)
If you've tried all the abovementioned solutions and your screen is still glitching, you might need professional help. The repair cost for screen flickering on MacBook Pro or MacBook Air can vary depending on precisely what's causing the issue, but you should be prepared to spend a few hundred on it.
Contact the closest Apple-authorized service providers to learn what they can do for you. Moreover, to be safe, always back up all your essential data before sending your device in for repairs.
How To Prevent MacBook Screen Flashing in the Future
Screen glitches can happen to anyone at any time. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risks of encountering them:
- Guard your device from physical damage;
- Update all your apps and software as soon as updates are available;
- Keep your drivers updated;
- Always make sure your device is properly connected to the charger;
- Install antimalware apps.
These are just some basic precautions you should take to prevent your screen from glitching. However, you should still be prepared for accidents and learn how to solve common issues such as a glitching screen by yourself.
MacBook display glitching is a somewhat common occurrence that can be caused by various software and hardware issues. Fortunately, it can also be solved rather easily on most occasions.
Try the solutions above, and if your MacBook screen keeps flickering, you can always send it in for professional repairs.