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How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

Why your MacBook screen is flickering. It’s not a given that all Mac screens will start flickering. But if it does start happening to your computer, know you’re not alone. Mac screens flickering are fairly common and are typically due to compatibility issues with macOS and the graphics processing unit. Typically, software updates will fix it. But here are 7 things you can check and resolve the problem on your own.

1. Restart your Mac

The old, turn-it-off-and-on-again trick. You’d be surprised at how many issues this actually fixes.
  • Just click the Apple icon at the top of the screen and choose Restart.
  • Still, flickering?

2. The next thing you should try is updating your macOS

As I mentioned earlier, screen flickering issues are usually fixed by a software update. And there may actually be one available for your Mac now. Checking depends on what macOS you’re running.

  • If you click the Apple icon and see the software update listed, click that.
  • Otherwise click the Apple icon, then App Store, and then select Updates in the sidebar.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

3. Clear cache and system junk

The third troubleshooting step is to clear any cache files and system junk. When you don't know what’s going on, it’s best to start with a clean slate. Deleting old system junk, like caches, and remains of old apps helps isolate the real cause. Cleaning your machine makes it run better as a bonus. For this, you can download by far the most recognized Mac cleaning utility out there, CleanMyMac X. It’s a tool that scans your hard drive and gets rid of all the system garbage.

  • Once you have it installed, open the app and click System Junk in the sidebar. Let it scan your Mac.
  • When it’s finished, you can review the results or better yet click Smart Scan to clean up all the junk with one button click.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

  • You can actually download CleanMyMac X free version to try it out.
  • Next, you should try resetting your PRAM.

4. Reset your PRAM

Don’t be scared — you don’t have to be a programmer to do this. PRAM stands for Parameter Random Access Memory. This memory deals with various system settings including the display parameters of your Mac. There is an easy combination of keys to reset PRAM. This oftentimes will put the screen back to normal.

  • First, you have to click on the Apple icon and shut down your Mac.
  • Completely shut it down, don’t click restart.
  • Then, as soon as you turn your computer back on, press and hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys on your keyboard for about 20 seconds.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

  • So you press these 4 keys as soon as your Mac starts.
  • Release them when you hear the startup chime.
  • The settings are reset.
  • The next troubleshooting step to try is adjusting your Energy Saver settings.

5. Adjust Energy Saver setting

If you’re on a MacBook Pro and you have “Automatic graphics switching” enabled in Energy Saver then your computer is having to switch back-and-forth between two separate graphics cards. Which could be causing the problem.
  • Open System Preferences and go into Energy Saver.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

  • Then, uncheck automatic graphics switching.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

6. Run maintenance scripts

One more potential remedy for your screen. You can also run the so-called maintenance scripts to help your Mac run smoother and hopefully that will fix your screen glitch. What this command does is clean some outdated logs and caches and it sort of greases the inner wheels of your macOS. For this, you can use, once again, my favorite Mac troubleshooting app, CleanMyMac X.

  • Once you have it installed and opened, click Maintenance scripts from the sidebar.
  • Then, you can choose from a list of tools like Free RAM or Repair Disk Permission.
  • Or just select all of the tools and click Run.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

7. Disable True Tone

Finally, if you’re on a 2018 Mac or newer, you might disable True Tone. While True Tone is supposed to give your screen more natural colors, this feature can cause your screen to blink.
  • Go into System Preferences and click Displays.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

  • Then, uncheck the True Tone Box.

How to fix screen flickering on a Mac

Hopefully, one of those tricks will help fix your screen flickering. Leave us a comment and let us know which tip fixed your Mac and also give it a share.

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