How to Fix MacBook Screen Flickering

Wondering why your MacBook screen is flickering?

While a flickering screen usually indicates a problem with hardware components, there are some occasions when faulty software causes this problem. 

If you’ve experienced this problem on your MacBook, don’t panic right away. 

Screen Issue

With a few tweaks on your system, you might be able to resolve this problem and save yourself from a costly repair. 

In this article, we will show you what you can do if your MacBook screen is flickering. 

Let’s get right into it!

1. Restart Your MacBook. 

If you encounter flickers or stutters on your MacBook, try restarting it first. 

Possibly, your Mac’s system did not initialize properly when you turned it on, causing problems with your hardware. 

Here’s how you can restart your Mac: 

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Next, choose Restart from the drop-down menu. 
  3. When prompted, click Restart again to confirm your action. 
Restart Mac

Once done, use your MacBook usually and observe if you’ll still encounter flickering issues. 

Related: How to Fix Keyboard Light Not Working on MacBook


2. Disable Automatic Graphics Switching. 

If you are using a MacBook Pro that features an integrated and discrete GPU, it will automatically switch between them depending on the workload. 

Occasionally, the graphics driver for the discrete GPU can crash and cause your screen to flicker. 

You can turn off this feature if you usually use your MacBook for editing and heavy workloads. 

Note

Using discrete graphics all the time can consume more power and reduce your battery life. 

  1. Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, click on System Preferences
  3. Access the Battery tab. 
macbook screen flickering
  1. Look for Automatic Graphics Switching and uncheck it. 
macbook screen flickering
  1. Restart your MacBook to apply the changes. 

Continue with what you’re doing and see if the problem will still occur. 

3. Update Your Applications. 


If you encounter this issue while using specific applications, it can be due to compatibility conflicts. 

To rule this out, make sure that all your applications are up to date. 


See the steps below to update apps on your Mac: 

  1. Press Command + Space on your keyboard. 
  2. Search for the App Store and open it. 
  3. Now, click on the Update tab on the side menu. 
macbook screen flickering
  1. Check if there’s an available update for the problematic app and install it. 

Once done, use the application again to check if your screen will still flicker.

4. Update Your Mac. 

Another reason for the screen flickering issue on your MacBook is faulty versions of macOS. 

Now, Apple might already be aware of this problem and could roll out an update anytime to patch the bug. 

See the steps below to check for updates on your MacBook: 

  1. In the upper left corner of your screen, click the Apple icon to open Apple Menu
  2. Next, click on System Settings
  3. Go to General > Software Update
  4. If an update is available, click Update Now or Upgrade Now
Update Mac

Note

  • Your Mac can restart several times while installing the update.
  • The update progress bar might also appear to be stuck. When this happens, don’t do anything. Software updates can take several minutes to complete.

Observe if your MacBook’s screen will still flicker after the update. 

5. Disable True Tone. 

One feature that can cause your screen to flicker is True Tone. 

True Tone automatically adjusts the color and contrast of your display based on ambient light levels. 

However, if the version of macOS you’re using has an issue with True Tone, it could be the reason your MacBook’s screen is flickering. 

Follow the steps below to disable True Tone: 

  1. Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, go to System Settings
  3. On the sidebar, click on Displays and choose your display at the top of the window. 
  4. Look for True Tone and disable it. 
macbook screen flickering

Restart your MacBook and check if the problem is solved. 

6. Turn Off Hardware Acceleration on Browser. 

If you encounter the issue while using your browser, it’s possible that hardware acceleration is the culprit. 

Although hardware acceleration improves the performance of your browser, it can cause problems with optimized devices. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open Settings on your web browser. 
  2. After that, go to the System tab. 
  3. Look for Use Hardware Acceleration and turn it off. 
macbook screen flickering
  1. Relaunch your browser. 

Observe if you’ll still encounter flickering issues on your MacBook.

 

7. Reset Your MacBook’s SMC. 

System Management Controller (SMC) is assigned to manage your Mac’s power and hardware usage. 

Resetting the SMC can help resolve problems related to power or hardware. If your MacBook’s screen is flickering, try resetting the System Management Controller.

MacBook w/ Apple Silicon: 

  1. Make sure that your MacBook is plugged into a charger. 
  2. Now, shut down the device by holding the Power button for a few seconds. 
  3. Turn on your MacBook normally. 

MacBook w/ T2 Chip: 

  1. Turn off your MacBook
  2. On the keyboard, press and hold Control + Option + Shift keys together with the Power button
  3. Keep holding all keys for another 7 seconds and release them. Turn on your Mac normally. 

MacBook w/o T2 Chip: 

  1. Make sure that your MacBook is turned off. 
  2. On your keyboard, press the Shift + Control + Option keys together with the Power button
  3. Continue holding all keys for 10 seconds. Release the keys afterward and turn on your Mac normally. 

Once done, see if your MacBook’s screen still flickers. 

Related: How to Fix MacBook Pro Speakers Crackling and Buzzing


8. Visit the Nearest Apple Store. 

If your MacBook’s screen constantly flickers and you can’t navigate the interface, it’s likely a hardware problem. 

In this case, we recommend that you bring your device to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. 

macbook screen flickering

Depending on the situation, you might need to replace your MacBook’s screen or other components related to the display. 

Check your coverage on Apple’s website to see if your device is still under warranty. 

If you had it for less than 14 days, you can ask Apple for a refund or replacement. Remember that this is only applicable for devices purchased directly from Apple. 

That brings us to the end of our guide on how to fix the screen flickering issue on your MacBook. 

If you have other concerns, drop a comment below, and we’ll try our best to get back to you. 

If this guide helped you, please share it!

Author

  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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