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Why Does My Laptop Screen Keep Flickering?

Why Does My Laptop Screen Keep Flickering?

No matter if your laptop’s screen is flickering sometimes or constantly, this is definitely annoying and something you should fix as soon as possible.

We’re going to learn all that in today’s article: what might be the cause for your laptop’s screen flickering, but also how to fix that and have a flicker-free experience on your device.

So let’s not waste a single second and instead get straight into the main problem of the day:

Why Is My Laptop Screen Flickering?

There are many reasons that might cause your laptop’s screen to flicker. It definitely is annoying when this happens and can cause literal headaches if left unattended.

Anything from magnetic fields near your display to computer viruses, hardware issues or corrupted files on your computer can cause flickering on your screen. Even setting the wrong resolution or refresh rate could cause it.

You can read more about setting laptop screen resolutions here.

There are different types of flickering that one user might experience. Your screen can have just one of these problems or multiple:

  • vertical lines on screen
  • horizontal lines on screen
  • blinking screen
  • screen flashing

How to fix a laptop screen that’s flickering

No matter which of these problems you have, you want to fix them ASAP. So we’ll get into the details for each potential cause and tell you how to fix it.

Magnetic field causing flickering

Despite the fact that it sounds nearly impossible to achieve at home, this is actually one of the most common causes for a screen to flicker.

Some of us probably even played in our childhood with a magnet near the old TVs in the living room to see the strange effects it would have on the image.

Well… something similar could be causing your problems, without anybody playing with a real magnet around. But just to make sure – if you have any sort of a magnet close to your laptop, take it away as it will cause problems!

Magnetic fields can still be caused by various other devices or items inside or outside your home. For example, a large antenna near your house can cause your screen to blink every now and then.

But any electronic device that you have next to your laptop’s screen can cause a magnetic field strong enough to cause flickering. This includes having your router close to the laptop, your smartphone or any other type of device.

How to fix

It’s easy to fix this problem, though: simply move your laptop away from that area (ideally to another room) and if the screen flickering stops you know that one or more of the devices nearby was causing it.

Just get your laptop back to where it was and start moving devices away one by one to find the culprit and fix the flickering screen.

Also make sure to unplug anything you have in its USB ports – sometimes even the USB of a wireless external keyboard for your laptop could cause problems!

Corrupted or old display drivers

This is the second most common reason for screen flickering and also an extremely easy one to fix.

Your display’s driver files can get corrupted over time or maybe a recent operating system update requires them to be updated as well. It’s a good idea to regularly update drivers anyway in order to get the optimal performance for all your computer’s components.

How to fix

Simply update your GPU and display drivers to solve your problem!

In order to do this, follow the easy steps listed below:

  • Type “Device manager” in your Windows taskbar and open it. Click on “Display adaptors” to list them.
  • You will see either one or two things listed there (two if you have dedicated GPU on your laptop).
  • Right click each of them and select “Update driver” then select the option to have Windows automatically search and install the driver (internet connection required).
Update Drivers

If a new driver is available, Windows will download it and install it automatically, as you can see it doing in the screenshot above.

If not, it will tell you that you already have the latest driver installed – in which case you should try one of the other potential fixes.

Screen refresh rates might cause flickering

If you set up a refresh rate that is not supported by your laptop’s screen, this will cause it to behave strangely, flickering included.

Usually, the default refresh rate for most monitors is 60hz, but others can handle more – especially if you get one of the best large laptops out there.

You will need to find the model of your laptop and either search online of look in its manual to see the optimal refresh rate. Anything but that value will cause problems.

How to fix

  1. Right click anywhere on your Desktop and select “Display Settings”.
  2. In the new window, scroll down and select “Advanced Display Settings”. Once there, click “Display adaptor properties” for your display
  3. Click the “Monitor” tab and adjust your refresh rate from there:
adjust refresh rate

Note: Windows will normally hide unsupported refresh rates but you still have to make sure that you choose the correct, supported one.

A virus might be the problem

Although unlikely, a malware attack or virus could cause your display to flicker. However, it’s a good idea to at least scan your laptop every now and then to make sure that there are no intruders present.

How to fix

Install an antivirus software if you don’t have one installed already and run a complete system scan.

Old laptop / screen or hardware failure

Laptops have a limited lifespan, and yours might be simply getting a bit too old. This is always a possibility.

An old or damaged laptop can cause flickering. Some sort of hardware failure – like your graphics card breaking down or even your display getting damaged could be the cause of such problems.

If you have recently dropped your laptop, maybe closed the screen with too much force or anything like this… they could all cause damage and result in screen flicker or other problems.

How to fix

If hardware problems are causing it for you, it might be a sign that you might need to get a new laptop. Check here how often you should get a new laptop.

Depending on the problems, you might get away with simply replacing the faulty component – like getting a new, compatible GPU or replacing the laptop’s screen.

These are, however, only temporary fixes based on my own experience and other components will start failing afterwards. So it might just be time to look for a new laptop.

Wrapping up

There are all sorts of problems that our laptops can have during their existence, from screen flickering to them making strange crackling noises.

We’re here to help you fix all of them and hopefully our article about fixing flickering laptop screens helped you get rid of your problem.

If not and the damage is permanent, it might be the right time to consider buying a top laptop.

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