Flickering Screen on Macbook
Flickering Screen on Macbook

A flickering screen on a MacBook can disrupt the user experience, making it difficult to work efficiently. It can be symptomatic of a variety of issues, ranging from minor software glitches to more severe hardware problems. This article delves into the causes and solutions for a flickering MacBook screen to help users restore their devices to optimal functionality.

Understanding Screen Flickering

Screen flickering on a MacBook is usually characterized by rapid and continuous changes in light intensity or brightness, which can be an intermittent or permanent issue. It can result from software-related problems, display settings, or hardware malfunctions.

Common Causes of Screen Flickering

Several factors can cause a MacBook screen to flicker, including:

  1. Software Glitches: Sometimes, bugs or glitches in the macOS or apps can lead to screen flickering issues.
  2. Display Settings: Incorrect display settings or resolution can also cause the screen to flicker.
  3. Hardware Issues: Problems with the display hardware or graphics card can lead to persistent flickering.

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

Before resorting to advanced solutions or professional help, consider the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Restart Your MacBook: A simple restart can often resolve many minor glitches and issues causing the screen to flicker.
  2. Update macOS and Apps: Ensuring that the operating system and all apps are up-to-date can resolve any software-related issues leading to flickering.
  3. Adjust Display Settings: Modifying the display resolution or settings might help in resolving flickering related to incorrect configurations.

Advanced Solutions

If the basic troubleshooting doesn’t work, you may need to explore more advanced solutions:

1. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

Resetting the SMC can resolve issues related to power, battery, and other system functionalities, potentially fixing the flickering screen.

2. Boot in Safe Mode

Starting the MacBook in Safe Mode can help identify issues with login items and launch agents, potentially resolving the flickering.

3. Check for Hardware Issues

If software solutions don’t resolve the flickering, there might be underlying hardware issues that require professional diagnosis and repair.

Seeking Professional Assistance

When all else fails, seeking assistance from Apple Support or an authorized service provider is essential to diagnose and fix any underlying issues causing the screen flickering.

Preventive Measures

To avoid screen flickering issues in the future:

  • Regularly update macOS and applications.
  • Monitor the MacBook’s exposure to extreme conditions to avoid hardware stress.
  • Use compatible accessories to prevent conflicts and malfunctions.


A flickering MacBook screen can be both frustrating and disruptive, stemming from various causes such as software glitches, incorrect display settings, or hardware issues. By utilizing the discussed troubleshooting steps and preventive measures, users can likely resolve the flickering and maintain their MacBook’s optimal performance. However, persistent issues should be addressed with professional assistance to ensure the longevity and functionality of the device.


  1. Can a flickering screen be a sign of a failing graphics card? Yes, a flickering screen can indeed be indicative of a malfunctioning or failing graphics card, requiring professional assessment.
  2. Does screen flickering cause permanent damage to the MacBook? Persistent screen flickering, if left unaddressed, can potentially lead to further damage, impacting the overall functionality of the MacBook.
  3. Is it expensive to fix a flickering MacBook screen? The cost to fix a flickering screen can vary widely, depending on whether the issue is software-related or requires hardware replacement.
  4. Can third-party apps cause the MacBook screen to flicker? Yes, incompatible or poorly developed third-party apps can cause screen flickering and other display issues.
  5. Does adjusting the screen resolution always fix the flickering issue? While adjusting screen resolution can resolve flickering due to incorrect display settings, it might not help if the issue stems from other underlying problems.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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