My MacBook Pro's screen flickers. Is there anything I can do?

Mac screen flickering can be caused by different issues. Here is what you can do if your Mac screen is flashing or flickering:

Screen flickering issue, fixes

There are several steps you can perform to resolve screen flickering issues on a Mac. 

  1. Shut down your Mac by going Apple menu >Shutdown.
  2. Update the OS on your Mac. You can do so by opening the App Store on your Mac. Then click Updates.
  3. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC). Different Mac models require different steps to do this. Click on this Apple KB article to learn more.
  4. Reset the PRAM (or NVRAM). 
    1. Shut down your Mac
    2. Start your Mac, and immediately press the Option, Command, P, and Rkeys together for several seconds (around 20 seconds). Then release the keys. You Mac will look like it is restarting.
  5. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver > and uncheck the option for “Automatic graphics switching” (note that Mac Air models do not have this option, Mac Book Pro models have this option).
  6. Start your Mac up in safe mode. You sometimes can use safe mode to identify your issue. Here is how:
    1. Shut down your Mac
    2. Start your Mac and immediately, press and hold the Shift key. Apple logo will appear (do not release the Shift key yet)
    3. Then you will see the login screen (now you may release the Shift key) and login your Mac. Now you are in safe mode. Does flickering still happen? If flickering does not happen, restart your Mac regularly (without pressing any keys). After regularly starting your Mac, does flickering come back? If not, that means that safe mode fixed it.
  7. It seems that, for some users, Firefox may be the culprit. Try uninstalling Firefox to see if that fixes your flicking problem. You can remove Firefox easily. Here is how:
    1. Close Firefox
    2. Open the Applications folder
    3. Find the Firefox app
    4. And then drag it to the trash
  8. Create a different user account on your Mac by going to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Then after, login to your computer as this new user. Check to see if flickering occurs. If not, delete the new user.

If you are still experiencing the problem, it is highly likely that you are having a hardware problem. 

Details

Article ID: 76058
Created
Mon 4/15/19 9:34 AM
Modified
Tue 11/12/19 10:12 AM