How to Fix a Flickering Mac

Having your screen flicker is certainly a bad sign, but it might not be related to potentially irreversible hardware damage. While usually this issue is related to display damage, it is possible that there might be other factors responsible for it – high GPU temperature, GPU overload, or an unexpected bug. Here are some fixes to try:

Restart Your Device

Restarting your laptop or desktop computer is the first thing to try when you experience a flickering screen or another graphics-related bug. Alternatively, you can shut down the device and leave it for a few minutes before turning it on again.

Apply Pending macOS Updates

Pending updates to your operating system may be causing unexpected conflicts between driver software and your video card. To make sure that this will not happen, you should go to the Apple Menu -> System Preferences. If you see a prompt to install any pending updates, you should run the task immediately. Of course, make sure to restart the device after any new updates are applied.

Reset the PRAM/NVRAM

The PRAM/NVRAM is used to store various macOS settings. If these settings were corrupted or modified unexpectedly, they might cause issues such as a flickering screen. To reset the PRAM/NVRAM, you need to first shut down the device completely. Turn it on again and hold the buttons Option + Command + P + R for at least 20 seconds. You can release the buttons when the Apple logo shows up, and your device will boot.

Disable the Energy Saver

The Energy Saver is meant to save battery life by switching between available video cards and using suitable power profiles. However, it is possible that this feature might bug and cause the screen to flicker. To disable it, open System Preferences -> Energy Saver, and then disable the 'Automatic graphics switching' option.

April 6, 2021

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