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For most people, the upgrade to Windows 10 6 Mandatory Steps for a Safe Upgrade to Windows 10 6 Mandatory Steps for a Safe Upgrade to Windows 10 The Windows 10 upgrade is the easiest and smoothest upgrade experience you'll ever have with a Windows machine. Provided all goes well. We show you how to play it safe and prepare for the worst. Read More went smoothly. But there’s always going to be problems when masses of people move to a new operating system and there’s a particular one which is causing a lot of bother and that’s a flickering or flashing screen.

Even though you may have been told that your system was ready to upgrade Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Windows 10 is coming, possibly as soon as July. Are you eager to upgrade and will your system be eligible? In short, if your computer runs Windows 8, it should also run Windows 10. But... Read More to Windows 10, that’s not necessarily going to make you immune to the screen flashing problem. The likely reason this is occurring will be down to either an incompatible application or an unsuitable display driver, so let’s delve into the solutions.

If you’ve suffered this screen flashing problem, be sure to share your story in the comments after the article.

Initial Troubleshooting

Firstly, we need to establish what might be causing the flickering screen. To do this, open up Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously. Alternatively, right-click on your taskbar and then select Task Manager. We don’t actually need to use Task Manager, but we do need it open.

Now, watch your screen to see if Task Manager flickers. If you find that everything on the screen except Task Manager flickers, the problem is likely being caused by an application. On the other hand, if Task Manager does flicker (along with the rest of the screen), it’s probably a display driver that’s causing the problem.

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With that in mind, skip ahead below to the relevant section that you need. However, if the advice therein doesn’t work, be sure to check the tips in the other section too, just in case it’s beneficial.

Problem Caused by an Application

Three applications have been identified by Microsoft to be causing problems: Norton AntiVirus, iCloud, and IDT Audio. While it is possible that other programs are also being troublemakers, these are those that are known to be consistently creating a flickering screen.

In the case of Norton AntiVirus, the problem has been acknowledged by developer Symantec and they’ve released a specific fix for it. If you’re running Norton, head to their official support page and follow the steps (which involves downloading a fix .exe) to resolve the issue. It should work, but keep reading if not.

norton anti virus

Across all three applications, make sure you’re running the latest versions. Either update within the app itself or head to the respective official websites and download the most up-to-date release. You may find that this issue has now been officially patched within the app.

If this doesn’t work, it’s time to try uninstalling the program How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk A mass installer or uninstaller can save you heaps of time. Remember the last time you set up a new computer? We are going to teach you how to do these tasks in a flash. Read More . To do so, press Win Key + I to open Settings. From here, select System and then App & features from the left-hand navigation. You’ll then be presented with a list of all the apps on your system. Find the offending app, left-click it and then click Uninstall. You may need to restart your system for the changes to fully take effect.

Problem Caused by a Display Driver

The screen flickering could be caused by your display driver. Not every system will use the same display driver, since it depends on what graphics card you have, but let’s try and grab the newest driver.

Remove the Driver

First, we need to boot into Safe Mode How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode Safe Mode is an inbuilt troubleshooting feature that allows you to fix issues at the root, without non-essential applications interfering. You can access Safe Mode in various ways, even if Windows 10 no longer boots. Read More . To do so, press Win Key + I to open Settings. Select Update & security and then Recovery from the left-hand menu. Underneath Advanced startup, click Restart now. When your system restarts, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup settings > Restart. Again, once restarted, select option 5 to launch your PC into Safe Mode with Networking.

confirm device uninstall

Now do a system search for Device Manager and select the relevant result. Click the arrow next to Display drivers to expand the category. Right-click your graphics card, click Uninstall, check Delete the driver for this device and then click OK. Restart your system again.

Alternatively, you can also use third-party software called Display Driver Uninstaller, which will completely wipe any traces of the driver from your system. I use this and think it’s great, but feel free to use the built-in Windows method, if you’re more comfortable with that.

Install a New Driver

You now want to install the latest driver How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? First, don't fix it if it ain't broke! If drivers do need updating, though, here are your options. Read More for your system. Both AMD and NVIDIA have automatic detection programs, if you’re not sure what you need. Download the driver, open and install it, and then see if the problem has ceased. Alternatively, you can use Windows Update to try and download the driver for you. To do so, do a system search for check for updates, select the relevant result, then click the Check for updates button.

Roll Back to an Older Driver

If the problem continues, it might be that the newest driver hasn’t patched the problem. If the screen flickering occurred after an update, try rolling back to an older driver version. Follow the steps above to uninstall the driver, then head to the old driver page for either AMD or NVIDIA. This might be a bit of trial and error, but try selecting one that released when your screen wasn’t flickering.

Disable Automatic Windows 10 Driver Update

Because Windows 10 has mandatory updates Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More , you now need to head to Microsoft’s support page to download a tool to stop the system automatically updating your driver – you can disable this when you know that the newest driver has patched the screen flicker problem.

Flicker No More

Eventually all the software and driver developers should offer in-built fixes to this flickering screen problem, but until then the guide above should sort you out, so that you can actually use your system with ease.

Have you or do you suffer from the flickering screen problem in Windows 10? Did this advice help or do you have your own tips to share?

  1. Cygnus
    December 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    My Notebook had this flickering, and also the task manager.. since I cant enter the device manager, and also cant login safe mode with admin user (it said wrong pasword), then my only options is to do a recovery with System Restore to a previous date before.
    Thanx for the guide though. :)

  2. Karen Coke
    November 24, 2016 at 10:03 am

    My Surfacebook screen flickers once, quite violently. just while opening a program, usually Outlook following startup. It began after the latest (November) Microsoft security update for Flash player. Uninstalled it , the problem ceased, have done that twice now but Microsoft keeps putting it back as it is part of the mandatory Windows 10 downloads . Hope this is of help to someone and to Microsoft too. Hoping they will patch the problem as it is annoying and hard on the eyes.

  3. Guilherme B.
    November 7, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I solved the problem disabling the panel automatic update in the intel driver settings when the device is on battery. In order to do so, open your intel driver settings and click on power options. Then choose in the left sidebar the battery option. Then choose to disable the automatic panel update.
    Lenovo Yoga 14 running Windows 10.
    I hope it helps someone!

    • Stephen HD
      November 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you so much! This worked for me :)

  4. Juan
    October 25, 2016 at 12:46 am

    The flashing problem happens when I copy a file from a usb. I tried different usb even formatting them but the problem continues. I don't understant.

  5. kerrie
    October 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    this windows 10 sucks!!!! you update and now I can not get my e mail because it is flickering. I have spent almost 250.00 taking your FREE UPGRADE to get repaired....can not afford to keep taking my computer to get repaired when it cant get fixed for flickering e mail!!!! how am I suppose to e mail you and get an answer when I cant read my flickering e mail????

  6. Dana
    October 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Hi! I have a constant flickering screen and when I press ctrl-alt-delete the screen does go to let me pick the task manager option but then it goes back to the flickering screen and the task manager doesn't come up. I can't click on anything at all. Can anyone help me? I have a newer Dell

    • Cygnus
      December 4, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      1. Press Win + L ( this should take you back to login screen)
      2. Hold & press Shift while clicking on restart (power menu)
      This should take you to advance boot mode
      3. You could do the guide in this page to login with safe mode or try another option ( I'm doing recovery with system restore )
      4. Good luck :)

  7. dubya
    September 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    my issue is flashing at the bottom of my screen, even when internet is off, also a small portion of the top of the screen shows at the bottom. any ideas of how to fix this?

  8. Claudette
    September 21, 2016 at 1:29 am

    the only thing that works is control alt delete. windows 10 loads so fast that I can't boot in safe mode, cortana won't work, f8 doesn't work. The windows button won't do anything either... The flickering starts after the login screen. Help.

  9. paul conro
    September 18, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Run msconfig, go to Boot tab, go to advanced options.
    Microsoft changed the number of processors I was
    using. This has happened twice now. I am in no way
    computer savvy, but this has eliminated my screen
    flash!!

    • Thomas
      October 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Can you tell me what exactly you did though, please?

  10. van der Vlugt, Robert
    September 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    what to do if flickering of screen and not starting only happens at startup?
    After some massaging (hitting random keys, switching on and off, etc) all is OK

    Appreciate your comment and help.

  11. Braden Pletzer
    September 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Since the Anniversary Update, I've been having screen flickering, flashing to black using IE 11 and Edge. Didn't happen before update. I've downloaded latest Intel Drivers from HP (Star Wars Laptop) and even from Intel to no avail.

    Fortunately I had a backup image using Macrium, of my laptop pre-anniversary update. I've just restored that image and the flickering has stopped. I love Windows 10, but forced updates, especially drivers is a pain. Even my Synaptics Touchpad driver was messed up by Windows 10 updates.

    I've just configured it and now it works. Just started using the "wushowhide" from MS and this has enabled me to stop 10 from messing up my drivers all the time.

    I hope MS gets it together soon and patches all the holes in the Anniversary Update soon. I'm even considering doing a clean install of Windows 7 x64 just to avoid all these hassles. Ah well! Aren't computers just fun?

  12. Re Code Computers
    August 26, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Hello,
    I recently installed Windows 10 home edition on my Dell OptiPlex 755, when I open Microsoft Edge and try and download an image it resorts to contestant flickering of the whole screen and a complete reboot of my computer with windows 10 automatically starting a recovery.
    Ive narrowed it down to my Hard drive having a corrupt Sector, as afterwards the PC runs really slow and the HDD is at a constant 100% in task manager, this was second hand purchased off EBAY.

    • Re Code Computers
      August 26, 2016 at 1:23 am

      I am going to try and Defrag the HDD and Clean it up, my last option being a complete re install of windows 10.

  13. Carol Newlands
    August 8, 2016 at 4:47 am

    I downloaded Windows 10 in late May and suffered the black screen after 2 days. My son fixed this. Next month it screwed up my emails. A friend fixed this. Yesterday I got the constantly flickering screen with nothing working. Is someone trying to tell me something?

  14. louis
    August 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    My screen flickers even in safe mode! It is very frustrating. I've searching the internet for days now.

    • Bryn
      September 21, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      same any luck yet?

  15. Lianne Valenti
    July 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I get the screen flicker after the monitor sleeps, when I awaken it the flickering is constant until I log in and sometimes I have to initiate a process (open a file, go online) to get it to stop. This started the day windows 10 installed itself on my computer. The driver was updated at that time and migrated and ever since it has been an issue. Tried all the above fixes, except uninstall and reinstall and I will try that next, but I do not have Norton or iCloud, and IDT Audio. Windows 10 has had created issues with my peripherals as well, and I have had to go in search of fixes like I did here, so frustrating that they released this version without making sure it was structurally sound. They always need some patches, but this time they released less than a beta version. I would have rolled back to a previous version, but I like the challenge of figuring out and fixing these issues, and I have other computers I can use, but still disappointing.

    • Joe
      July 18, 2016 at 12:43 am

      Lianne, I have been experiencing the exact same issue with my Acer Aspire R13. It seems if open Netflix or other specific files/apps, the flickering problem goes away, however if I restart the computer or open it from sleep mode, the flickering problem persists until Netfix or another indeterminate app is opened. After a while the flickering dies down but it continues to return after each startup.

      Have you found a solution yet to this problem?

  16. Kim
    July 15, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I have a (Asus laptop) when I did the update for Win10 my touch key pad stop being able to be turn off. I do not use it but it just kept standing on and my hands hit it all the time. I am using a keyboard. Not the subject at hand but just one of the issues.
    That is one issue.
    The one talked about here talks about Norton, which I never have had in a very long time. I read something about iCloud maybe? Mine flickers only when I am online. I am forever waiting for it to stop so I can spell a word correctly. It doesn't happen all the time so I can't just show what it is doing.
    It happens in both browsers, Firefox and Chrome. I have found that the longer I am on my laptop the worse it becomes. Nothing worse than having to wait for the screen to keep up with my typing etc. I am forever missing a letter has it catches up with me.
    Any ideas on how to fix it?

  17. Sania
    July 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I bought a new used laptop when I turn it on, after OEM logo it got something in writing like a dos and the screen got horizontal lines like flickering .. But when it boots up its got smooth no lagging no flickering even though I tried shaking the lid and closing and opening it but it doesn't flicker .. When I put it to sleep and I open it again it flicks for 10 sec and back to normal.. Is it machine fault or windows? Please help..
    HP 2230s
    Running Windows 10 Pro
    64bit operation system
    2.0 gHz

    And also when I open task manager the CPU USAGE WAS HIGH TO 97% and when it opens completely the cpu usage drop to altogether on 15% - 10%

    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated

  18. Aap
    June 18, 2016 at 10:21 am

    None of this worked for me (Asus laptop). Where both the intern display as well as external screens flickered, only while on battery and when power profile not set to maximum performance.
    But I *seem* to have found a solution now.
    In the bios you can set the amount of memory allocated to the integrated graphics (intel onboard GPU). This was 32m, and I've changed that to 512m.

  19. Alex
    June 2, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    After updating to Win 10 the screen was flicking and Control Panel wouldn't open. After much fumbling with sfc/scannow which found errors but couldn't correct, I tried updating the High Definition Audio driver without result. Finally, I checked for, found and uninstalled IDT Audio. Tadaaa! Everything solved after about 10 hrs of frustration. The funny thing is I don't remember having ever installed IDT and I was sure I have no Norton nor iCloud. I think it must of have been in the installation package for Win 10. If so, it's really ridiculous.

  20. LIm CK
    May 24, 2016 at 1:55 am

    My desktop PC has a Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 Graphics Card. When the PC was upgraded to Window 10 several months ago, it started to act up - the image on the screen flickered badly; the CPU fan refused to spin when the PC was switched on; the PC shut down on its own. And on several occasions, the BIOS got corrupted.

    I tried several solutions. I tried disabling the graphics card. I had on numerous occasions deleted the graphics card driver so that Windows would download the relevant driver the next time the PC was started. I had also on a few occasions downloaded the latest driver from the Nvidia website. Most of these solutions worked for a few days till the next Windows10 update and the entire nightmare would start again.

    In desperation, I sought the help of a PC technician and he told me that Windows 10 has this habit of updating the drivers without your permission. So even if I had downloaded the latest graphics card driver from the Nvidia website, Windows 10 would download and install another graphics driver the next time the PC is booted.

    I did some research and found that I can stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading the driver by running an Utility program provided by Microsoft. This is covered under the section " Disable Automatic Windows 10 Driver Update" in your article.

    The utility program can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3073930?utm_source=twitter

    Scroll down to "Download the "Show or hide updates" troubleshooter package now.|

    Ever since I ran that Utility program provided by Microsoft, the PC has been behaving normally. The screen image is not flickering anymore; the PC can be started easily and it doesn't shut down on its own. However, I will have to wait for the next Windows update to see whether the PC will act up again.

  21. Rajesh
    May 17, 2016 at 5:34 am

    I am not able to do anything when my system having flickering.And it is flickering while restarting or after long in to my system account.I am really irritated by this kind of behavior.
    I tried win+l and it not working.

    Kindly suggest.

    DEV

  22. Sam Hobbs
    May 14, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I think the only time I see people say "Firstly" is when they are from India.

  23. Rob M
    April 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I use Norton AV with Windows 10. The flickering display started after the recent big update of W10. The Norton fix solved my problem! It has cost me two days to find this out .....

  24. Sheryl
    April 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I looked at all of these "fixes" and tried everything but I didn't even have the apps that supposedly cause the flashing and the missing desktop icons. I finally ran onto this website where someone wrote that they had the same problems I was experiencing and, low and behold, this time I found what I needed for the fix. https://www.infopackets.com/news/9671/how-fix-windows-10-desktop-icons-missing

    I am so glad to see Windows 10 screen looking like it should after months of searching for the fix that worked.

  25. James
    March 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Well mine is a complete disaster. Mine has progressed from the flicker to overloading my drive with error codes. At first it was disabling all my drivers, now I can't use anything at all. My comp is now stuck in local mode. Cant use USB so it will not allow me to back up and restore. Cannot even change the settings on my firewall to do the 1st step of Your post. Update and security will not even appear on my screen. I feel a HUGE loss coming on for me... SMH

  26. petrusknut
    March 5, 2016 at 10:05 am

    My laptop has exhibited the flashing screen problem since upgarde to W10. When it happens keyboard is inoperative and only solution so far has been to power down and power up and hope it starts OK. The problem occurs randomly and wit varying intensity. Because it's not reproducible it is difficult to say whether a particular cours of action has 'cured' problem, but so far everything I have tried has not stopped problem eventually re-occurring.

    My battery looks OKish. It runs down faster than it predicts but does recharge OK as judged by battery view app.

    I am working through another blog official MS W10 one with 570 people who also have this problem.
    However with battery in and mains power in, when flashing occurs I removed mains and system immediately shut down. It would not restart until mains power chord put in then restartes normally
    If this is consistent - I have done it three times so far- it would indicate a power problem but whether a new battery would resolve I am not sure. I shall continue to run on power plus battery and when flashing screen occurs remove mains power

  27. Catherine R
    February 19, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I have tried all these fixes, and I still have the flickering problem. Reinstalling the graphics drivers worked for a short time, but every time I turn on my computer, I'm back to square one. It may be important to note that only the program I am actually using flickers. It is impossible to use drop-down menus. After dealing with this issue for a long time, it's now becoming difficult to type. It's like the flickering disrupts my keyboard every few seconds. I'm on an HP ENVY dv7, if that makes a difference.
    Is there a program I need to uninstall that wasn't originally listed? Did I get a virus when I had to get rid of Norton?

  28. Hugh Chapman
    January 24, 2016 at 4:03 am

    I've been having this problem for a while now and finally narrowed it down to the Flash / Shockwave application in the browser. If changing your drivers doesn't fix the problem try turning off hardware acceleration in the browser. Here's an article I wrote about how to do that:

    http://hughchapman.com/2016/01/07/fix-radeon-7800-series-et-al-black-or-flashing-screen-issue/

    Its a multi-faceted problem and the latest (and I hope the last) is the expando ads that double-click is serving. I suspect they are causing the hardware acceleration to kick in somehow and so far the only way around it has been to click on the little X next to the ad choice logo and ban it from the page before I can proceed scrolling. If anyone has any remedies for that I'd appreciate hearing it

    • Joe Keeley
      January 31, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Hugh. If we needed another reason to get rid of Flash, here it is.

    • TD
      March 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      I'm using Opera browser, Shutting off Hardware Acceleration solved my flashing video problem. At least for now. Thanks.

  29. James
    January 8, 2016 at 5:17 am

    My safe mode flashes on and off too, so it won't let me uninstall my display driver. I also tried the 'msconfig', turn of all the right services method, and that didn't work...if i could i would just uninstall windows 10 but the screen won't let me do that either. Really frustrated with all of this, please help!

  30. bud
    December 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I have been having the screen problem sporadically for the past couple of months. I have found that if I keep the mouse moving with the track pad that the screen stays stable and will sometimes go back to normal. The next time it happens I will try you trouble shooting using task manager. Thanks for the post.

  31. Kevin
    November 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I just wish my 2 machines would successfully switch over to W10. They both tell me they are ready for upgrade, but then revert back to W7 / W8.1 during the attempts. I can't seem to figure it out.. So, to stay on topic, I do not experience the flashing issue.

    • Bob
      June 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      pop

    • Bob
      June 6, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Why even post if it's unrelated completely? You goon.

      • Kevin
        June 6, 2016 at 9:21 pm

        Bob, now, in hindsight, my issue does fall under the paragraph above, titled, "Problem Caused by a Display Driver." At least for my Win 7 machine. At least for that machine, once I forced the upgrade via DVD (from MS' ISO download), the video driver kept crashing. Neither MS, HP, nor GEForce have viable solutions. Outside of this thread, I've tried many different suggestions to make it work. My Win7 machine is now an Ubuntu Studio notebook.

        I've been on mandatory OT at work, and I'm also a working musician on weekends, so no opportunity to force my Win10 machine to updgrade. So, I have nothing new to report.
        Signed, Goon.

  32. Kyle Sylvester
    November 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I remember telling Norton that their product was causing this before Microsoft came out and said it. They told me I was crazy and that there was no way their product would hurt the OS.

    • Joe Keeley
      November 19, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Well, looks like they've gone back on that one, Kyle! Are you still using Norton?

  33. Howard Blair
    November 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    How about a fix for the "disappearing wallpaper" problem? Haven't checked since upgrading to 1511, but that was one thing that always bugged me.

  34. Paul Werner
    November 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I do not have screen flicker issues but I do have random times where the video just cuts out since this update. I'm on the latest Nvidia driver for my GTX 400 series and I can't seem to trigger it on command by doing anything. I'm not sure how to correct it but it did not do this in Windows 7 or 8.1

    • likefun butnot
      November 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      @Paul Werner,

      nVidia drivers have been really flaky and weird on Windows 10. In addition to the launch-week issues of Microsoft's WHQL driver overwriting nVidia's, I've seen the Geforce 358.87 installer fail to detect a 750Ti even on a desktop machine with no onboard video or machines where nVidia drivers would crash on resume.

      My Thinkpad's supposedly switchable NVS4200 graphics appear to always be active in Windows 10 instead of handing off to the Intel GPU like they're supposed to, which cuts about 30 minutes off my battery life and makes my fans run a lot more than they did under 8.1.

      For as much grief as hobbyists give ATI drivers, nVidia seems to be in just as bad if not worse for Windows 10.

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