How to Fix Flickering Computer Monitor

steve How to, Tip and Tricks , , , , ,

First off, if your monitor is flickering is important to identify what issue you are experiencing. I’ve experienced two kinds of flickering. Depending on which issue you are encountering will determine what you need to do it fix it.

The first issue is the picture flickers with a black screen. Maybe sometimes it works fine and other times it makes your screen completely unusable. There seconds issue causes you to see lines across your screen. While it is normal to have these lines, it is not normal to see them with the naked eye. If you’ve ever held a camera up to a computer screen than you’ve seen what I’m talking about (it’s easier to see on an old/cheap monitor). There are a few troubleshooting steps these things have in common, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Low Hanging Fruit

When it coming to troubleshooting computers, you always start with low hanging fruit. You start with easy stuff because it’s easy, it might did the issue, and it’ll help us to understand more about the issue.

Regardless of the issue you are having, restart your computer. If there is something interfering with the display drivers this will stop it from running. Restarting your computer isn’t the only way thing to do but it should be the first.

While you’re computer is restarting, make sure all of the cables for your monitor are firmly connected. You’ll especially want to make sure the cable between your computer and screen are firmly connected.

This is only something that can be done with a screen that is not built into the computer (like a laptop or an all-in-one). This is typically something that will only cause the flickering black screen.

When the cable isn’t connected properly, or the cable/port is damaged the computer isn’t going to send the signal to the computer correctly. This will end up giving you an intermittent picture. The rest is filled with a black screen.

Try connecting your screen up to a different computer. If it’s a laptop screen that has the issue you’ll need to skip this step. You’ll want to swap the cable out if you have a spare cable.

Hardware or Software

Either of these issues can be caused by hardware or software. In order to know how to fix it, we have to understand what the source is. We’ll do a few things to solve any software issues.

Typically, if you see the lines going across the screen, your refresh rate isn’t high enough. Try increasing your refresh rate.

  1. Right click on your desktop
  2. Select Display settings
  3. Scroll to the very bottom and Select Display adaptor settings
  4. Select Monitor
  5. Change the screen refresh rate as high as it will go

If you don’t have an option to increase the refresh rate it could be the driver. The driver tells the computer how to interact with the device. Windows comes with tons of default so most things work when you get plug it in.

You’ll want to start by updating your video card driver. This is different for every computer manufacturer. If you leave a comment with your computer make and model, I can help you get to the right spot. If you’ve built your own computer, you’ll need to go to the manufacturer’s website of your graphics card.

You’ll download the driver and follow the on screen instructions when installing it. It’ll probably make you restart a your computer fter you have installed it. If it doesn’t require a restart, it’s a good thing to do to verify your computer is using the updated driver.

Some monitors have their own display drivers. You’ll want to update the display drivers for the monitor next. You’ll go to the manufacturer’s website to download it. If you leave a comment with your make and model I can help you find the right spot. After you’ve updated the drivers are you want to check again to see if you can increase the refresh rate. If you can increase it then that’ll get rid of the if you were where you can see the lines across the screen. You could try updating the firmware on the monitor, but I haven’t seen that fix either problem. It is possible though. I will not be including those instructions in this post.

To find out if it’s a hardware issue that you’ll need to connect your screen up to a different computer or if it’s a laptop that having a problem with external screens only to hook the laptop up to a different screen. You’ll even want to try switching out the cables. With Hardware problems that the whole ideas is to isolate a which component is causing the problem and then replacing that one component. If the screen Works on one computer but not another, it’s probably just a driver issue, or a problem with the port you are using.

When all Else Fails

Sometimes computer hardware just goes out and if you reach that point where everything you try isn’t solving the problem, then it’s time to consider replacing one of your devices. Unfortunately, laptops and monitors both cost more than the cable themselves so if it does come to replacing a device then you’re going to have to be prepared to to pay the cost. I’d start with the cable and move up from there. If you think it’s a hardware issue with the port, than you could look into replacing the graphics card. Check out my post about selecting a graphics card here.


Typically both the the intermittent blank screen and the flashing lines across the screen aren’t going to require you to replace anything but it’s possible that they could. You want to try and isolate out hardware issues and update all of the drivers and in either case doing both of those things typically takes care of the issue.

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