How to Fix a MacBook Screen That Keeps Flickering and Dimming? (Solved)

How to Fix a MacBook Screen That Keeps Flickering and Dimming

When your MacBook screen starts to flicker, vertical or horizontal lines with different colors appear on the whole screen or part of the screen when the MacBook is turned on. If you are using an outdated Macbook OS, there is a likely chance the screen on your MacBook may flicker. Shake mouse pointer to find dark mode, true tone, and other settings on your MacBook that could also be causing the flickering problems you’re having. 

But before you start any further repairs, check to see if your Mac’s screen flickers when it’s in safe mode. If not, try these quick solutions to fix your Mac’s screen flickering.

First, re-open the lid of the MacBook, recharge the MacBook while it is plugged in, click on the Apple menu, restart the computer, and click the Cancel button. Then, switch from one screen resolution to the next. Restarting the MacBook after removing all other external devices may solve the problem.

Why Is My MacBook Screen Flickering, Dimming?

Both the MacBook and the MacBook Air’s and the MacBook Pro’s screen backlighting have been programmed to dim and change automatically under different settings. When it comes to the MacBook, it will adapt depending on the power supply and the amount of time the machine has been idle. The same is true for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, in addition to the screen automatically altering its brightness level in response to changes in ambient light and power supply.

To conserve battery life when the computer is left alone for an extended period of time, the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro will automatically darken their screens.

You may disable auto-brightness capabilities on Macs to prevent the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro displays from dimming themselves without user input if you are dissatisfied with the automatic brightness adjustments you are receiving. 

This is a two-stage approach that involves several different settings. 

  • Prevent the screen’s brightness from changing based on the power source.
  • Prevent the Mac from altering the screen brightness based on the lighting circumstances, which is a little more complicated.

Tips for fixing the problem if your MacBook screen is flickering and dimming

The MacBook flicker bug frequently happens to people with these devices, but once it is fixed, reoccurring is less common. So, how do you fix the MacBook’s flickering screen?

Update your MacBook’s OS to the most recent version.

If the MacBook has an older version of macOS, the screen may flicker because the OS may not work with other parts or apps. As a last resort, you could try updating the OS on your MacBook to the most up-to-date one. Before doing anything else, make sure to back up the system with the Time Machine.

  • Start by going to “System Preferences” on the MacBook. Then, go to “Software Update” and click the “Update button.”
  • In Mac’s Preferences, click on Software Update and then click again.

If there is a new update, click on “Update Now.” Then, the update will download and install itself. Afterward, check to see if the MacBook’s screen flickering is fixed.

If there are no more updates, you can try to downgrade the OS of the MacBook from a backup if the issue started after an OS update.

Turn off Dark Mode on the MacBook.

Dark mode on a MacBook may make the screen flicker if the OS’s display modules don’t work well with it. Disabling the dark mode on the MacBook may solve the problem.

  • Open the “System Preferences” on your MacBook, go to “General,” and click on “System.”
  • Open the General Settings of your Mac.
  • In the “Appearance” section, choose “Light.” When the light mode is on, see if the flickering on the MacBook Pro screen is gone.

Set the Mac’s Light Mode.

To see if disabling the Night Shift in System Preferences works, click on “Displays,” then “Night Shift,” and click on “Disable.”

Turn off Auto-Brightness and True Tone.

If the Auto-Brightness and True Tone options are turned on, the screen on the MacBook Pro may flicker. This is because the display modules of the system may not work correctly if these options are turned on. In this case, disabling Auto-Brightness and True Tone may help.

Go to “Displays Settings” to change the way the screen looks. On the Display tab. Uncheck the boxes for the following things: 

Automatically change the brightness.

  • True tone: automatic brightness adjustment and true tone on Mac can be turned off. Check if the screen flickering is gone when you start up your MacBook again. 

Turn off the MacBook’s automatic graphics switching.

Suppose your MacBook Pro has been set up to automatically switch between the best graphics card in your system if your MacBook uses a dual graphics card machine. This will help it last longer on a charge. Changing the Automatic Graphics Switching setting on the MacBook could solve the flickering screen issue, but may badly impact your MacBook battery life. 

  • Open System Preferences and the Battery tab, and check Energy Saver. 
  • Open the Mac’s Energy Saver Settings.
  • Go to the Battery tab. 
  • Uncheck the option for Automatic Graphics Switching and click OK. 
  • There might be an energy saver section in System Preferences that you need to look at for some MacBooks.

Then, restart your MacBook and see if the flickering screen problem has been fixed by now. 

If not, try disabling the option to optimize video streaming while on battery power and restarting the device to see if that helps.

  • You can try disabling the “Prevent Computer from Sleeping Automatically when the Display is Off.” 
  • Go to “System Preferences settings,” click “Energy Saver,” then “Power Adapter” to see if that helps.

Remove the apps that don’t work and don’t startup.

A third-party app or some apps that startup with your computer may interfere with the OS’s display modules on startup. Getting rid of the apps like Firefox that don’t work together and deleting the startup apps may solve the problem.

If you have issues with your computer or laptop, try Restoro Repair. It will scan your system and be able to replace corrupt and missing files.

Create a new user account.

Try to create a new user account to see if the flickering doesn’t happen on the new account. So, you can remove the startup items from the main account and make them your own.

  • Go to System Preferences of your MacBook. 
  • Go to Users & Groups, then click on your account.
  • On Mac, go to Users & Groups.
  • Go to the Login Items tab and write down all the things that you see there.

It’s time to get rid of everything. You may have to unlock and enter your password. Then, turn on your MacBook to see if the flickering screen problem has gone away.

Turn the MacBook’s SMC back on.

Screen flickering may happen on a MacBook Pro if the low-level settings of the SMC (System Management Controller) aren’t working right. These settings include battery and thermal management, motion and light sensors, and other things. The MacBook may work again if you reset the SMC to its default settings. 

  • Turn off your MacBook. 
  • Then, press and hold the following keys for 10 seconds (make sure you press and hold the power key at the end).
  • The Shift, Control, Option, and Power keys can be used to do different things.
  • Set the SMC on the Mac to its defaults.
  • Let go of the keys after 10 seconds and wait for a few more seconds.
  • Turn on the MacBook and see if the flickering screen problem has been fixed.

Turn off both the NVRAM and PRAM.

A flickering MacBook Pro screen could be caused by problems with your system’s PRAM (Parameter RAM), NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory), or both of them. 

To solve this problem, you might want to change the settings in the NVRAM and PRAM back to their defaults. Keep in mind that this could overwrite any temporary or customized settings. But before you do anything else, make sure to back up the Mac system with Time Machine.

  • Press and hold the power button on the last key. 
  • Then, turn off your device.
  • Option, Command P, R, and the power button are all you need. 

Restart the PRAM NVRAM.

  • Before your MacBook startup, hold on to the keys until you hear the startup tone for the second time. 
  • Then, let go of them. 
  • When you see the Apple logo for the second time, you can let go of the keys on the MacBook Pro with Apple T2 Security Chips. In both of these cases, you may have to hold the keys for about 20-30 seconds before you can move on.

It will then take a while for the system to start up properly. After that, check to see if the MacBook Pro screen flickering issue is fixed.

Try Apple Diagnostics.

If nothing else has worked for you, then running the Apple Diagnostics may solve the problem by clearing the wrong flags in the PRAM, NVRAM, and SMC, which will make them work again if hardware issues are detected.

  • You should shut down your MacBook and remove its plug from the power source (while its lid is open).
  • Wait a few minutes, and then do the following.
  • Turn off the laptop again if it’s already turned on. Press or hold the MacBook’s power button until the startup options window comes up.
  • Press the Command and D keys. This will open the Apple Diagnostics tool for you.
  • Making sure everything is working right with Apple’s diagnostics 
  • To shut down the MacBook, press the S key. Wait until the diagnostics run their tests. 
  • If there are no problems, press S to shut down the MacBook.

Finally, you should reset the RRAM, NVRAM, and SMC again so that they all work again. If the problem with the MacBook’s screen flickering has been fixed, restart it and see if the problem is gone.


You can use a third-party tool like Restoro Repair Tool and SwitchResX and choose billions of colors to see if that helps. Do a clean install of the MacOS on the MacBook to see if that helps. Make sure that Windows 10 behaves the same way when it is installed through boot camp if the problem doesn’t go away. Get your computer checked by a professional to see if there’s something wrong with it.

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via

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