What does it mean when your laptop is blinking?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

When your laptop is blinking or experiencing screen flickering, it can be quite frustrating and disruptive to your work or entertainment. This issue can occur on any laptop, including those running on Windows 10. There are several possible causes for this problem, but the two most common are display driver issues and incompatible apps.

1. Display Driver Issue:
A display driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with the graphics card and display. If the display driver becomes outdated, corrupted, or incompatible with your system, it can lead to screen flickering. To determine if a display driver issue is causing the problem, you can check if the flickering occurs in Task Manager.

– Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc or by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.”
– If the flickering persists in Task Manager, it indicates that the issue is likely related to the display driver.

To resolve display driver issues, you can try the following steps:

A. Update the Display Driver: Visit the manufacturer’s website (such as NVIDIA or AMD) and download the latest driver update for your specific graphics card model. Install the update and restart your laptop to see if the issue is resolved.

B. Roll Back the Display Driver: If you recently updated your display driver and started experiencing screen flickering, you can try rolling back to the previous version. Open Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button, selecting “Device Manager,” and expand the “Display adapters” category. Right-click on your graphics card and select “Properties.” In the Properties window, go to the “Driver” tab and click on the “Roll Back Driver” button. Follow the on-screen instructions and restart your laptop.

C. Disable Hardware Acceleration: Hardware acceleration allows your computer to offload graphics processing to the GPU, but it can sometimes cause compatibility issues. To disable hardware acceleration, right-click on the desktop and select “Display settings.” Scroll down and click on “Advanced display settings.” In the next window, click on “Display adapter properties.” In the Properties window, go to the “Troubleshoot” tab and click on the “Change settings” button. Disable the option for “Enable hardware acceleration” and click “Apply.”

2. Incompatible Apps:
Certain apps, especially those that modify your system settings or interact with the graphics card, can cause screen flickering. To identify if an incompatible app is the culprit, you can try booting your laptop in Safe Mode.

– Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
– In the System Configuration window, go to the “Boot” tab and check the box for “Safe boot.” Select the “Minimal” option and click “OK.”
– Restart your laptop, and it will boot into Safe Mode. If the screen flickering stops in Safe Mode, it indicates that an app is causing the issue.

To resolve app compatibility issues, you can try the following steps:

A. Uninstall Recently Installed Apps: If you recently installed a new app before the screen flickering started, try uninstalling it to see if the issue is resolved. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features, scroll down to find the app, and click on it. Select “Uninstall” and follow the on-screen instructions.

B. Update or Disable Problematic Apps: If you suspect a specific app is causing the problem, check if there is an updated version available. Visit the app’s official website or check for updates through the Microsoft Store. If updating doesn’t help, you can try disabling the app temporarily to see if the flickering stops. Go to Settings > Apps > Startup, and toggle off the switch for the problematic app.

C. Check for Windows Updates: Microsoft regularly releases updates to fix bugs and improve compatibility. Make sure your laptop is up to date by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click on “Check for updates” and install any available updates.

In addition to these steps, you can also try adjusting the screen refresh rate, checking for loose connections between your laptop and external displays, or running a malware scan to rule out any malicious software causing the issue.

Remember, troubleshooting screen flickering can be a trial-and-error process, and it may require a combination of solutions. If the problem persists, it is advisable to reach out to the manufacturer’s support or a professional technician for further assistance.