www.makeuseof.com Is Your Phone Display Flickering? Try These 7 Fixes

www.makeuseof.com Is Your Phone Display Flickering? Try These 7 Fixes

Is your phone's screen behaving oddly? Have you noticed your phone's display glitching? It could be doing so for several reasons. From loose internal connections to buggy software, many issues can cause a smartphone display to malfunction. Here are several fixes you can try if your phone's screen is acting temperamental.

1. Reboot Your Phone

If you're wondering how to fix a glitching phone screen, the first thing to do is to ensure this isn't a temporary hiccup by restarting your phone. Performing a restart kills any active third-party background services and processes. Restarting will also refresh your phone's memory components if any of them crashed during a task.

After rebooting, if the display is no longer failing or glitching, you should review all the recent apps you've installed. If there's still a problem with your phone display, try the next tip on this list.

2. Perform a Hard Reset

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Rebooting is the most rudimentary troubleshooting step you can execute, and for most problems, it will do the trick.

However, if it doesn't fix a flickering display, the next step is wiping your phone entirely by performing a hard reset. That will restore your phone to its factory settings and clear the cache.

If there's any unprocessed data hampering your phone's functions, a hard reset will clear everything right away. However, before you perform a factory reset, you may want to back up your Android data or back up your iPhone.


On Android, you can reset your phone using these steps:

  1. First, open Settings > System > Advanced. Alternatively, search for Reset Options.
  2. Tap Reset Options and hit Erase all data (factory reset).
  3. Select Reset phone. Enter your PIN if you use one.
  4. Finally, tap Erase everything.

For Apple devices, iOS users should use these steps:

  1. Open Settings > General.
  2. Tap the Reset button
  3. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

Your phone will take a few minutes to reset, depending on the amount of data it houses.

Related: The Best High-Performance Android Smartphones

3. Boot Into Safe Mode (Android Only)

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Alternatively, if your Android screen is still flickering, Android users can also try switching to safe mode for a couple of hours. The safe mode lets you use your phone independent of third-party changes and downloaded apps.

www.makeuseof.com Is Your Phone Display Flickering? Try These 7 Fixes

Unlike a factory reset, safe mode retains your phone's data, and you can return to the regular experience anytime you want. However, safe mode is merely a diagnostic utility and won't solve the problem.

If the phone continues to operate fine in the safe mode, you'll know for sure that there's a software glitch, and your best bet is to perform a factory reset.

To boot your phone in the safe mode on Android:

  1. Press and hold the power key.
  2. Next, long-press the Power Off text on the screen.
  3. You'll see a warning, which you need to click through. Your phone will restart in safe mode, and the flickering should be gone.
  4. To exit safe mode, repeat the procedure, this time selecting the Restart option.

There's a chance the process might be a little different with a custom Android skin. Therefore, if the steps above don't work, try contacting your device manufacturer or head to their support website.

4. Disable Auto-Brightness (Adaptive Brightness)

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The auto-brightness (Adaptive brightness) setting is responsible for constantly altering the screen's illumination based on light sensor data. But a software update or hardware defect could lead to unexpected snags, including display flickers. Therefore, another straightforward action you can take is to disable the option from the Settings menu.

This feature is present under Settings > Display > Adaptive brightness on Android and Settings > Display & Brightness on iOS.

Alternatively, there's also the option to reset your Android Adaptive brightness, which can come in handy if your phone struggles to adapt to new lighting conditions. To reset your phone brightness:

  1. Head to your phone Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps & notifications, or Apps.
  3. Find and then select the app named Device Health Services.
  4. Tap Storage and then tap Clear Storage.
  5. Tap Reset adaptive brightness
  6. Before your data is cleared, a pop-up window will ask you to confirm your choice. If you're certain, tap OK.

5. Check for Device Updates

It's possible that the hitch you're facing might have spawned from a messy software build. Your best bet is to check with the manufacturer for updates or scour the popular forums for a temporary solution in these situations.

You can even revert to an older firmware, which some companies (like OnePlus) allow. To acquire this firmware, visit your device's support web page. Many manufacturers keep previous firmware files available for download. You'll typically find instructions for this process on the manufacturer's support page.

6. Disable Hardware Overlays

When rendering graphics, your phone dynamically decides whether the CPU or the GPU will handle the job. While the transition is usually seamless, a damaged or aged phone can struggle with screen compositing (layering images).

There is a minor delay between tasks when the phone doesn't have anything to display. Hence, the flickering. But disabling hardware overlays can help. To do so, you'll start by enabling Developer options.

To unlock Developer options on Android, use these steps:

  1. Open your phone Settings and scroll down to the About Phone section. Near the bottom of this page, you should see your Build Number. If not, head to Software Information, and you should find it there.
  2. Tap your build number (it should take around seven taps) until you see a message saying, "You are now a developer!"

Once in developer mode, head back to your phone settings and scroll to the bottom until you find Developer options. Then tap Disable HW overlays. Note that this will consume extra power since disabling overlays forces the phone to use GPU rendering.

On phones running Android 10, this option is under Settings > System > About Phone—the other steps remain the same.

Related: The Best Android Developer Options Worth Tweaking

7. Get Your Phone Checked by a Professional

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that any of these steps will fix everything. Occasionally, a glitching phone screen is due to a hardware failure, and there may be significant costs involved for repair or replacement. That's why it's worth giving each one of these tricks a shot first.

That said, your last resort is to get in touch with your device's manufacturer and have your phone screen checked out by a professional. If none of these techniques worked, you might be facing a more complex issue. In these scenarios, sending your phone in for repair or replacement is the only option.

At-Home Fixes Can Save You Money

Since your phone plays such an active role in your life, you need everything to work correctly. Because most smartphones house many delicate components, however, flickering displays can happen. But a flickering phone screen doesn't have to ruin your day.

Even though mobile phones are complex and can be daunting to repair, trying these at-home tricks first can save you a lot of money versus buying a brand-new device.

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Read NextShareTweetEmailRelated TopicsAbout The AuthorShubham Agarwal(135 Articles Published)

Based out of Ahmedabad, India, Shubham is a freelance technology journalist. When he's not writing on whatever's trending in the world of technology, you will find him either exploring a new city with his camera or playing the latest game on his PlayStation.

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