The blinking or flickering of a computer screen is typically caused by a screen refresh rate that runs too low. "Refresh rate" refers to the number of times the image on the screen gets updated every second. The faster the refresh rate, the better the image quality. You should attend to a blinking screen problem as soon as possible because prolonged exposure to a blinking screen can cause eye strain and headache.
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Look for your computer's monitor settings, then adjust its refresh rate. To modify a refresh rate on Windows, right-click anywhere on the Windows desktop. Select "Properties," then choose the "Display Properties" tab on the window that appears.
Click the "Settings" option, then select "Advanced" from the window that appears.
Choose the "Monitor" tab, which lets you access a drop-down menu with the options for refresh settings adjustments. As a basic guide, use a setting of at least 75 hertz.
Confirm the change by clicking "Apply." Reboot the PC to ensure the new settings on the screen take effect.
Check your screen if the blinking problem is resolved. If not, try a higher refresh setting. If there is no change on the flickering of the screen, this means the problem is not caused by the screen's refresh rate. If your computer is not running on a battery or surge protector, shut it down to safely transfer the plug to another outlet.
Tips and warnings
- If the problem continues, look for possible causes of an interference. This is typically caused by certain appliances and gadgets that can affect the monitor and result in a flickering problem. Remove potential causes, which might include speakers, stereo equipment, TVs, defective fluorescent lamps or motorised appliances. If your screen problem persists seek professional help to avoid further damage.
- Upgrading your computer's video driver might stop flickering, if it is caused by driver problems. To upgrade, check the model specifications of your computer's graphics card, then downoad and install the updated driver from its manufacturer's website.
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- PC Doctor's Blog; Stop Your Monitor Flickering and Reduce Eye Strain; January 2006
- Ask Leo: The Images on My Screen Seem to Shimmer or Flicker and Give Me a Headache
- Tech Bliss; How to Stop Flickers on a PC Monitor; December 2007
- Tech Likes; How to Stop Monitor/Screen Flickering; June 2011
- Online Tech Tips; Stop an LCD Monitor from Flickering in Windows 7; April 2010
- Tech Republic; Five Tips to Fix a Screen Flicker; Bill Detwiler; August 2001