What to do if the screen on your device is flickering

If the screen on your device is flickering, there are a few steps you can follow to find out whether the issue is software or hardware related. Flickering is usually caused by a software issue which can be caused by glitches in apps or software bugs.

To best protect your device, make sure to update the software so that it is running the latest operating system and has the latest security updates installed.

① Check your device for damage

Is the screen of your device smashed or cracked? If there is damage to your screen, this could be causing your screen to flicker.

You can visit a Samsung support centre to have your device inspected in person, or book a repair to have your screen fixed.

② Restart your device

If the screen on your device is flickering, the first step is to restart your device. This is often the quickest and easiest way to resolve software issues. Follow the steps below to perform a soft reset on your device.

1 Press and hold the power button or button combination you use to power off your device for around 15 seconds

Please note: the button combination shown below is for the S21 Ultra 5G. The button combination on your device may be different

2 Your device will restart. Check to see if the screen is still flickering
③ Check in Safe Mode

Safe mode can be used as a diagnostic tool that lets you run your device at the basic interface without any third-party apps. This helps to determine if the issue you are facing is due to an installed app.

1 Press and hold the power button or button combination you use to turn off your device until the power off screen appears

Please note: the image below shows the button combination for the S21 Ultra 5G

2 Tap and hold the Power off icon until the option for Safe mode appears
3 Tap Safe mode

If the flickering stops when your device is in Safe Mode, it could mean that the issue is being caused by a bug with one of the apps you have installed. Find out which app is causing the problem and uninstall it. Start by uninstalling the most recent app you downloaded before the problem started. Repeat until the flickering stops. You can always reinstall an app if it wasn't causing the issue.

If the flickering persists even in Safe Mode, it is likely the issue is hardware rather than software related. If this is the case, contact your nearest Samsung Support Centre to book an appointment.

④ Disable adaptive brightness

If your screen is still flickering, try adjusting your brightness settings, and disabling the adaptive brightness feature.

1 Open the Settings app
2 Tap Display
3 Tap the switch to disable Adaptive Brightness
4 If you notice that the flickering occurs when the screen is at a low brightness, slide the bar to the right to increase the brightness
⑤ Clear the cache

Corrupted data in the system on your device can sometimes cause the screen to flicker. Clear the cache on your device, then check if the flickering continues.

1 Turn your device off
2 Open the recovery menu on your device. The button combination used to open the recovery menu will be different depending on the device you're using

If your device only has two buttons, press and hold the volume up and side buttons until the Samsung logo appears.

If your device has a dedicated Bixby button, press and hold the volume up, Bixby, and power buttons until the Samsung logo appears.

If your device has a dedicated home button, press and hold the volume up, power, and home buttons until the Samsung logo appears.

3 Once a menu appears on screen, use the volume up and volume down buttons to select Wipe cache partition. Press the power button to confirm
4 Use the volume up and volume down buttons to select Yes. Press the power button to confirm
5 Press the power button again to select Reboot device
⑥ Restore default developer options

If you have enabled developer options and have adjusted the settings, this may be causing your screen to flicker. Follow the steps below to see if this is the cause of the flickering.

If you haven't changed any developer options and your screen is still flickering, take you device to a Samsung Support centre or book a repair  for more assistance.

1 Open the Settings app
2 Tap Developer options
3 In the Drawing section, check the switch next to Show surface updates. If it is activated, tap the switch to deactivate it
4 Scroll down to the section Hardware-accelerated rendering section. Tap the switch to activate Disable HW overlays

If you've tried all of the above options and your screen is still flickering, please contact your nearest Service Centre for further assistance.

If you're experiencing unusual behaviour on Samsung mobiles, tablets or wearables, you can send us an error report or ask us a question in the Samsung Members app.

This allows us to take a closer look at what is happening. The data is anonymised and only held for the duration of the investigation. Find out more about sending an error report through the Samsung Members app.

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