Screen Flickering When Playing Games - Try These 7 Fixes

Jerry updated on Mar 01, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

If you face PC screen flickering when playing games, you need to do something about it before it ruins the gaming experience. Even the small chunks of screen flickers can be frustrating, and this happens due to various reasons. In this post delivered by EaseUS, let us look at the possible reasons for the screen flickers while playing games and potential solutions to fix the flickering issue on the screen.

What to Do If Screen Flickers While Playing Games

It is common to see the PC screen flickers when gaming. You can find many game players with the same issue if you browse forums like Reddit.

My screen flickers like this on some games and it's insanely annoying!
byu/Linnywtf inpcmasterrace

Now, when the screen flickers when playing games, you can do a few things to know the cause and resolve it. Check out the fixes below to get the screen back to normal.

  1. Fix 1. Try a Different Monitor and Cable
  2. Fix 2. Change Screen Refresh Rate
  3. Fix 3. Disable Full-Screen Optimization
  4. Fix 4. Update Display Card Drivers
  5. Fix 5. Reset GPU Settings
  6. Fix 6. Disable Hardware Acceleration
  7. Fix 7. Perform Clean Boot

Fix 1. Try a Different Monitor and Cable

The flickering issue altogether may not be from the hardware. So, you can take out the monitor and cables and plug them back in to see if the flickers go away.

Also, try using a different monitor and cables, as monitors will err sometimes, and cables will degrade over time. If using another monitor works, you know the problem and have your solution.

Fix 2. Change Screen Refresh Rate

If you are gaming, you already know the refresh rate, but if you are unaware, the refresh rate is typically the speed at which the PC monitor refreshes the image per second. It is measured in Hz, and the supported refresh rate in basic monitors is about 60Hz.

You can try increasing the refresh rate. Gaming PCs can go up to 360Hz, but if you use a normal PC, you must change it to the supported refresh rate to avoid flickering. 

Step 1. Open Settings on the PC.

Step 2. Navigate to System > Display.

Step 3. Open the Advanced Display (Windows 11) or Advanced Display settings (Windows 10).

change the refresh rate

Step 4. Click on the Choose a refresh rate drop-down and select the appropriate rate suitable for your PC. You can try lowering the rate until the flickering or flashing stops.

Fix 3. Disable Full-Screen Optimization

A few games tend to act up while running in full-screen mode. So, if you believe that can be the reason for screen flickering, you can disable the full-screen optimization for the problematic game. Follow the steps to do this:

Step 1. Right-click on the game's icon on your desktop and select Properties.

Step 2. Navigate to the Compatibility tab using the bar above, and find the Disable fullscreen optimization option.

disable fullscreen optimizations

Step 3. Check the box beside it, and click Apply > OK to save the changes.

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Fix 4. Update Display Card Drivers

Screen flickering in Windows when playing games is usually caused by display drivers. Display card drivers or Graphic card drivers are responsible for rendering the images or pixels on your screen. The drivers act like a bridge between the hardware and software to keep the on-screen activity going. If the display drivers are corrupt or outdated, along with flickering, you will face many issues.

Step 1. Search for Device Management and open the app.

Step 2. Find the Display Adapters section and expand it to see the available graphic cards.

click on Update driver

Step 3. Right-click on the Graphics card you use and select Update driver.

Step 4. You will have a window with two options for searching for drivers. Choose Browse My Computer for the drivers option.

select Browse my computer for the drivers

Step 5. Click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer from the following window.  

pick the driver updates from your computer

Step 6. Choose the compatible mode, and click on Next to continue.

select the compatible hardware for updating drivers

Step 7. Now, the OS will install the new updates for the drivers. Restart the PC, and check if the screen flickering issue resolves.

Fix 5. Reset GPU Settings

Depending on the game requirements, the computer changes the GPU settings to give out maximum output. But after a certain point, the GPU tends to fail or overclock due to extreme settings. So, we have to reset the GPU settings to default.

Step 1. Open Device Management.

Step 2. Expand the Display Adapters, and click on it.

Step 3. Select Uninstall Drivers to uninstall the Graphic card drivers on your device. Do not forget to remove all your GPU drivers.

uninstall the Graphic card drivers

Step 4. Now, exit the program and restart the PC.

While restarting, the OS identifies and reinstalls the missing drives with default settings.

Fix 6. Disable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware Acceleration is a setting that helps the PC utilize the hardware to its extreme potential to roll out the best performance. However, the ill effects of these settings will hamper the computer screen and cause issues like screen flickering. So, we recommend you disable it and see if the screen flickering goes away.

Step 1. To open the Run dialog box, click on Windows + R.

Step 2. Enter regedit, and click OK to invoke the Registry Editor.

Step 3. Go to the following path on the address bar at the top:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics

Step 4. Right-click on the empty space, and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value.

create a new Registry entry

Step 5. Give the name DisableHWAcceleration to this new ket, and click on it.

name the Registry entry

Step 6. Set the Value data to 1, and select OK to save it. Now, restart the PC to see the changes.

set the entry value to 1

Fix 7. Perform Clean Boot

A clean boot on Windows is done to determine if a background program is causing the issues. A PC contains various device drivers, settings, and programs. When the software runs into any errors and confuses us, we perform a clean boot to find the conflicting program.

Step 1. Search for System Configuration and open it.

Step 2. In the Services section, check the Hide all Microsoft services option and click the Disable All button.

disable all Microsoft services

Step 3. Now, open the Startup and click on Open Task Manager.

open Task Manager

Step 4. Click the startup apps that may interfere with the Windows to cause the problem. Select the program, and click disable.

disable the suspicious startup apps

Step 5. Do this step for all the suspected programs, and close the Task Manager and System Configuration windows.

Step 6. Restart your computer, and see if the screen flickering when playing games vanishes.

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Bonus Tip: How to Protect Game Saves on Your PC

If you cannot avoid or solve the screen flickering issue on the PC, you need to make sure to back up your Game Saves to protect the game's progress. Game Save files save the game progress, and you can use them to resume the game from where you have left. To back up PC game saves safely, you need a professional backup tool, and what better than EaseUS Todo Backup for this job?

EaseUS Todo Backup is an award-winning and free backup solution for automatically backing up files, hard drives, systems, and folders. With advanced backup solutions and scheduling, backups are made easy with this software. Additionally, you can create system images and clones to protect your system from damage. You will also get cloud storage and safe encryption to add an extra layer of protection to your data.

The following are some highlighted features of this remarkable backup software:

EaseUS Todo Backup

If you want to create a backup of your PC game saves, EaseUS backup software can suit you well. Just download and install it on your PC and start backing up your game files.

What Causes Screen Flickers When Playing Games

Screen flickering is common while playing games, as it involves heavy graphics and CPU usage. It directly indicates that the problem could be with Graphic drivers or the hard disk, but there are some other common reasons why flickering happens:

  • Graphic Card issues: Graphic cards are responsible for rendering the images on your screen. If the cards are outdated, corrupt, or incompatible with the requirements, they tend to cause screen flickers.
  • Incompatible Display or Game Settings: Depending on your PC's Graphic card driver, it can only handle settings up to a certain extent. If the game's refresh rate, FPS, or video quality exceeds what it can handle, the card fails to render pixels on the screen, leading to flickering.
  • Hardware Damage: If your monitor, cable, or any hardware component is damaged, the screen won't display normally.
  • Overheating: Gaming consumes a lot of system resources, and over some time, the graphic card overheats, leading to screen flickering.

To Sum Up

Screen flickering when playing games is becoming too common due to the incompatibility of the drivers and game settings. In this post, we try to find the reasons why screen flickering happens while playing games and try to fix it with practical solutions. If the flickering screen problem does not go away, use EaseUS Todo Backup to back up your game saves and resume playing where you have left off next time.

FAQs on Monitor Flickering When Playing Games

Here are some frequently asked questions on Monitot flickering when playing games. If you have similar queries, I hope this will help you.

1. Why does my screen flicker when I play games at 144hz?

If the screen flickers while playing games at 144Hz, it is normally due to cables. You can try changing the cables or reducing the refresh rate to fix it. Also, do not forget to update your display adapters.

2. Why does my screen flicker after playing games?

Many factors are responsible for this flickering issue. You can update the display drivers, adjust the refresh rate, or use a different monitor or cable.

3. Why does my screen flicker when in fullscreen?

The screen flickers when playing in full-screen are due to gsync or freesync. You can try to disable the gsync or quit the full-screen mode and start playing.

4. Can software cause screen flickering?

Yes, software issues can also be responsible for screen flickering. To find out if the flickering is due to hardware or software, open Task Manager and check the screen. If the Task Manager is also flickering, it is likely a hardware issue. If not, you need to find the problematic software.

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Updated by Jerry

"I hope my articles can help solve your technical problems. If you are interested in other articles, you can check the articles at the bottom of this page, and you can also check my Facebook to get additional help."

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