Are the suddenly disruptive screen flashes of the Android screen flickering issue have you on your toes? Before you sweat a bucket, check out our complete guide on how to fix Android screen flickering issue the easy way.

In the olden days when the software was fundamentally basic and hardware wasn’t top-notch, screen flickering issue almost always meant hardware problem. Now that we carry mini computers in our pockets in the form of smartphones, the Android screen flickering issue has become far more rampant with plenty of forums filled with worried customers.

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However, the Android screen flickering issue cannot be pointed directly toward the hardware, as it might just be abnormal behavior in setting and not the phone hardware. Don’t panic! It is not a problem with neither your smartphone not the Android OS. On every modern Android with a brightness sensor when the screen is on low brightness, browsing causes the screen to flicker. If you do encounter this situation, quickly post on our forum to see if you can fix it yourself.

Why is the Android screen flickering issue arising?

They key reason for the flickering issue, is that the OS is not able to decide between hardware GPU or software CPU. The issue is more common when searching apps. This encountered a flickering issue when opening small apps and when browsing on the Chrome app or when using your phone’s screen.

How to fix Android screen flickering issue

If the issue of a flickering display arose after installing a bunch of apps or just out of nowhere, you can hold off the visit to the service center for now. Here’s our quick guide on what you can do to fix the Android screen flickering issue with ease.

Method 1: Boot the device in Safe Mode 

A fail-safe feature built into the Android OS, safe mode enables you to go back to the stock Android device you got out of the box and test out any abnormalities that you’re facing. When the Android screen flickering issue pops up, you can put your device into safe mode, check to see if the issue still persists and then diagnose accordingly.

  • From the home screen of your Android device, press and hold the Power button until you see the power menu screen pop up.
  • On the menu screen, press and hold the Power button icon until you see the safe mode pop-up menu appear on the screen.
  • The screen will ask you to confirm if you wish to “Reboot to safe mode”, so go ahead and press the “OK” button to boot your Android device into safe mode.
  • Now that your Android device will boot into safe mode, all the third-party apps that you have installed on your device will be disabled and hidden.

This should leave you with only the stock apps, giving you the room to see if the Android screen flickering issue is app-related or connected to the hardware.

Method 2: Modifying the Developer options

Apart from all the awesome hidden features offered by Developer options, there are some options in the menu that can help you fix Android screen flickering. Developer options give you the ability to disable options such as Show surface updates and Disable HW overlays, which have been associated with Android screen flickering issue by several users.

  • If you don’t have Developer options enabled already, do so by heading over to Settings >About phone and tapping 7 times on “Build number
  • The Developer options menu will be added to the bottom of the Settings app, so access it and scroll down to the Drawing
  • The first tab under the Drawing section should be Show surface updates, so simply press the toggle switch next to it if the option is already enabled.
  • Similarly, use the Developer options menu to find Hardware accelerated rendering section on the screen.
  • Under this section, you should be able to find the Disable HW overlays option on the screen.
  • Press the toggle switch right next to it to enable to option and set screen composting only to GPU.

Basically, the Android screen flickering issue occurs when the system hardware switches between the CPU and the GPU for displaying content on the screen. By toggling on the Disable HW overlays option, you can physically eliminate the Android screen flickering issue by putting the display operation under the GPU.

Method 3: Disabling Adaptive brightness on your device

The Automatic/Adaptive brightness option means that the brightness of screen changes according to the outside light. So when you cover your phone’s photometric sensors, the screen becomes dark and when they are uncovered, the screen becomes bright again.

  • Go to Settings > Display Brightness
  • Find the option Automatic/Adaptive brightness and deselect it.

Since the screen flickering issue in relation to screen brightness is more transient that instant, this might not be the solution you’re after. If none of the above methods work for you, you might need to consider the last resort.

Final resolution – Getting Android screen flickering issue checked out

If none of the methods above helped you get the Android screen flickering issue to be resolved, get your phone checked out at a service center. You may have a hardware issue, which means you’ll need to have the front glass panel or the entire display screen replaced.

Depending on your mobile device and how old it is, it might cost you a fair amount to have the hardware replaced. However, in some cases, it isn’t the screen that is damaged, but the proximity and brightness sensors, which still requires you to bring your phone into the customer service center, but might end up costing you a lot less.

If your device is out of warranty and you aren’t afraid to experiment, you’ll find a range of experts on the XDA Developers Forum that have a fix for you. However, these experimental processes need some amount of repairing knowledge and a bit of courage as well, so tread with caution.

How to get files back when screen keeps flashing

You also need to save the device files to avoid them from being accessed when your phone’s screen flashes. The Android Data Recovery can help in retrieving files on the phone if you aren’t able to touch the screen to operate it.

  • After downloading the Android Data Recovery software, open it and click on Android Broken Data Recovery and then select all the files you want to restore
  • You will be asked to make some choices on your phone model, the file type, and the fault type so that your data can be retrieved.
  • The software analyzes your device.
  • The software then starts to retrieve the files, you will be able to see their names displayed, the details in terms of size, artists, album, etc. of the music or format of the pictures.

There’s more than just one way to backup your Android device, and we want you to be aware of all your options. Be sure to check out our guide on how to backup your Android device so all the options are on the table.

Few things are more frustrating than an Android device when they don’t work, but having an Android screen flickering issue isn’t the end of the world. Once you rule out the culprit apps, test out the sensors, and hightail it over to your nearest service center if need be, you’ll be back up and running in no time.

In the meantime, you can use the process hoping that Android will release a permanent solution to retrieve data and to get rid of the flashing issue for good. This typical fix for this issue works on most Android devices. Hope the tutorial will help you solve the flickering and the flashing issue.

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.



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View Comments

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool