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Troubleshooting a Flickering Display after a Windows 10 Upgrade

Summary: This article provides the information about how to troubleshoot a flickering issue with the display after a Windows 10 upgrade.

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Article Content


Symptoms

Systems experiencing a flickering or flashing screen after upgrading to Window 10 are affected by apps causing Windows Explorer to crash, or causing display driver issues.

Cause

The flickering issue can be caused due to a software compatibility issue or the video driver.

Resolution

The first step is to determine if the issue is a Software compatibility issue, or a Display Driver issue. The easiest way is to see if the flickering affects Windows Task Manager. If the Task Manager is flickering, the likely cause is a Software compatibility issue that causes Explorer.exe to crash repeatedly. If Task Manager is not affected, the likely cause is Display Drivers. To test Windows Task Manager, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Observe the behavior and then proceed with the suggested troubleshooting steps below.

Task Manager flickers > troubleshoot Software Compatibility by following these steps:

NOTE: If Task Manager is flickering, or it did not open, try the same steps in Safe Mode (How to boot to Safe Mode in Windows 10 SLN298620_en_US__1iC_External_Link_BD_v1 ).
  1. Use the File, Run option in Task Manager to open additional tools as-needed. Be sure to check the box to run tools as Administrator. These could include:
    • appwiz.cpl: Opens Programs and Features.
    • compmgmt.msc: Opens Computer Management cmd.exe. Use Computer Management to open Event Viewer.
  2. Use Programs and Features to remove any nonessential applications.
  3. Search for crash events in the Event Logs in Event Viewer. These may indicate which application or third-party DLLs are the faulting modules in the Explorer.exe crashes. (Using Event Viewer to Troubleshoot Problems SLN298620_en_US__1iC_External_Link_BD_v1 )
  4. If removing software does not resolve the issue, use these commands to repair Windows:
    • Click Start and type cmd.
    • Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
    • In the command prompt window, type dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth and press the Enter key.
    • After the process is complete, type sfc /scannow and press the Enter key.
      NOTE: Reinstalling Windows 10 using the Dell OS Recovery Tool may also work even if the System File Check using the sfc /scannow command does not find any issues.

The following applications have been reported to contribute to the flickering issues. Uninstall these applications to test if they are the cause (ensure that the reinstallation media is available before uninstalling):

  • Norton Antivirus (Symantec)
  • Other Anti Virus solutions
  • iCloud
  • LiveUpdate6
  • IDT Audio (faulting module IDTNC64.cpl)
REFERENCE: Symantec Knowledge Base: My desktop screen flickers after I upgrade my Norton product SLN298620_en_US__3iC_External_Link_BD_v1

Task Manager does not flicker > troubleshoot Display Drivers by following these steps:

  1. Boot to Safe Mode with Networking (How to boot to Safe Mode in Windows 10 SLN298620_en_US__1iC_External_Link_BD_v1).
  2. Use the same steps here as for Black Screen issues – if the computer has a dual graphics chipset (Both Integrated and Discrete Graphics), disable integrated graphics by opening Device Manager > expand Display Devices > Right-click the Intel GPU > select Disable device. If the display still flickers, reenable the Intel GPU and perform the same steps to disable the other GPU.
  3. If this does not work, or there is only a single chipset, uninstall the device and remove the driver software by opening Device Manager > expand Display Devices > Right-click the GPU > select Uninstall device. Follow the on-screen prompts to completely uninstall the device and the associated driver. This will force Windows to default to the native display driver.
    NOTE: The default display driver is not recommended for use beyond troubleshooting. Download and install the latest video or display driver on your Dell computer. To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Download and Install Dell Drivers.
  4. Boot into Windows and update the display drivers to the latest version from the Dell Drivers & downloads page.

Additional Information

Article Properties


Affected Product

Monitor Accessories, Alienware and Dell Gaming Monitors, C Series, D Series, E Series, Legacy Monitors, P Series, S Series, SE Series, UltraSharp Premier (UP) Series, UltraSharp (U) Series

Last Published Date

26 May 2021

Version

4

Article Type

Solution