How-To

How to Fix a Flickering TV Screen (Try This Fix First!)

A flickering or blinking TV screen is incredibly annoying but this issue is typically easy to fix on your own.

Before you start troubleshooting, make sure to try simply turning the TV off and on again. If this fixes the problem, you won’t have to try the rest of the steps.

However, if that quick fix didn’t work for you, it’s time to start troubleshooting your flickering TV.

How to Fix a Flickering or Blinking TV Screen

If turning your TV off and on again doesn’t fix your flickering TV screen, some of the physical parts might be breaking down or disconnecting. You should inspect all physical components and connections, like wires and adapters, before you attempt fixing the flickering in other ways.

With LCD screens, the flickering can even come from loose connection ribbons and wiring. This type of flickering would appear no matter what input you’re using with the TV.

Cables and wires all look good? Connections tight? Still having issues? Alright, time to start troubleshooting step by step to figure out what’s going wrong and how to fix it.

Luckily it doesn’t matter what brand of TV your have – LG, Sharp, Apple, TCL, Sony – flickering or blinking TVs can all be fixed trying the same troubleshooting steps.

Turn the TV Off and On

The first step you should always take with a flickering screen is to turn the device off and on.

Doing so resets your TV, which could stop the screen from flickering. You will want to leave it off for a few minutes to readjust.

flickering tv turn tv on and off

However, if turning the TV off and on only works as a temporary solution, you’ll want to move on to these other methods.

Unplug the TV From the Wall

If only turning the TV off and on didn’t do anything, you’ll want to unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Doing so forces the TV to reset, which can help remove flickering. You’ll need to wait for at least five minutes before plugging the power cable back into the outlet.

Inspect Your Cables

You’ll want to make sure that there are no damaged cables connected with your TV.

You’ll want to look for loose connections, bent wires, or damaged cords. If you’re noticing the flickering only happens when your TV is using a certain input, that’s a huge clue as to which cables are breaking.

For example, if your TV only flickers while playing a video game, you’ll want to check all of the cords associated with the console. HDMI cords are known to break quickly – you may need a replacement.

If the flickering is only happening when you’re using cable TV, then you’ll want to check the wires attached to the cable box instead.

Luckily, these types of wires don’t cost a lot of money to replace these days.

Check the Video Source

Depending on the video source, you might receive some flickering.

This happens when the TV receives corrupted frames from the broadcast, whether you’re streaming something or watching a recording.

Sadly, there’s no way to correct the video source. If you’re streaming, you can reboot the TV or try resetting your router to help.

Consider the Room’s Lighting Levels

TV screens are actually always flickering. However, it’s so fast that you won’t be able to tell normally.

Certain extreme lighting conditions can make these refresh rates noticeable, which would make the TV appear to be flickering. To fix it, either brighten or darken the room.

You also can fix this problem by adjusting your TV’s brightness settings.

It can take some experimentation, but you’ll notice the changes right away.

Consider Internal Hardware Problems

Screen flicker issues may even come from inside of the TV.

If you can’t determine what’s causing consistent flickering, then an electrical component inside is probably wearing out (like the ribbons, for instance).

You’ll want to try all of the other troubleshooting options before deciding that this is the problem.

You won’t be able to fix these types of problems on your own (unless you’re a trained professional). It’s best that you take your TV in for repair or consider buying a replacement in the future. If this is a newer TV, you may even have a warranty still available for it.

Inspect the Wi-Fi Router

Are you using a smart TV? A bad connection with your router could also lead to flickering screens.

You can reset the router or try moving it a bit closer to the television. However, you don’t want to place it too close.

Routers emit signals, which can mess with older TVs. If you have an older TV that doesn’t need an internet connection, you’ll want to keep the router far away from the screen.

Move to a New Seat

If you have a plasma TV, you might just not be sitting at the best angle to view the screen.

Flickering only appears at certain distances and angles from the screen. You’ll want to rearrange your TV set up a bit or simply move to another chair.

Update Smart TVs

If you have a smart TV, you’ll probably need to update it from time to time.

Missing software updates could lead to several different connection issues and bad refresh rates. You should be able to find the updates under settings, support, and software on most smart TV menus.

Select “update software”, then wait for the update to install. This should help with screen flickering on most smart TVs.

Turn off Energy Efficiency

Finally, the energy efficiency setting might be causing the screen flickering.

To test this, try disabling the setting and using the TV like normal. If you don’t notice anymore flickering, the TV wasn’t drawing enough power to run correctly.

Conclusion

There are many different reasons that your TV might be flickering. You’ll want to determine the cause, so you can make the appropriate fixes. Luckily, this issue isn’t one that is hard to repair. These troubleshooting methods should help:

  • Turn the TV off and on
  • Unplug the TV for five minutes
  • Check the cables and hardware
  • Check the video source
  • Consider the room’s lighting levels
  • Inspect the WiFi router
  • Update the TV
  • Change the energy efficiency settings

If you found a fix that worked for you, be sure to let us know in the comments!