MacBook External Monitor Flickering Issue [Solved]

Learn how to resolve MacBook External Monitor Flickering Issue with our step-by-step guide. A lot of MacBook users around the globe have been dealing with a very annoying issue for quite a while now and that is when the screen of your external monitor starts flickering and sometimes it even starts to go black for two to three seconds does that repeatedly.

Luckily, this problem does have a solution, let me share a few quick and easy steps that I used to fix my MacBook’s external display’s flickering. Getting started with the all solutions that I have personally tried and tested, I’d like to add a note here.

Note: Whether you own an M1 variant or any older variant of Macbooks, this guide covers all models of MacBooks. You don’t have to try all these steps, if the external monitor’s screen stops flickering on the second or third step, there is no need to try these all.

Let’s get started with the solutions before you again get exhausted with the monitor flickering issue.

1: Reboot your MacBook.

As simple as it may sound, it does work sometimes, if it does not work, you can force restart your Mackbook. To force restart, you will just long-press the power button or fingerprint sensor, until the screen goes black, then after a few seconds, long-press the power button again until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

2: Check Mac Os Updates:

Another simple solution, but Apple says they are aware of the problem and they are making new software changes and updates to help out all Apple users. So, make sure to use an updated version of Mac Os.

3: Changing the Ports:

The logic behind this solution is that you are rebooting the dongle, and there are varieties of things that you can do.

  1. Remove all the cables, the USB – C cable, and the HDMI cable, and reconnect them all again while the Mac is still on. If it does not work:
  2. Try a different sequence, like,
    • Removing the adapter from your Mac.
    • Now unplug the external monitor from the adapter.
    • Now plug the adapter first into your Mac.
    • Connect the external monitor after it.
  3. Sometimes, disconnecting and reconnecting only the HDMI cable also works.

In case, your MacBook is connecting but displaying a black screen, you may check How to fix Macbook Pro Detects External Monitor but Shows Black Screen.

Turn the Auto Graphic Switching off:

Sometimes the Automatic Graphic Switching stays on, even after connecting an external display monitor, you need to turn it off to stop the external display’s flickering. Here is how to do it.

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Energy Savers.
  2. Uncheck the box, where it says, “Automatic Graphic Switching”.

Color Profile Change:

Sometimes, you only need to change the profile color to match the display of your MacBook and your external display monitor.

To do this, go to the:

  1. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Display > Display Settings
  2. In the Display Settings, find your external display’s model and select that.
  3. In the Color Profile option, it will show the dropdown menu, select Color LCD.

Alternative Solutions to Fix Monitor’s Flickering

Change the Refresh Rate:

Your MacBook comes with a preinstalled Adaptive Sync option. What it does is, that it changes the refresh rate of your MacBook monitor to align with the per-second frame of your external monitor’s screen. Although it is a pretty good option to save electricity and for video editing framing settings, not all external monitors can work on Adaptive Sync gracefully.

Therefore, if your external monitor’s screen is flickering pretty quickly and rapidly, you should disable the Adaptive Sync option.

If you have an ultrawide external monitor with your mac, you may face widescreen distortion on your MacBook, and we have already covered it with a solution.

If you disable the Adaptive Sync option, you will have to change the refresh rate manually.

  • Again go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Display > Display Settings
  • Look for your external monitor’s model on the left side, and select that.
  • In the Refresh Rate dropdown list,
  • Change the refresh rate from Variable to Static,
  • And select the highest available number, for example, if the numbers are given from 60 Hertz to 165 Hertz,
  • Choose 165 Hertz.

Well, If the MacBook External Monitor Flickering stays the same,

  1. Turn off Auto Brightness & True Tone. Apple Menu
    > System Preferences > Display > Display Settings > Built-in Retina Display > Uncheck Auto Adjust Brightness and Tru Tone.
  2. Turn off Night Shift. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift > select Off from the menu.
  3. Turn off Dark Mode. Apple Menu > System Preferences > General > Select the Light mode.

I hope your MacBook’s external monitor flickering issue would have been resolved by now, after following all these above-mentioned steps, if the problem stays the same, wait for

15-30 minutes after trying all these steps and rebooting the Mac and hopefully, it will resolve the issue.


In conclusion, resolving the MacBook External Monitor Flickering Issue is a matter of proper troubleshooting and finding the root cause of the problem. Whether it is an outdated driver, a compatibility issue, or a hardware malfunction, our guide provides the latest solutions to help you get the most out of your setup. By following the tips and instructions outlined in this article, you can enjoy a stable display without any distracting flickering.

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