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How To Fix A Flashing Android Phone Screen

by George Mensah

Take heart if your Android phone’s screen flickers and you see its life and all of the money you spent on it flash before your eyes. Smartphone screens are fairly durable, and the reasons for them flickering or flashing vary depending on the circumstances. This problem can occur when liquid has gotten inside the device, or if the phone has taken a hard fall off a table or out of your pocket.

In other cases, a faulty cable or other power sources could be to blame. Glitches and bugs in software can also cause your Android phone’s display to flicker incessantly. Manufacturing issues can be the cause in rare cases, as evidenced by the 2019 release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. At the time, some reviewers reported that their devices’ screens were flickering right out of the box (not to mention the other problems). Regardless, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take at home to see if you can fix your Android smartphone’s flickering or flashing display.

Check your phone and do a restart

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When you notice erratic behavior, the first thing you should do is inspect your phone for external damage. It’s possible that your phone’s behavior is caused by a cracked or chipped screen. Remove any screen protectors or stickers and clean the display, as debris on it may register as touches and cause issues. If none of these factors appear to be the source of the problem, it is possible that the flickering display is not caused by an obvious instance of surface damage.

In some cases, a flickering or flashing screen can be caused by hardware issues inside the phone, in which case you’ll need to take it to a professional to be serviced. If you’re not afraid of opening the device (and doing so will not void any warranties you may have), consider removing the back and carefully inspecting the display flex cable to see if it’s loose or damaged. There are numerous threads on Android forums from users who have narrowed down their display issues to a damaged flex cable or a loose connector.

However, this should only be used as a last resort because the problem is most likely caused by a software bug, a malfunctioning app, or your phone’s settings. Your first step in troubleshooting should be to reboot your phone. Turning off and then on a phone is a common way to resolve many issues, including annoying crashing issues, and it is the quickest troubleshooting method. Simply hold the power button for several seconds on most Android devices to turn them off, and then long press it again to turn them back on.

Wiping the system cache may fix the problem

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In addition to app caches, Android smartphones have a system cache partition, which is a section of the device’s storage that stores temporary system files and logs. Because this temporary data is stored in a separate partition, it is inaccessible from the Android UI unless the device is rooted. Rather, you must restart the phone and press the appropriate series of buttons to access the recovery menu, which will usually include an option to wipe the system cache partition.

If restarting the phone does not resolve the display issue, Samsung recommends wiping the system cache partition to remove any files that may have become corrupted and are causing the problem. A flickering screen is more commonly the result of a software bug, not a hardware problem. The difficult part is getting into your device’s recovery menu; the exact combination of button presses varies not only between manufacturers but also between devices from the same manufacturer.

Here’s how to do it on a two-button Samsung phone. Remember that the touchscreen is usually disabled in recovery mode, so you’ll have to use the buttons to navigate the menu.

Make sure your device is powered off.

Press and hold the volume up button and side buttons until the Samsung logo appears.

Release the buttons and wait for the recovery menu to appear. Use the volume buttons to navigate up and down and the power button to select.

Press the volume down key until “Wipe cache partition” is highlighted, then press the power button to select it.

When the prompt appears asking you to confirm the wipe, press the volume up and down buttons at the same time to select the “Yes” option.

Now press the power button to reboot the phone and wait for it to restart normally.

If this does not resolve the screen flickering or flashing issue, the next best option is to boot the phone into safe mode and hope that the problem is caused by an app rather than a hardware malfunction.

Reboot into safe mode

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At this point, you must determine whether the display problem is due to a software bug or a hardware malfunction, and the best way to do so is to boot the phone into safe mode, which loads only the core Android elements without any apps or other unnecessary things. This determines whether you have a hardware or software problem — if the flickering or flashing disappears in safe mode, you can safely assume your device has a software bug, but if the flickering persists, you’re most likely dealing with a hardware issue.

The exact method for entering safe mode varies depending on the device and manufacturer, but in general, you can enter troubleshooting mode by following these steps:

Press and hold the power button until you see the Power Off icon appear on the screen.

Turn off the smartphone. As soon as you see the boot animation, press the volume down key until the words “safe mode” appears on the screen.

If you’re lucky and the flickering stops in safe mode, you’ll need to figure out which app (if any) is to blame. Samsung recommends that users begin uninstalling apps that were installed around the time they began experiencing problems, then work their way down to older apps. If this doesn’t work, there are two more things you can try before paying a visit to your local phone repair shop.

Turn off the auto brightness setting

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Android phones have a feature that automatically adjusts the brightness level of the display based on the ambient environment, and while the exact terminology used to refer to this feature varies between manufacturers, it’s commonly referred to as adaptive brightness or auto-brightness. This feature may be malfunctioning, causing the brightness of your screen to change rapidly, giving the appearance of flickering or flashing. To test this, turn off the feature and see if the problem goes away.

Open the Settings app.

Tap Display.

Toggle the Auto switch off to disable the automatic brightness adjustment feature.

If your screen flickers when it is set at low brightness levels, increase brightness levels by sliding the bar over to the right.

Android also has a feature that allows users to reset the adaptive brightness to factory defaults, which can help with utility issues. This feature’s exact menu location varies, but it’s usually found within a menu called Device Health Services. Though you may need to search through various menus on your device, you can try the following steps to reset the feature:

Open Settings.

Scroll down and tap Apps & Notifications.

Tap Device Health Services.

Hit the Clear Data icon at the top of the menu.

Select the “Reset adaptive brightness bar” option.

Reset your phone to factory default settings

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In order to get your phone to work normally again, you may need to perform a factory reset. This action will completely erase the phone’s memory and storage and reset all settings to factory defaults. Because you will lose all data, photos, and other content on your phone if you do this, make a backup copy of the files you want to keep. Here’s how you do it:

Open the Settings app.

Select System.

Press Restart & reset.

Choose Factory data reset.

Finally, flickering may indicate that your device requires an update. Examine the apps you installed to see if any of them require an update. Apps that are not fully updated can occasionally cause your screen to malfunction.


If you’ve tried everything and your phone is still flashing, it could be a hardware problem. In that case, your only option is to seek assistance. If the device is still under warranty, you may be able to file a warranty claim and ship it back to the manufacturer for repair; otherwise, you may need to take it to a local authorized or third-party phone repair shop for evaluation.

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