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8 ways to fix Surface Pro screen shaking and flickering

Surface Pro screen shaking and flickering

When your Microsoft Surface® starts acting more like a strobe light than a steady workspace, with its screen shaking and flickering, it can throw a real wrench into your productivity or leisure time. Before you chuck your device, give our troubleshooting tricks a try.

At uBreakiFix® by Asurion, we know tech. From charging troubles to getting reacquainted with the internet, we’ve got you covered. Let’s walk through how to identify the why behind your Surface Pro screen flicker, plus how to get it back in working order.

What causes screen shaking and flickering on a Surface Pro?

This common issue can significantly hamper your productivity or entertainment experiences, whether you’re using a Surface Pro 4 or another model. Understanding the reasons behind screen instability can help in finding the right solution. Let’s go over the main culprits:

  • Overheating. Excessive heat can impact the Surface Pro’s display performance.
  • Driver issues. Outdated or corrupted drivers can lead to screen flickering issues.
  • Hardware damage or malfunctions. Internal hardware problems—like a faulty graphics card— and damage can cause the screen to shake.
  • Software conflicts. Incompatibilities between applications or operating system updates can result in screen flicker.

How to fix screen shaking and flickering on a Surface Pro

Screen flickering and shaking on your Surface Pro can disrupt your work and leisure time, but these steps often provide a clear path to resolution.

Perform a reset

Reboot your Surface Pro to refresh the system and potentially fix screen issues by selecting Start > Power > Restart.

If this reset doesn't work, you can force your device to shut down by pressing and holding the Power button for about 20 seconds.

Check for overheating

Your Surface Pro has a built-in safety protocol to help combat overheating. Rather than risk internal damage, your device will try to shut itself down. Make sure your device is properly ventilated and not overheating.

Reduce the screen brightness

Lowering brightness can sometimes alleviate screen flicker. Select Start > Settings > System > Display and adjust the brightness.

Check for hardware damage

Inspect your Surface Pro for any dents, dips, or dings or any other signs of physical damage. All are things that can compromise the delicate parts inside of your Surface Pro.

Install the latest Windows update

Updates are your tech’s way of correcting known software problems—including your Surface Pro screen glitch. Ensure your device has all of the latest Windows operating system updates installed.

  1. Select Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
  2. Select Check for updates. If updates are available, the system will install them automatically. When the installation is complete, restart your Surface.

Boot in Safe Mode

If an update doesn’t do the trick to stop Microsoft Surface screen flickering, give Safe Mode a try. Safe Mode is a startup mode that limits the programs your Surface Pro has access to, helping you to identify what could be causing the screen shaking and flickering problem. Follow these steps to enter Safe Mode:

  1. Hold the Power button for about 10 seconds to turn off your laptop.
  2. Press the Power button again to turn it back on. When the computer restarts, hold the Power button for another 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat this process two more times.
  4. Then, press the Power button again. Then, select Advanced options to enter winRE.
  5. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

Restart the Surface Pro to exit Safe Mode.

Update or re-install your drivers

The drivers inside the Surface Pro could be behind on updates. Drivers are files that help the parts of your device communicate with each other. Usually, these drivers are updated when your device updates its software. In the case that they weren’t, you can update these drivers manually.

Try a factory reset

As a last resort, a factory reset can restore your device to its original settings, potentially fixing the flicker. Check out our guide to backing up and factory resetting your Surface Pro.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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