MacBook Netflix Flicker Flashing in Full-screen



I had an annoying problem on my 2015 MacBook Pro Mac OS when watching movies on Netflix using Safari. When in full-screen mode, the display would flash/flicker a couple of times a minute. Well, after digging around, I found a solution for it.

Why Does the screen keep flashing when watching Netflix?

Some MacBook Pro’s have dual graphics cards. Mac OS switches between them depending on what kind of work you are doing, and by switching cards it saves batteries. Unfortunately, the built-in Intel graphics cards are the reason for the flickering and flashing. So we need to turn on the high-performance graphics card when watching Netflix.

Solution

If you are on the move, make sure to re-enable the automatical switching, because running the higher-performing graphics card all the time drains battery capacity.


update

After reading several comments below, there seems to be another problem with more recent versions of MacBook Pro, where the fix is to turning off the “shake mouse pointer to locate” option in Accessibility Fixes the problem.

  1. hello, I have the same issue but I don’t have the tick box ?

    • It’s improved by turning off ‘Automatically adjust brightness’ in System Preferences > Displays.

      • Thank you so much!! It worked for me, you saved my evening lol 🙂

    • System Preferences > Battery. Enable optimize video streaming while on battery in the battery settings.

    • I had this issue for years and i just fixed it with the last update you posted. Thank you!!

  2. Wow this worked for me immediately. Thanks!! But one question, why is the screen flickering while running on the intel graphic card?

  3. This is not working as Automatically adjust brightnes is not on even at my system macOS Mojave 10.14.6.
    Netflix full screen flickering happens only latest Chrome and Safari and not latest Firefox some reason, clearing all cookies does nothing or PRAM clearing, don’t know what is this issue and how to fix it? Jan 2020

    • same issue, let me know if you find a fix please

      • i realised it only happens for me in the eve with the night shift. so i turned it off and now its good

  4. Solution: Go to “System Preferances” -> “Availability” -> “Screen” -> “Cursor” and turn the check box for shaking the cursor to find it ON or OFF. Problem solved.

    • Turning off the “shake mouse pointer to locate” option in Accessibility finally fixed it for me.
      I had this problem when watching subtitled video’s on iTunes, VLC and also Netflix. It happened on my macbook screen and on any connected screen (HDMI) too.
      The auto screen brightness suggestion that others have made didn’t do anything for me.

      • Preferences >> Search for “Cursor” or “Shake mouse pointer to locate” to find the option

        Preferences >> Accessibility >> Display >> Cursor >> “Shake mouse pointer to locate” turned off.

    • YES! That solved it for me! Who would have thought that setting could affect screen flickering?! (I have turned the setting back on again and it still works).

    • A thousand thanks! This worked to fix the flickering on my Mac Mini (late 2014/Catalina). Never would have thought to try this as a fix.

      • go to system preferences > accessibility > display > cursor > switch off ” shake mouse pointer to locate”. That should do the job.

    • it worked for me, thanks so much!!!! the flashing was so annoying, i never would’ve thought this was the fix, netflix had no idea.

    • oh my god thank you so much, I just got my MacBook yesterday and thought it was already broken lol

    • hi! I did it and its worked but after 6-7 hours flickering started again
      (MacBook Air 2017 – BigSur11.1)

    • hi! I did it and its worked but after 6-7 hours flickering started again
      (MacBook Air 2017 – BigSur11.1)

    • Thank you so much! I have had this problem for a while now and its fixed !!! Can’t thank you enough 🙂

  5. thank you so much! This is the only suggestion that worked for me.

  6. Hi for the moment it’s working for me thank you so much ! The thing is I am now using Netflix on Chrome only because when I used it on Safari the screen turned green for a few seconds and also did the flicker flashing thing. I only have my Macbook since a month and it’s kind of frustrating to find out that your brand new device has issues like this. My sister bought it the same day and has the same issues do you think we should’ve brought it back to The store?

    • omg same. within a few weeks, my macbook have issues like this. dissapointed

      • Me too. just got mine and Im having the same issue. It happens sometimes when Im on powerpoint too.

        • Safari Preferences (not System Preferences) > Advanced > Internet plug-ins > Deselect “Stop plug-ins to save power”

  7. Hmmm… nothing of this helped me unfortunately (watching Viaplay), if there are any other tips please share. This never happens watching YouTube :-/

    • Safari Preferences (not System Preferences) > Advanced > Internet plug-ins > Deselect “Stop plug-ins to save power”

  8. All suggestions work including the cursor after I switched to Firefox to watch Netlix! Was using chrome and the issue persists.

  9. hmm i tired all the solutions on this thread and its still not fixed. its not a huge deal because the flickering isnt constant but it is a little annoying. I wonder if its a netflix glitch

  10. You sir! Just saved my life… the shake to find mouse option did the trick for me!!!!

  11. Thank you but none of it worked for me. I switched to firefox and now I have a new problem. Flicker is gone but the videos keep buffering. The whole flicker problem started right after I upgraded to Mojave. With Sierra there were no such problems.

  12. YES! The cursor method solved it for me! I have turned the setting back on again and it still works fine now. So basically we just have to turn it off and then back on and you’re good to go with no compromises/changes on the settings.

  13. Don’t know why it works…but the cursor method solved the problem (didn’t try the automatic brightness adjustment since the cursor method already worked).

  14. None of the solutions above worked for me but THEN…………. I went into

    Safari Preferences (not System Preferences) > Advanced > Internet plug-ins > Deselect “Stop plug-ins to save power”

  15. Thank you so much! The flickering was annoying me so much and I thought my computer was broken.

  16. let me just say I almost flipped thinking my 2020 pro was broken but Turing off the shaking curser worked!! thanks a bunch 🙂

  17. So I guess I’ll be the first to say this, but I just installed Big Sur and most of the troubleshooting options listed above are not available anymore. I guess with the update they either removed or moved these options.

    The problem has persisted to happen despite turning off the “Turning Off the Shaking Curser”. Though the safari option “Stop plug-ins to save power” is not there under Safari preferences and the battery option “Automatically adjust brightness” is not there in System Preferences.

    Quite frustrated watching my Netflix at night time while im having consistently flickering.

    If anyone is on the same page as me with Big Sur and found the solution please let us all know!
    – MacBook Pro 2015 Retina

    • So just read a thread on Reddit saying that its related to Safari + Netflix (full screen). And when testing with no subtitles, it still happens.
      That said, I tried Chrome with and without subtitles…..no problem.

      So not sure if there is a setting to deactivate/activate for safari to solve this problem, but I assume its a software problem with Safari, not my MacBook Pro.

      Therefore, I’ll have to watch Netflix on Google Chrome till a solution is shared.

    • On Big Sur the fullscreen Netflix is now flickering every couple of seconds… Impossible to watch. 13″ Retina MBP 2015 here too. None of the tips here helped / options not available in Big Sur.

  18. hello, I am wondering if you can do one for Chromebooks because recently my Chromebook has been glitching/flicking on my Netflix and I couldn’t figure out why, it will be greatly appreciated if you can make a tutorial on how to fix flicking Netflix on Chromebook

    • I’ve got the same problem. Netflix works but HBO flickers every 4th second. I’ve tried all the trix above. I’m using Big Sur 11.1. Any ideas?

  19. Hello, i’m on Big Sur 11.1 using Safari to watch Netflix. I tried everything. And I finally found the solution, deactivate the dark mode. It worked for me, no more flashes.

    • thank you this worked at first i tried the cursor hack it worked for me but after a little while the problem came back.

  20. Hello, nothing works for me. I have a MacBook pro 2019 15”, do some of you have same problem ?

    • Yes 🙁 tried turning off auto adjust brightness, cursor shaking nothing works. Guess I’ll be watching in small screen for now.