How to fix a flickering screen on the 2018 MacBook Air

People usually buy Apple products because they just work. You can use them whenever and however you like confident that they will do what you want and never let you down. They aren’t without their foibles though. One we saw last week was a 2018 MacBook Air with a screen that kept flickering.

We love these kinds of things here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. An unusual issue that gets our brains working in order to solve. We did solve it too.

2018 MacBook Air flickering screen fix

The symptoms were like when a graphics driver crashes and recovers on a Windows PC. The screen flashes black for a second, flickers once or twice and then recovers. It’s a minor issue but if you have spent your hard-earned money on a 2018 MacBook Air with Retina screen, you want it to work.

We found two ways around this flickering. Both work in their own right so try one or both of them to see which works for you. The first is to disable auto brightness and the other is to return to the default LCD color profile.

Disable auto brightness

To disable auto brightness on a 2018 MacBook Air, you need to head over to System Preferences and select Display. Uncheck the box next to ‘Automatically adjust brightness’ within the Display tab and the flickering should stop. There is no need to reboot or anything as the change is dynamic.

Return to the default LCD color profile

Depending on how much you have customized your MacBook Air, this fix might not even be relevant which is why I placed it second. For this to work, you will need to have changed to a custom LCD color profile. Something within that setting interferes with the graphics driver on the MacBook causing it to flicker.

  1. Open System Preferences on your MacBook.
  2. Select Display and Color.
  3. Change the setting from your custom setting to ‘Color LCD’.

If you had been running a custom profile, returning it to default seems to fix the screen flickering. It is a workaround I will admit but until there is a driver or software update to fix whatever is behind it, this will have to do.

It doesn’t have to be a complex fault to get us excited here at Dave’s Computers. This was a very minor issue with an otherwise fully functional MacBook Air. However, it was a problem we hadn’t seen before and there were no fixes mentioned online so we had to figure things out for ourselves. We love it when that happens!

If you have the same problem with your own MacBook Air, now you know what to do.

Visit Dave’s Computers in New Jersey for any Apple or Windows computer issues, upgrades or advice. We would be happy to help!