Photoshop Screen Flickering Black & White in Windows 11/10

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Many people using Adobe Photoshop on Windows 11 and 10 have talked about their screens flickering when they open a file or use certain tools like the brush or move the canvas. This guide is all about understanding this weird problem and looking at some ways people have tried to fix it.

Also see: Windows 11 Screen Flickering After Login Following Update

Photoshop Screen Flickering Black and White in Windows 11 or 10

A look at the Photoshop flickering problem

When this happens, the Photoshop workspace either keeps flashing white or black. It’s kind of random and only happens inside Photoshop, not in other apps or games. It’s more common when messing with graphics card settings or when you’re moving stuff to a clipboard.

It looks like this issue mostly happens to Windows systems with Nvidia graphics cards, especially when using external monitors. Also, older graphics cards that aren’t fully up to date with DirectX 12 stuff seem to have this problem more.

Linked issue: Second Monitor Keeps Flickering or Going Black Randomly

Possible fixes to the Photoshop screen flickering issue

Disabling G-Sync or FreeSync

Some folks fixed this by tweaking their monitor’s sync settings. If your monitor has G-Sync or FreeSync and it’s on, it might be causing the flickers. Because modern apps try to use fewer frames when they can to save energy, some screens don’t like this and mess up the brightness. Turning off G-Sync or FreeSync might help:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and pick NVIDIA Control Panel. Or look for it in the Start menu.Open Nvidia Control Panel Windows 11
  2. Click on “Set up G-SYNC” in the Display section on the left.
  3. Uncheck “Enable G-SYNC“.Fix Photoshop Screen Flickering
  4. Hit Apply to save it.
  5. Open Photoshop again and see if it’s better.

Useful tip: Force App or Game to Use Nvidia GPU or Integrated Graphics

Adjusting Photoshop’s performance settings

Adobe Photoshop uses your computer’s GPU for a bunch of tasks. But, if your graphics card isn’t fully compatible, you might see the flickering. You can change Photoshop’s settings to help with this:

  1. Open Adobe Photoshop. Click “Edit” at the top.Photoshop Edit Option
  2. Hover over “Preferences“, then click “Performance“.Adobe Photoshop Preferences Performance Settings
  3. In Performance, find Graphics Processor Settings.
  4. Uncheck “Use Graphics Processor“.Disable Use Graphics Processor in Photoshop
  5. Maybe check “Legacy Compositing” too. It might help some systems.
  6. Click OK.

Close and reopen Photoshop after.

Related resource: Check Graphics Card on Windows 11/10 (NVIDIA, AMD or Intel)

Using older GPU mode

If your graphics card is from before 2016, it might not get along with the newest Photoshop. Adobe has a setting for older GPUs:

  1. Open Adobe Photoshop. Click “Edit” at the top.
  2. Hover over “Preferences“, then click “Technology Previews“.
  3. Check “Use Older GPU Mode“.Photoshop Flickering Black and White
  4. Click OK.

Close and reopen Photoshop.

Disabling Photoshop’s Native Canvas settings

The Native Canvas feature in Photoshop helps with smoother moving around, but it can also cause flickering for some. Here’s how to turn it off:

  1. In Photoshop, go to “Edit” on the top menu.
  2. Hover over “Preferences“, then click “Technology Previews“.
  3. Check “Deactivate Native Canvas“.Deactivate Native Canvas to fix Photoshop flickering
  4. Click OK to save your changes.

After you’ve done that, restart Photoshop to see if the flickering stops.

Updating Photoshop and graphics driver

Make sure both your Photoshop and graphics card drivers are up to date. Sometimes, the flickering is because of outdated software or drivers, especially with old graphics cards that don’t fully support DirectX 12. Updating Photoshop and your graphics driver might fix the problem.

Update graphics driver Nvidia

Disabling “Export Clipboard”

Some users found that turning off the “Export Clipboard” feature in Photoshop helped. This feature lets other apps use what you’ve copied in Photoshop, but it can also cause display problems. Here’s how to turn it off:

  1. In Photoshop, go to “Edit” on the top menu.
  2. Click on “Preferences“, then “General“.Photoshop Preferences General Options
  3. Find the Export Clipboard option.
  4. Uncheck “Export Clipboard“.Photoshop Screen Flickering in Windows 11 10
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

Remember to close and reopen Photoshop after making these changes.

Some final thoughts

Keep in mind, how well these solutions work can depend a lot on your specific computer setup and what’s actually causing the flickering. If nothing here helps, you might need to get a newer graphics card, as Adobe suggests. And don’t forget to keep your software updated. Adobe often releases updates for Photoshop that fix problems like these. Staying up-to-date means you’re less likely to run into issues like screen flickering. If you’re still stuck, reaching out to Adobe’s support or considering a new graphics card could be your next steps.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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