Second Monitor Keeps Flashing or Going Black Randomly

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

If your computer’s secondary monitor keeps flickering and flashing randomly, this guide may help you resolve the problem. The issue is about the screen would suddenly turn black and immediately come back on, as if it’s entering sleep mode and then waking up, while the primary monitor works normally. Although these fixes worked for us, we can’t promise they’ll work for everyone.

Also see: Game Stuttering and Lag on Dual Monitor

Symptom: Second monitor keeps flashing randomly

In our specific scenario, the main monitor is a 144Hz gaming monitor, while the secondary monitor is a standard 60Hz display. When we have an active app such as Chrome on the main monitor, any moving content displayed on the secondary monitor would trigger the flickering and flashing problem. This makes the second monitor go completely black and then immediately show images again. This issue can happen at random intervals, every few seconds.

How to fix second monitor flickering and flashing issues

This monitor flickering issue is quite common and there are a few fixes you can try, but they might not all work depending on your specific problem.

Related resource: How to Change Screen Refresh Rate in Windows 11

Select and rearrange displays in Nvidia Control Panel

It might sound odd, but rearranging your display setup in the Nvidia Control Panel has fixed the flickering for some users. Follow the steps below to try this solution.

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel from the Start menu in Windows 11 or 10, or by right-clicking the Nvidia Settings icon in the notification icons area in the taskbar.Nvidia Control Panel to fix second monitor flickering
  2. In the control panel, expand Display and select Set up multiple displays.
  3. Select and enable the displays you want to use, then drag the icons (usually labeled as 1 and 2, where 1 is your primary monitor and 2 is your second monitor) to whichever direction you want.Second Monitor Keeps Flickering Flashing Going Black
  4. Click on Apply.

It doesn’t matter if you have configured this before in the default Windows settings; the point is to configure this once again in the Nvidia Control Panel, and it somehow solved the flashing issue for us.

If you’re unable to find NVIDIA Control Panel even though you’re sure you’re using an NVIDIA GPU, it’s likely that you haven’t installed the graphics driver yet. To resolve this issue, try installing or updating your graphics driver and check if NVIDIA Control Panel gets installed.

Useful tip: How to Turn On G-Sync or FreeSync in Windows 11 for better gaming performance and experience.

Adjust desktop color settings option in Nvidia Control Panel

If your monitor is connected using HDMI but not via DisplayPort, you can try this method to fix the flickering and flashing problem.

  1. In Nvidia Control Panel, under Display, go to Adjust desktop color settings.
  2. Select your primary monitor and, at the bottom under the “Content type reported to the display” option, select Desktop programs.
  3. At the top, select your second monitor and also change the option to “Desktop programs” as well.
  4. Click on Apply.
  5. Restart your PC and see if the flashing issue is fixed.

Second Monitor Keeps going to sleep and turning off

Other recommended solutions

If none of the above steps work, here are some other things you can try:

  • Make sure both your video and monitor drivers are up to date by visiting the manufacturer’s website or using driver update software.
  • If you’re using an Nvidia graphics card and can’t find the Nvidia Control Panel, download and reinstall the graphics driver from Nvidia’s website. This should also install the Nvidia Control Panel.
  • Check the screen refresh rate of your second monitor to ensure it’s set correctly. If you’re using a 60hz monitor, try setting the refresh rate to 60hz, or test 59hz to see if it helps.How to change refresh rate desktop screen Windows 11
  • If your monitor has different input ports, try using another type like DisplayPort or DVI instead of HDMI or VGA.
Categories: ComputingTroubleshoot

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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