My Mac Screen Is Misbehaving, What Do I Do?

If your MacBook’s screen is flickering or has started showing distorted colours, then this article should prove to be a valuable and helpful resource for you. Normally, in most cases when this happens the problem is only temporary before your Mac goes back to normal, however that still doesn’t change the fact that it can be quite unsettling and distracting, especially if you’re in the middle of working.

Luckily, this is actually a common issue that is experienced by many Mac users. However, the bad news is nobody really knows why it happens, except for a few probable theories. So, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to fix the problem. Also, to help you get your Mac to function at 100 percent, once again.

What Is Wrong With My Screen?

The first question that you will probably want to know is, why it is behaving in this manner? As mentioned before, it is actually a pretty common bug found in most MacBooks, so it’s assumed that the problem stems from instabilities between the macOS system and some GPUs. In other words, this means that the screen problem is usually a systematic problem, which means that you will have to adjust/reset your computer’s performance settings through various methods.

1. Reboot Your Device

The first thing you can try to do whenever you have a systematic problem with your computer is to restart it. This will almost always resolve most of the issues you may experience, because when it reboots it essentially refreshes everything  in your Mac, ensuring that any abnormalities will be removed. However, you should make sure to disconnect any external devices eg. a usb c hdmi ethernet hub, that you may have attached to your Mac, to avoid any possible data loss or corruption.

2. Update Your macOS

Another alternative solution that you can take is to check whether or not your Mac is running the latest software update from Apple. It’s possible that by upgrading your OS, it may have a new update that would help you solve the screen issue. You can always check to see if there is an available software update by heading to 

System Preferences and selecting Software Update. If there is a new update you can go ahead and install it. However, before you do that you should always make sure your data has been backed up.

3. Deactivate True Tone

True Tone is a feature food in any MacBook that was released after 2018 and it is what normally adjusts your screen’s colour display, depending on the lighting conditions in your room. It is a very useful feature that helps alleviate eye stress but it consistently consumes a lot of GPU performance and could be the reason as to why your Mac’s screen is acting up. You may disable this feature by heading to System Preferences, selecting Displays and removing True Tone.

4. Perform A SMC Reset

This is the system component that is essentially responsible for most of your computer’s basic functions such as power management, keyboard functionality, battery etc. As a result, performing a hard reset of the system management controller is a viable solution to help fix your screen issue. You can do this by holding the Control + Option + Shift +Power buttons. You should hold down these buttons for at least 7 seconds, then wait for a few seconds before turning your Mac back on. However before you do this make sure you have unplugged any external devices as well as portable outlets such as a 20v usb c charger, for example. This should ensure that your SMC properly resets without any issues.

5. Restart Mac in Safe Mode

Another alternative option is to reboot your Mac in safe mode. This basically only reboots your Mac’s most basic functions and features, which in turn could fix the performance of your Mac’s graphics card. You can restart your Mac in safe mode by shutting it down and rebooting it while pressing and holding down the Power + Shift buttons. After that, you can restart the Mac the normal way to set it back to Normal mode and it should in theory, have fixed the issue.

6. Contact Apple Support 

If none of these solutions work and your Mac is still having the screen issue, you can always contact Apple or head to your nearest Apple retail outlet and they should be able to figure out what the problem is. 


In summary, there are several options that you can take to try and fix the issue. Whether you decide to reboot your Mac, reset your SMC, update your OS or to contact Apple for help, there is no need to panic as one of these solutions is sure to solve your problem. However, it is usually better to prevent these problems from happening by keeping a close eye on your Mac’s performance by periodically using the diagnostics tool on your Mac to assess any potential problems before they become big.

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