Tech Tips

Surface Pro 4 Flickergate Screen Flicker Issue And Potential Fix

Many owners of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 tablet computer came across a disappointing glitch where the screen would begin to flicker uncontrollably, making the machine difficult or impossible to use.  The cause of this issue has finally been determined to be a hardware issue, and Microsoft claims that only a “small percentage” of machines have been affected by this issue.

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The issue is not able to be fixed conclusively with software, and so Microsoft is now offering those with this issue the chance to replace their system – owners can apply for this and will receive an equal system in return, however it will be a refurbished product.

My Surface Pro 4 Had The Flicker Issue – How I fixed it.

If you’re having this issue and don’t want to replace your device, you can try this method that I used below to fix the Surface Pro 4 screen flicker issue:

My Surface Pro 4 was purchased on the date that the new Surface Pro 4 line was released, from a local Best Buy in Encinitas California.  My device has worked great and I love it, but it did develop the flickering issue a few months ago.  I did a few searches and poked around the Reddit r/Surface forum to see if anyone else had the issue and what could potentially be done about it.

I ran across an article pointing out that whenever the screen was left stagnant the screen would flicker, which was indeed the case for my Surface.  The solution was to force the system clock in the lower right hand corner to show seconds, thereby causing the screen to have a few pixels of refresh every second.  This was done via a registry tweak, which is easy enough for most people to do if they follow a step by step guide.

How To Display Seconds On System Clock

1.) First, type “regedit” into the Cortana bar and open the Registry Editor

Navigate to:


It works similar to your Windows Explorer file system.

2.) Then right click on the Advanced folder and create a new REG_DWORD and name it ShowSecondsInSystemClock and give it a value of 1

3.) Then click OK.

The seconds should show up right away on the clock in the taskbar, if not restart your system.

Doing this can help some people with the screen flicker issue fix the problem.  It has been working for me for several months.  I’m not sure if there is still an underlying effect on the hardware by using this fix, however I don’t use my Surface Pro 4 to do any CPU heavy activities so I haven’t seen any affect on the performance of my computer.

Unfortunately this fix will not work for everyone experiencing this issue, in which case your best bet is to get your device replaced by Microsoft.

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon has been writing on tech and malware subjects for 6 years and has been working in the internet and tech industry for over 15 years. He currently lives in Southern California.

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