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Screen flicker when dragging documents

2771 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Nov 22, 2012 2:06 AM by Jstoll RSS
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papamiller Calculating status...
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Feb 18, 2012 7:22 AM

Does anyone experince screen flicker when dragging files from the Finder to the Desktop?


Here's a short video showing the problem.


Desktop Flicker, My MacBookPro screen flickers when dragging documents to the desktop.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3), AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB
  • FishNYC22 Level 2 Level 2 (390 points)
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    Feb 23, 2012 7:45 PM (in response to papamiller)

    YES!!! Ever since installing Lion a couple of months ago. I've been meaning to take it in a Genius but haven't had time. Any ideas what it might be? Anyone else? I'm on a Mid 2010 MBP. You?


    Thanks for posting the video.

  • FishNYC22 Level 2 Level 2 (390 points)
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    Feb 25, 2012 2:12 PM (in response to FishNYC22)

    I created a new user and logged into it and it doesnt happen which suggest it could be software related. Then rebooted and it wasn't occuring on my account. Gonna keep a close on what app or duration of time before it starts happening again. Hmm.

  • Jstoll Calculating status...
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    Mar 20, 2012 3:01 AM (in response to papamiller)

    Yes I've also seen the same kind of flicker since upgrading to Lion.

    Only started using Lion 10.7.3 recently booting from a separate internal disk. Never saw this happen using 10.6.x on the same machine:

    • Mac Pro
    • 2.66 GHx Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB


    That is some weird flickering - like a graphics card memory is getting filled with some random garbage.

    Wondering if having VMWare Fusion 4.1.1 installed has anything to do with it

  • clarkeycats Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 27, 2012 12:19 PM (in response to papamiller)

    YES. Glad I'm not the only one with this. The exact same thing is happening to me on Late 09' 27inch Intel Core Duo.


    Hopefully it's an apple issue because I wasn't getting it previous to Lion.

  • LuckyMan94 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 3, 2012 8:20 AM (in response to papamiller)

    Changing the background under System Preferences -> Desktop and Screen Saver to a different background seems to have provided a remedy for the file dragging issue causing the flicker.  Not sure if will solve the other issues, but it worked solidly on the file dragging to the desktop for me.  I can even go back to the original pattern where I was experiencing the problem after I make the change.  So I'd agree with FishNYC22 that it is likely a configuration issue (possibly some left over bad config from the Lion upgrade? -- no telling; but this appears to solve the issue).

  • teaktoc Calculating status...
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    May 3, 2012 7:13 PM (in response to papamiller)

    This is a power supply issue.  Consider this:  no one with an air has the issue.  Most of you probably have stronger 15" systems.


    I just unpackaged the 8GB, 2.4 processor, 1GB video card 15" pro and began experiencing this with both file transfers/ attached storage and DVD burning.


    Attaching the power supply that came with my mackbook resolved the issue and now all is nearly well; only I the issure returns if I want to use the pwer supply from the display as intended.


    This is a sad oversight by Apple that adds a power cable to clutter my desk and reders the design intentions obsolete.  Hopefully it can be fixed.  I ordered 9 27" displays for my team and macbooks for each as well...

  • bs$ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 10, 2012 7:52 PM (in response to teaktoc)

    not true..  I have both 2011 MBA and 2011 iMac.  I see the issue on both systems.

  • MrLWhite Calculating status...
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    May 28, 2012 2:07 PM (in response to papamiller)

    I had this same problem. When i spoke to apple they never suggested changing desktops, but what they did do is set up a new account on my mac and got me to move everything across. This had fixed the problem; for a few months, but today it came back again. It is very fustrating!!!!

  • hoodcj1 Calculating status...
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    May 31, 2012 5:17 AM (in response to papamiller)

    I am running Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8 (12A206j)) and just started to experience similar issues (see image below)  When scrolling up or down a webpage.  It happens randomly, and there are only a few applications open (Photoshop, Pages Safari). I have reset PRAM, but am not holding my breath on that...






    Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 9.46.28 PM.png

  • Jace Cavacini Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Jun 14, 2012 6:50 PM (in response to papamiller)

    Yes, i have it too. There are other threads about this, but it's great that someone did videos of it.


    The most recent Max OS X update didn't help, either. This is pretty annoying.

  • DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 25, 2012 6:58 AM (in response to papamiller)

    yes it's weird to have this issue, I have it for 1 year now.. There is a slight difference between 10.7 and 10.8 - it seems 10.8 fixed the blinking when dragging to desktop but added blinking when doing other things!

    Apple , C'MON!!!

  • David Oldis Calculating status...
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    Jul 5, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to DizzyDown)

    I too just bought a new mac-mini and the same flash happens when moving files around from the Finder to the Desktop.  Looking at the videos that displayed the problem they all had the same 'tell'...they had icons on the lower left/right of the screen.  So I just moved my icons that too were in the corners to be above the dock and no more problem.


    Hope that helps.



  • Sauri Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 8, 2012 8:53 AM (in response to papamiller)

    Have the same issue for a year since installing Lion on early-2008 Mac Pro (quad xeon) with Nvidia GTX285. The displays are connected through DVI, so it's not Thunderbolt/HDMI issue (don't have either of those). Happens only in Finder even when no other programs running.

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