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Question: High Sierra screen artifacts

I'm seeing residual screen artifacts on my desktop and also in applicationUser uploaded file windows that were previously active, but which have been hidden or closed. These artifacts are very faint, and I think over a suitable period of time, the initial set of artifacts "fade"... but they're replaced by artifacts from other open then hidden/closed windows.

Also, if I change the desktop to any solid color, I cannot see these artifacts. And they are visible only with certain background images. (I think if the background image being used is very bright or very dark then you cannot see these artifacts.

NOTE - the artifacts are VERY faint - I've attempted to create some screen shots, which as I look at the screen are relatively easy to see, but when I look at the actual screen shots, they are almost impossible to detect.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), macOS High Sierra (10.13), Display issues - 27" iMac mid 2012

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Sep 30, 2017 7:59 AM in response to LuxViz In response to LuxViz

Shut down and restart is fundamental for sorting random anomalies.

You could try reinstalling the macOs on top of your existing macOS


you could wait for an update 10.13.1 and see if this address the issue.

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Sep 30, 2017 7:59 AM

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Oct 1, 2017 12:38 AM in response to leroydouglas In response to leroydouglas

I have done a restart and that didn't change anything. This is not that big a deal for me to go through a reinstall. I'm only trying to report what I see as a problem on my iMac in case others are having the same problem, and also in case Apple engineering is not currently aware of this problem. I will also try to file a bug report as I'm already an Apple Developer.

I'm adding camera-generated screen shots as the normal screen shots do not help in showing the 'artifacts' - which I now can tell are pixels from other windows which are "bleeding" through and into the top-most window, and which I can now tell are hidden app windows which are somehow still bleeding into the desktop image.

I'm including some more screen shots, this time taken with a camera (though hand-held and not corrected for lens distortion). But with literal screen shots, I think you are not actually able to see the extraneous pixel details that you can see with your eyes. The camera was able to capture the pixel artifacts.

The 2 vertical images show the artifacts visible in my Finder/Desktop image, and also the hidden window for Transmission which is doing some file downloads for movies. If you look at the image of the Transmission window, you can clearly match up the bleeding content in the Finder when the app window has been hidden. I've also included an image of bleeding coming into a Photoshop window, this time with the Transmission window in the background and not hidden.

User uploaded fileUser uploaded fileUser uploaded file

Oct 1, 2017 12:38 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 6:32 AM in response to LuxViz In response to LuxViz

Having exactly same issues on High Sierra. Especially on dark grey backgrounds - see attached photo below

User uploaded file

All those lighter elements are artifacts that are like ghosting of things that were displayed earlier - like fb page or icons of the background visible on the right side.

You should actually see a smooth grey background - below is a screenshot of the same thing:

User uploaded file

Few things:

- artifacts above are visible only on my iMac screen

- they are not visible on the 2nd monitor

- had to take a photo just like LuxViz as they are not visible on screenshots

- when they start to appear - it seems that my iMac is slowing down - especially when I jump from one desktop to another - it's just jerky animation

- I assume that all that suff have something to do with Metal 2 introduced by Apple in High Sierra - as you can read on the internet: "Metal 2 includes driver optimizations, and Apple claims that it brings up to a 10 times better draw call throughput. More debugging tools are now available, and the Mac Window Server has been migrated to Metal as well to enhance performance of the system-wide animations."

- 2nd monitor issues:

I do not have artifacts but have strange grey rectangles appearing on dark backgrounds. And I can take screenshots of those "rectangles". Sometimes they are flickering. See below screenshots of Spotify app on 2nd montior and on iMac:


User uploaded file

User uploaded file


User uploaded file

On top of that I am experiencing "locking" issues - I have to restart my iMac as only my mouse cursor is responsive and nothing else, including not responsive keyboard and screens are not refreshed at all. But this is a known issue to Apple and you can find more info about this elsewhere.

I hope Apple will solve this issue soon - seems that 10.13.1 update is even worse.

My iMac specs:

iMac 27" Late 2012

3.4 GHZ Intel Core i7



Nov 14, 2017 6:32 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 4:29 PM in response to PatrickGT In response to PatrickGT

Same issue on my iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)

After the upgrade to High Sierra image retention is much more prevalent.

Image retention is absolutely normal, but now happens almost immediately, is much more pronounced and take much longer to dissipate. It's also a weird reddish colour for some reason.

image of my desktop icons burned in after 4 minutes and switching over to another space

User uploaded file

Nov 14, 2017 4:29 PM

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Dec 14, 2017 7:16 AM in response to LuxViz In response to LuxViz

Same issue here. Late 2013 iMac that started to have image retention the day I upgraded to High Sierra. Tried the Nvidia webdriver (CUDA) but issue remains and it is actually rather problematic if you like myself work a lot with Photoshop or After Effects.

The artifacts or image retention starts to happen after a few minutes of usage.

How do we know or make sure that Apple is going to address this issue?

Dec 14, 2017 7:16 AM

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Jan 9, 2018 6:07 AM in response to LuxViz In response to LuxViz

I have the exact same issue with my mid-2012, 27" iMac. It's been occurring for about the past 6 months and I've tried to ignore it, but it's getting worse. I contacted support through Twitter and they had me do all the standards things that others have done (and that I've done on my own)...but nothing has been resolved. These seems like it may be more of a hardware degrading problem. It's extremely problematic for doing any photography work b/c of the constant artifacts and bleeding.

I seriously doubt Apple would provide replacements/fixes for ~6 year old machines without significant cost. The idea of having to buy a new machine is not something I'm hoping to do.

Jan 9, 2018 6:07 AM

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Jan 10, 2018 11:10 AM in response to LuxViz In response to LuxViz

I wonder if Apple tests these upgrades? Any programmer would experience this problem that we all share in this blog. And it doesn't matter which program we are running, then quit. There remains a 1-3% ghost artifact of the last window on top of any current active program window. It makes watching video difficult and distracting. And a restart doesn't solve the situation. Sometimes it does. Most times, it doesn't. The iMac is supposed to be the most sophisticated computer in the world. Did the guy who vetted this before release have a death in the family?

The next time Mac offers a software upgrade.... I will wait until it's absolutely necessary before irreversibly upgrading.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

Jan 10, 2018 11:10 AM

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Jan 20, 2018 7:33 AM in response to Stephen Fuchs In response to Stephen Fuchs

There is one method to reduce these effects. Tighten up your display sleep times to 10 minutes in Energy Saver and use a variable slide (animated) screen-saver pattern set to five minutes or just before your chosen display sleep time, in Desktop & Screen Saver. You should see a drastic improvement in this bug.

Wait for the next upgrade, but read the fine print first to discover whether it solved this particular problem. If not, don't update.

Good luck, Chris

Jan 20, 2018 7:33 AM

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Jan 20, 2018 7:59 AM in response to CrowdedBlouse In response to CrowdedBlouse

So we should stop our work every ten minutes, let the screen saver run for 5, let the display turn off and then rinse and repeat? Seems like a total productivity killer. The problem most of us here seem to be having is severe image retention during normal, such as writing this reply. Unless I move the screen around every minute, I am going to have image retention linger. Does it go away eventually? Yes, but not after staying up on the screen for an annoying amount of time. For someone who is doing design work, it gets to be very difficult to accurately view what I am working on with these artifacts getting in the way.

Jan 20, 2018 7:59 AM

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Jan 20, 2018 8:28 AM in response to Stephen Fuchs In response to Stephen Fuchs

Yeah, I also think that's not really any kind of solution if you're doing anything productive. The fact is that screen retention wasn't really big problem before upgrading to High Sierra. I already submitted bug report to apple. There are no any replies from them yet. But I think you should all also submit bug reports so they can notice it. This forum is not official place to submit bugs. The more people submit the bug in the official place the more likely they will do something and react.

Jan 20, 2018 8:28 AM

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Question: High Sierra screen artifacts