Windows 8 and Photoshop CS6 Black Screen Flickering

Anyone running Windows 8 with Photoshop CS6 installed? If you are like us, we run Photoshop every day all day. There is an annoying display driver issue happening that is currently causing the screen to black out in Photoshop when say, expanding a box or going to the crop tool. It appears from our searches that is is only affecting AMD GPUs (** Update ** – we have had similiar reports from AMD, nVidia, and Intel users) and that they are aware of the issue and are working on a new driver patch to fix the problem. It appears to be affecting Photoshop CS5 as well. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Photoshop CS6 Black Screen Flickering

OPTION #1 – Try Beta Driver

OPTION #2 – Try Changing Vertical Refresh

If you access to the Catalyst Control Center, try this below.

Step 1

Click on the Catalyst Control Center.


Step 2

Click on “3D Application Settings.”


Step 3

Change the Wait for Vertical Refresh to “On, unless application specifies.”


OPTION #3 – Graphics Processor Change

You might want to try disabling the performance settings in Photoshop, follow the steps below. Unless you are doing something very intensive which requires the GPU, you shouldn’t notice a slowdown. We recommend turning this back on once they release a patch to fix it.

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Step 1

Go up to Edit


Step 2

Go to Preferences > Performance


Step 3

Uncheck “Use Graphics Processor.” Or turn down settings to basic.


We will update this post with links to new video drivers once they are released. Follow us on twitter or subscribe to our feed to keep up to date on this issue.

User Tips

You can also try running Photoshop in compatibility mode.

Thanks Ed for this tip:
I went into my Advanced Options and turned the Drawing Mode down to basic. Had to close Photoshop and restart it, but the flicker has gone… So you may not have to turn Graphics Processor completely off.

Thanks lennartbnl for this tip:
I have an nVidia GT555m and Intel HD 3000 (optimus), I fixed it by setting photoshop to always use the nVidia card instead of the Intel

Cyril Kardashevsky


  1. Thank you for this information. This was becoming VERY annoying!

    I went into my Advanced Options and turned the Drawing Mode down to basic. Had to close Photoshop and restart it, but the flicker has gone… So you may not have to turn Graphics Processor completely off.

    Thanks again!

      1. If you want to try Ed’s fix, the “Advanced Settings” are located right under the Step 3 image under “Use Graphics Processor”. If Graphics Processor is checked you can go into the “Advanced Settings” and turn the drawing mode down to basic like Ed did. Hopefully that helps :) !

    1. I saw your comment and decided to try this first. It worked just fine as soon as I tried your suggestion. I’ll have to toy with it more just to ensure this did fix it.

  2. Glad I found this page I have had to turn off OpenGL to avoid the black flickering. Hopefully AMD can solve this issue as it had me thinking our brand new laptop was broken.

  3. Wow!

    I’m a graphic designer and use Adobe CS6 daily. This was driving me nuts. Thank you very much for your help. I changed my settings to “Basic” and it solved the flickering.

    Thanks again!

  4. Thanks for posting the fix to this problem! I use photoshop heavily and the flicker was a huge hastle when I was working! Downloading the fix now! Hats off to you Brian!

  5. My Toshiba Tecra laptop with AMD Radeon HD 7470M display driver was, like you and the other commenters, driving me nuts with black masking in Photoshop CS6 (Win 8 Pro). Turning the Drawing Mode down to basic also solved the problem. I felt that was less dicey than updating the display drivers.

    1. Yes, we have added that under tips at the bottom for those who don’t want to test the beta drivers. Beta drivers have been known to cause other problems :) So the drawing mode fix is probably the safest.

  6. Thanks!!!!! I just updated my OS into Windows 8 then i noticed this flickering black screen whenever i do something in PS, you’ve enlightened us. Hoping to update this post as sson as AMD make a fix on this. I also use photoshop almost everyday.

    1. ** UPDATE **

      This has been fixed with the latest BETA drivers from AMD. Download the 12.11 Beta drivers released on 11.16.2012.

      1. The new beta drivers do work on ATI 5750 and ATI 5770 models, as well as the 7660 and the dual graphics 7600. I can’t confirm other models yet. Hopefully ATI’s final release of this new driver update will be soon, until then I have had no problems with the new BETA drivers.

  7. Looks like its not just AMD gpus guys. I have a Dell xps 15z with an Nvidia GeForce and I got the same issue with Windows 8 as I did with my AMD-based Desktop.

  8. Thank you very much, this problem was annoying me for the past few weeks. Finally found a good solution to this problem.

  9. I’m using CS5, updated to the BETA drivers – no change apart from no black flickering, but checked flickering in
    Photoshop. But turned my OpenGL settings to Basic in Preferences, and everything is now back to normal. GOSH THANK YOU!

  10. Thank you! This was starting to drive me to drink. Dropping down to basic mode appears to have done the trick for me as well.

  11. Thanks for posting this; I have an Intel HD Graphics 3000 video driver, version, and it suffers the same symptom as the AMD chipset. Setting drawing mode down to Basic and restarting Photoshop removed the symptoms.

  12. ATI 6800 Series still the SAME problem even on latest 13.1 oder 13.2 Drivers. Sure i can go back to BASIC but well, is there another fix to still use GPU like in Win 7???

  13. Thank you very much for posting that link :) I have now updated the post with additional information. Changing the Vertical Refresh does fix it on my system. Hopefully it helps others as well.

  14. Ah wow. I thought this issue was with me. I run into all the really weird problems. I just got a Win8 laptop.This has been so irritating when I’d try to zoom in and do detail work. I’ll have to try the Preferences fix. And by the way, I’m one of the few who reads the comments. Sometimes I find an easier fix that way.

  15. I’m still having a problem. Whenever I type text the background flashes black and whenever I right click a layer the background shows the transparent cubes.

  16. I have an nVidia GT555m and Intel HD 3000 (optimus), I fixed it by setting photoshop to always use the nVidia card instead of the Intel :)

    1. How did you do that? I have a AMD Radeon 7730M but Photoshop ‘sees’ a Intel HD graphics 4000. How can I make the switch?

      1. Oh I forgot to add that, in the software of your graphics card you can set the default graphics card to use for an application. I set photoshop.exe to always use the nVidia card, then the option to select this card appeared in Photoshop.

        In my case I right clicked on photoshop.exe -> Run with graphic processor -> Change default graphics processor :)

  17. Thank you soo much for posting this. I also upgraded to windows 8 and found this happen to photoshop CS6. The vertical sync tip solved the issue for me!

  18. Thank you very much for the workarounds here, I’ve never had an issue on windows 7 32bit but I recently installed W8 64bit and the flickering issue was hair pulling-ly irritating to me I use photoshop all the time and can’t tolerate interruptions of that caliber. I nearly reverted back to 32bit.

  19. Thanks very much. It works on me. BTW, I can not find the setting in step 3 “Frame rate control” but it still works. Cheers!

    1. Great, glad it worked for you! We keep getting posts every day on this so I don’t think it has been fixed yet. Will test this weekend with newest driver and fixes removed.

  20. This isn’t just a problem with AMD It’s doing the same on my Intel I3 and Intel HD graphics (It’s a terrible intergrated GPU but It’s on a laptop)

  21. changing the draw mode option to basic worked for me as well. I am in windows 8 photoshop cs6 environment. Thanks much Ed!!

  22. I don’t know if this is a related issue or not but since fixing this problem photoshop doesn’t seam to replicate colors properly. For example I opened an image that had a couple of different shades of black and grey but photoshop is displaying it with a slight shade of brown mixed into it. It might just be my machine doing it but I’m not sure. Is anyone else getting this happen to them too?

    1. I had noticed that early on, especially with some high contrasted issues when flipping from Photoshop to Windows Fax Viewer. After awhile it seemed to stop. Making some of these changes helped me

  23. Still happens on Intel HD Graphics 4000, irrespective of me turning on GPU use in Photoshop or Vsync in the Intel Graphics control centre. Can’t believe it takes so long for Intel or Adobe to bring out a proper fix.

  24. I went into performance, then advanced and took the graphics down to basics…you have to shut down the program and then restart. Mine stopped flickering all together.

    1. Thank you so much for posting that you shut down and restarted. I was about to pull my hair out but tried and it worked – hooray!

  25. Mine stop flashing too but I have another problem. Photoshop CS6 works so slow on my windows 8 computer. When I was using windows 7 it worked fine but on windows 8 it doesn’t. Please HELP!!!
    And yha your post helped me a lot thank you for that.

  26. I have amd fx 8150 and asus mother board which has ati redeon hd 4250 built in. The pc works fine but when I install CS6 it works for 5minutes and then it crushes and restart after that whenever I start cs6 it crushes again I did all the recommendation by your site but still it’s same

  27. Hey Buddy ..

    Thnx its really workssssssssssssssss … mrealy so thankful to you … was not having an another option as Adobe premier wasnt working on win 7 32bit so was switching to win 7 …. but really thanx to u … now my both softwre working properly …

  28. Ed’s tip worked for me. Although I set the Drawing mode to Normal. Then restarted PS and the flicker is gone. I have an Intel graphics processor. Thanks!

  29. The user tip from Ed worked for me. Set drawing mode to basic, restart photoshop, no flicker anymore. I have an Intel graphics processor. Thanks!

  30. Thank you! I used Option 3 and now I don’t get that flickering anymore. I had to close out of Photoshop and reopen it for this to work.

  31. Thank you Brian Jackson for helping me retain a bit of my hair which I would’ve pulled all out if I had to watch Photoshop flicker at me one more day! Solution #3 worked like a charm after I restarted Photoshop. I am disappointed in AMD for not getting this fixed yet. I downloaded the latest beta drivers which I believe are dated 11-18-2013 or a day or two earlier and still no joy. I am not noticing any slow down by making that change so it will work for me until AMD gets around to fixing this or I get around to getting a new PC built.

  32. I can confirm that in laptops with two GPUs (dedicated + bulit in intel) forcing dedicated GPU instead of intel HD card solves the problem of photoshop flicekring + enables openCL suppot. Just force it through GPU driver software.

  33. Dude! THANK YOU!!!
    The flickering was so bad… PS might have to issue a warning for those who may succumb to epileptic seizures!

    Changing the PS preferences to “Basic” was all it took for me.

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