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Apple iPhone SE screen flickering, gray lines, blue screen, red screen problems [Troubleshooting Guide]

Apple’s iPhone Series Edition (#iPhoneSE) sports a 4-inch retina display with LED-backlit widescreen multi-touch screen, and high screen resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi). Although it’s deemed the smallest iPhone of this generation, the iPhone SE features the same exact A9 chip with M9 motion coprocessor and so it’s still deemed a powerful device. But just like the other bigger flagship smartphones from Apple, this iPhone variant is also not immune to problems particularly those that are affecting the display.

In fact, several reports have already been made by iPhone SE owners who have encountered different display problems such as screen flickering, gray lines, blue screen, and red screen. Read on to learn why your iPhone develops any of these symptoms and how to fix it.

If you have other problems, drop by our iPhone SE troubleshooting page for we have already addressed several problems with this device. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions or troubleshooting guides we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need further assistance, then contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. Just give us information about your problem and we will do the rest.

Why is your iPhone SE screen flickering or showing other display issues?

When the iPhone starts to show any of the aforesaid screen issues, most people would immediately put the blame on a faulty hardware component. But in contrary, a number of cases of iPhone SE screen problems have been found connected to software glitches and other factors as highlighted below.

Corrupted Program or Apps Malfunction. Random cases of screen flickering problems affecting the iPhone SE were isolated to certain applications. For example, some users have encountered the problem while using certain apps or phone features including the iPhone camera app. Some users have noticed there iPhone screen flickers or visible gray lines that usually appear on the upper part of the screen while switching between camera modes in taking photos or recording a video with the iPhone camera. For some reasons, something must have triggered the program to cause any of these symptoms on your device. Other cases of screen flickering occurred when the device is exposed to artificial light while making video calls using FaceTime. Some users complained that the front camera also flickers while recording a video.

Some experts speculate that display issues are downsides that are likely inflicted by the company’s poor software optimization on their iPhones just like with the iPhone 6s plus model. For some reasons, the company has implemented a hardware based downscaling algorithm rather than optimizing the software on the iPhone.

Software Updates. Generally, software updates are intended to offer enhancements to iPhone features and functions but may also contain some bugs. This means that not all users have the same positive result following the actual software update implementation. In fact, screen problems are also among the complaints made by iPhone SE owners after updating to the most recent iOS version for their iPhone. And most likely in this case, a software bug is to blame.

Memory Problems. Your iPhone may also show display symptoms due to memory problems. In fact, several users who encountered issues on unresponsive or frozen display accompanied by slow performance have said that these were tied to an existing memory issue on their device. Insufficient memory space can also trigger your iPhone to show similar symptoms. When your device is running out of memory, there is a chance for it to show some unusual screen behaviours as manifested by blue screen, red screen, or other relevant symptoms.

Hardware Problems. In worst case scenarios, screen problems can be a direct indication of hardware damage. In fact, many users have encountered similar symptoms on their device after a hard drop or liquid exposure. Needless to say, some components of the iPhone, particularly those that are within the logic board might have been damaged from the impact (when dropped) or liquid exposure. Unfortunately in this case, your only option is to take your iPhone to a technician to check and repair whatever component that is damaged. Unless your iPhone is still warranty, then you can go ahead and avail of service warranty. Otherwise, you’ve got to pay for repair.

How to fix software-related screen problems on your iPhone SE?

The good thing about software-triggered issues is that they can be rectified using certain workarounds. If you are certain that there is no damage to any of your iPhone’s hardware components, then you may go ahead and give any of the following methods a try on your end. Please note that these workarounds would only work if the problem lies within the iPhone software. Let’s get started.

Step 1. Reboot your iPhone

Your phone apps are just like computer programs that can experience minor issues from time to time. And minor as they are tagged, these issues can be rectified by a restart. If this is the first time you see your iPhone SE screen flickers, or show other unusual behaviours, we can say that they are more likely triggered by random software malfunctions which can potentially be fixed by a simple restart on the device.

  • To reboot your iPhone, press and hold the Power button until you see the red slider. Scroll to select the option to Power off. After at least 20 seconds, press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone should then reboot.

Alternatively, you can perform a force restart if your iPhone screen is not freezing or not responding to touch. It is considered a safe process because it won’t erase contents from your device.

  • To force restart your iPhone SE, press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds and release both the buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Both of these are widely used methods in dealing with various issues transpiring in mobile devices due to minor software problems. Hopefully this will fix your problem too.

Step 2. Configure Accessibility Settings

Some users were able to fix the relevant symptoms including flickering display, white lines and huge white boxes on their iPhone screen by enabling Reduce Transparency under Accessibility menu. You can give it a try and see what happens afterwards.

To do so, go to Settings-> General-> Accessibility-> look for Reduce Transparency setting and then toggle the switch to enable it.

Enabling this option can also help deal with blurring backgrounds and increase screen legibility especially when viewing images or video contents on your iPhone.

Step 3. Free Up Storage

Make sure that your device has adequate storage space available as iOS may tend to underperform and starts to act weird when the storage gets tight. If necessary, try to delete non-essential apps and multimedia contents. You can also move some photos and videos off the device. Checking your iPhone’s current memory status is a good start to manage and implement proper storage allocation on your device so as to prevent any performance issues to arise in due time.

Step 4. Turn off iCloud Sync for iWork

For some reasons, your iPhone screen may also tend to flicker when using apps like Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. Others even have experienced random blue screen issues while using any of these apps to edit documents. As temporary workaround, disabling the iPhone’s iCloud Sync feature can help.

To do so, go to Settings-> iCloud-> Documents & Data-> and then scroll to Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Toggle the switch next to each app to disable the feature.

Step 5. Restore iPhone to factory defaults

If the problem starts after installing a software update, it is possible that the update contains some bugs. Restoring your iPhone can be considered an option since you can set your device back to factory default settings thereby eliminating all possible software glitches that exist. Be sure to note though that this process will erase your device completely, so creating a backup is necessary before you begin.

Once everything is all set, you may then proceed with iPhone restore via iTunes. In this process, you will need to use a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed. Then continue with these steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable.
  • Open iTunes on the computer.
  • In the iTunes Summary panel, select the option to Restore.

When the iTunes is finished restoring your iPhone, you may proceed with the initial setup and manually bring data back to your device. But as much as possible, do not restore from a previous backup. There is a higher chance that a problem can re-occur especially if it was caused by a software bug or corrupted files from the previous backup.

If you’ve done all the above procedures and things are still the same, contact Apple Support for further assistance and recommendations. Or you can also take your iPhone SE to an authorized technician for hardware check or service. There is a higher chance that the problem is triggered by a faulty hardware especially if there were prior instances where the iPhone was dropped or got wet.

Engage with us

If you have other issues with your Apple iPhone SE, we are always willing to help. Contact us through our iPhone issues questionnaire and provide us with all necessary information about your problem so we can find a solution to your issue.

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