Monitor Screen Flickering


The user reports that the monitor screen is "flickering" or "flashing". It most often happens in breakdown tables.

We first started hearing of this in 2005. It only happened on some monitors back then, but gradually became more common.

It is caused by QuickTime, which we use for screen drawing on Windows. Apple stopped updating QuickTime, so it is increasingly incompatible with new versions of Windows. The long-term fix is Goldenseal Pro, which totally rewrites the screen drawing. Check our blog for progress reports.


Here are the old diagnostics, which may still help:

1. If it's the lower left corner of a data entry window, it's caused by help messages drawing 'behind' the icons there.

2. If elsewhere, it may be because some LCD monitors seem to 'bleed' images horizontally or vertically.

3. We've heard one or two reports of general flickering or "lightning" on the monitor.

4. If it's flashing on the bottom or right side of the window, some users have reported that resizing the window to be bigger, solves the flashing problem.

NOTE-- There was a bug in Goldenseal construction accounting software version 2.9 and earlier where there was a lot of flickering when the mouse was over the 'book' browser control. That happened on almost any monitor.


1. To remove the messages, choose Preferences from the Options menu, and choose Interface from the submenu. Change the Help Messages popup field to either Never or With Modifier Key. Click OK. They can also make the window bigger so the help message is not behind the icons.

2. The solution to #1 still will help.

3. This is probably just a general hardware problem, maybe triggered by the redraw of the help fields (one of our laptops here gets "heat lightning" white streaks during hot weather). Log in a bug report for any users who don't see improvement after help message are turned off.

4. Make the window bigger. Goldenseal small business software will "remember" the new size and position.

Technical Note

These problems don't occur on our Macintosh accounting software. Our Windows drawing code uses QuickTime to "translate" some calls to Windows. That may be the culprit for some of these screen-update problems. Windows in general seems more likely to flash or do extra redraws, as compared to the Mac. We have looked through our code several times, but haven't found anything that would directly cause any screen flashing.


Entered 1/29/05 by Casey. Revised 9/24/08 by Dennis. Updated 11/14/2010. Updated 10/3/2017.