Bitdefender broken!!! Windows 10 Desktop flashing/flickering issue

Great, I just had to reinstall Windows 10, because of a broken BitDefender!!!

After I rebooted my PC and logged in, Windows Explorer would suddenly start to flicker. I disabled all Autostart items, with no success. I rebooted into Safe Mode to uninstall BitDefender to see wheather it was causing the issue or not, but I could not uninstall it. After hours of wasting time, I decided to reinstall Windows completely.

Well, right after a fresh install, the first thing I installed was BitDefender Total Security, and rebooted. Guess what, the flickering started again. This time, I was able to uninstall it in Safe Mode. Rebooted -> Flickering didn't occur anymore.

Never ever - BitDefender! (Cool, it even rhymes)


  • Same exact thing is happening to me

  • Screen flickering in Windows 10 is usually caused by display drivers. To update your display driver, you'll need to start your PC in safe mode, uninstall your current display adapter, and then check for driver updates....

  • danika
    edited February 2021
  • Seems to be, I have 2 PCs on the insider program both having the issue. The several others not on insiders are fine.

    The joys of running beta software.

  • I have the same issue (also on a machine using insider program). I managed to work around it by:

    1 inserting a USB stick to trigger a bitdefender notification

    2 Click the notification like mad to open the bitdefender console window (which unlike anything else including taskmanager seems to run fine)

    3 Under protection Advanced Threat Defense > Setings: turn advanced threat defense off

  • Since I need my PC for work, I'm afraid to reinstall BD again. But, is the PC overall usable? Not only did I encounter the flickering (after reboot), but BD (after installation) also prevented drivers and apps from installing.

  • Yes, I too am on the Insider Dev channel.

    Please, get out of here! You're acting like we're total noobs here and didn't already rule out the "usual" screen display driver problem.

  • Hello I'm having the same issue with Bitdefender on W10 insider. Once I uninstall Bitdefender via safe boot it all works fine, I've tried reinstalling and noticed that as soon as BD updates itself the flickering comes back after restart.Is there a workaround for this?

  • ad_on_is
    edited February 2021

    I clearly stated that uninstalling BD made the issue go away, so how the freaking hell could this be in any way related to a display driver? If you're here just to score points and badges for your next resumè... please, get outta here!

  • Hello BitDef123,

    Yes, I am on Windows Insider Build Program-

    Didn't have to use USB trick . Installed again and disabled Advanced Threat Defense before that oddball update notification where the Update notification popup occured..see link-that was where my troubles began, especially when I restarted machine.. 

      Thus far, after 2 restarts everything still works. So thank you for this workaround.

    Disable Advanced Threat Defense settings as BitDef123 points out. It may work for you.

  • Isn't disabling that functionality defeating most of purpose of using Bitdefender? I'm guessing this is a temporary measure you are suggesting. Is that right?

  • @gest ,

    It is an unsatisfactory workaround yes, you will not have 100% the protections enabled but still better than an uninstall of Bitdefender.

    I certainly hope the issue is temporary, and Bitdender Support addresses the issue, but since Windows Insider Builds are affected it's unlikely that Bitdefender Support will involve themselves into this issue. The do not support Beta Builds of Windows. But one can hope.:)

    Keep in mind, if you are NOT on the Insider Build of Windows you apparently are NOT affected by this issue.

    Thank you for posting.

  • Hi,

    I had exactly the same problem on 2 machines runsing insider. I reported it 2 days ago and my post hasn't yet been approved, as far as i can see!!

    Managed to fix by booting into safe mode and uninstalling Bitdefender.

    I like the software and have paid for it so it is infuriating that I can't now use it.

  • If they don't want themselves to get involved into this issue, than this company and all of its products are just garbage. Insider Builds are the ones released in a next major Windows Update, and software should be adapted within a suitable timeframe upon Insiders beta-release. That's why we pay for them, for God's sake! I don't expect it to be fixed within 72 hours, but at least an acknowledgment, like "Hey, we're aware of that, we're working on a fix. Keep you posted" is at least something I'd expect in this case.

  • Ken1914
    edited February 2021

    This problem as everyone has described is caused by BitDefender on a device running Windows Insider. It started for me on Thursday, 2/18 on a PC and 3 laptops. The problem has nothing to do with video drivers.

    I have had to uninstall BitDefender on all 4 machines in order to make them usable.

    As stated by others, an immediate fix is not to be expected but some response by BitDefender IS reasonably to be excepted by paying customers!

    [I received an answer to my support ticket for this issue a few minutes ago. I was told the issue is being worked on and it will be fixed in a week or less. All users will be notified via Email that an update is available when the issue is resolved. Hopefully!]

  • cool! I stopped writing them support tickets, since I have the perception that they don't care at all or have no clue how to help.

  • NEW update in writing from Customer Support (2/24 @9:40 ET) ; reversal of previous phone comments--

    "The issue you have reported is caused by the fact that you are running Windows 10 Insider Preview on this device.

    We do not offer support for beta/unfinished Windows versions, such as Windows Insider Preview builds and we cannot guarantee the proper functionality of the software on this Windows version.

    In order to address the situation you have encountered, you can revert to the latest live build of Windows 10, which is19042."

    True Customer Support is non-existent!

  • I am not surprised Bitdefender Support took this stance. They are only obligated to support official Windows Channels, and not their beta builds. It is what it is. In my case I have disabled the Advanced threat Defense feature of the software. I also have Malwarebytes Premium installed so I'm not too worried about disabling a function on the Bitdefender Security software.

    Malwarebytes also pretty much takes the same position. They do not support beta builds of Windows. I would suggest posting on the Microsoft Feedback Hub about this issue so the Microsoft Engineers are aware of this situation at the least.

  • Well, I'm curious how that all works out in the future, when the current build becomes the new official stable release. Good luck BD! I'm definitely moving on to another product, which is more prosumer-friendly.

  • Has anyone determined if BD is working with Windows Insider release 21322 that just came out today?

  • Yeah I have.

    Right now i have Advanced Threat defense enabled and the computer is working. It's only when the computer is restarted with Advanced Threat Defense that one runs into the Windows Explorer restarts and desktop flickering.BUT you can fix this by clicking Security Widget icon which opens Bitdefender-which happens to be the only stable thing running on the restart lol-anyways click on that Security Widget to open Bitdefender then go to Advanced Threat Defense settings and disable it (again) let the computer settle down and then RE enable Advanced Threat Defense. The computer should work.Well for me thus far it has. It's a workaround sure but at least now theres a way to have Bitdefender at 100% on the Windows Beta Build Dev least until the next build that comes along lol.

    I reserve the right to retract this at any time due to conflicts which may arise because I'm Beta testing...

  • Annndd just like that I have to warn that there seems to be an issue opening some programs on my computer. So while theres no flickering and such there are possible conflicts with programs apparently. But I can still open a browser and surf the web lol.

  • Same here with the last two flights (Insider builds). Took my whole pc apart, checked RAM, PSU, update bios in both my pc and GPU, tried numerous possible solutions till I came to the conclusion it was BD. For some reason it stops windows from running its applications, task manager and explorer.exe being the ones being hit the hardest. For now i will stick with built-in Defender till BD can come with a solution.

  • Yeah, that's what happend to me too. I couldn't even install any drivers after a freshly installed Windows, followed by installing BD.

    There is no solution! They don't support Windows Insider builds.

  • Constantine
    edited February 2021

    There will and should be a solution since insider builds are code that will be implemented in the upcoming releases. The question is how fast they are going to future proof their product. We're not talking about a small bug, this problem is flagging Windows applications and shutting them down rendering the operating system inoperable. I mean, the problem exists in at least two different builds (that I checked), so its not a new thing. There should be beta releases for this reason. Now let's see what comes faster, solution or subscription renewal.

  • This is so disappointing, but not inconsistent with BD's lack of customer caring. I'm a longtime user more than 5 years and have always struggled with support. This issue should be front and center rather require a treasure hunt to track down the cause on win 10 build failures.

    BD, embrace us for helping make your product stringer as MS continues to improve windows.

    Anyone have a product that is stable and supports with preview builds. I'm sure you can't name them here but leave us some clues.

  • Looks like a fix coming soon from MICROSOFT--Insiders must remain patient with this issue..

    We’re investigating an issue where devices with Bitdefender installed may experience a black screen and/or explorer.exe crashes after upgrading to builds 21313 and higher. If you are running Bitdefender, you may choose to pause updates until we release a build with a fix.

  • This is NOT a Microsoft Windows Insider issue! See the clip from part my Email to BitDefender technical support on 3/02.

    "Windows version 19042 was released on 10/20/20.

    Since that time there have been 15 Insider releases. The first 12 worked fine in conjunction with BitDefender.

    Then after the BitDefender release of version on 2/09/21 all three later Windows Insider versions fail upon installation (21313, 21318, and 21322--2/12, 2/19, and 2/24)."

    Notice the BitDefender technical support reply sent to me yesterday.

    "I have looked into the case and it seems that the situation is caused by an issue which has already been acknowledged by our development team. We are currently working on a fix which will be done by means of automatic update and won't require any additional action on your end."

    This issue has been previously recognized by Bit Defender!! Since it will be fixed with an automatic update and many of us have uninstalled BitDefender it is going to difficult to know when this automatic update is implemented. I have been assured I will get an Email when the update is pushed out. If/when the update is pushed out to users please communicate and verify that the issues with BitDefender are fixed.

    I have let Microsoft technical support know that the problem that has been attributed to them was caused by BitDefnder and that they can quit looking for a solution on their end.

  • Hi, fellow MS beta testers,

    From Microsoft:

    • We fixed an issue where devices running Trend Micro software may randomly bugcheck.
    • An issue has been fixed where devices with Bitdefender installed experienced a black screen and/or explorer.exe crashes. Resolving the issue requires an update to the Bitdefender software.

    Not tested on my part yet,



  • Please, get out of here! You're acting like we're total noobs here and didn't already rule out the "usual" driver problem.

    Yes, I too am on the Insider Dev channel.

  • Ken1914
    edited March 2021

    No idea when this will be fixed. See Bitdefender 3/19 comment from support.

    "Thank you for your email.

    We do not have an estimated time for the release of the fix yet, but we will contact you as soon as it's implemented by automatic update of Bitdefender. Please keep in mind that all reported bugs require investigation time.

    We will get back to you as soon as we have a fix."

  • Can someone please verify that this issue has been fixed in the 4/14 Bitdefender software release

  • Hi Guys, I am a new BD user as of yesterday, I have Win10 build (details below) and installed Norton360. Rebooted today and noticed flashing -

    Windows specifications (direct copy and paste)
    I am not running any thing special from MS for Win10 Dev.

    Device name GPUSLAVE01
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700K CPU @ 3.60GHz 3.60 GHz
    Installed RAM 32.0 GB
    Device ID D4F5A816-CFFF-4FAB-AC13-C8826FFEE75E
    Product ID 00330-71396-97792-AAOEM
    System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
    Pen and touch No pen or touch input is available for this display

    Edition Windows 10 Pro
    Version 21H1
    Installed on ‎2/‎9/‎2021
    OS build 19043.1165
    Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.3530.0

    The last OS update of any kind was 8/13/21 (KB5004331, Win10 quality patch 21H1).
    Last application update was Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 21.007.20095) installed 9/29/21.
    This Pc has been in continuous use since 9/29 and 10/2 prior to installing BD.
    Usually rebooted daily.
    No flashing was noticed prior installing BD on 10/3.

    Running an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti that has been stable as a rock for 9 months with driver installed

    Has anyone resolved this flickering issue ?
    This will cause me to uninstall BD very soon to see if that is the source of the issue.

    BD version downloaded and installed.
    and task manager says that the following version is running...
    Product version :
  • Yearend: Bitdefender is still shutting down explorer.exe. And I am shutting down my Bitdefender subscription.

  • Hi Members,

    I know my answer drop in a bit late, but kindly asking to share if this issue is persistent even for

    Happy holidays,


    Intel Core i7-7700 @ 3.60Ghz, 64GB DDR4 || Gigabyte nVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1070 G1 8GB || WD Blue NAND 500GB + 1TB