Are you struggling with a flickering Surface Pro 4 screen? You’re not alone. The issue has become so widespread that it has been given a dedicated name and a website by the users who’re experiencing it. The name and website both are “Flickergate”, and according to the site there’re 1800+ users around the world currently suffering from this problem. And the ‘quick fix’ that users have found to temporarily solve this problem is even more surprising.
The flickering of screen, which seems to be a hardware fault, occurs when the device becomes heated after being used for some time. So when it’s placed inside a freezer, the problem is solved. Not for too long though, because the issue returns after some time when device becomes heated once again. According to a user who posted on official Microsoft forums, 10 minutes of freezing gives usage of approximately half an hour. A video of issue and this freezer quick fix has also been posted on YouTube, which you can see below:
And although Microsoft is aware of the problem, they’ve not yet done anything concrete to solve the issue. All we’ve heard from them is this:
“We are aware that some customers have experienced a screen flicker on Surface Pro 4 and are monitoring the situation closely. Customers impacted by this should contact Microsoft support.”
Since it’s a hardware fault, it’s not going to be fixed with a software update. And as far as warranty is concerned, most of these devices are more than a year old, so they’re out of warranty. The only way this can be solved permanently is when Microsoft recalls the defected units and does some sort of repair/replacement, but nothing has been heard regarding it from the company till now.
Some users have reportedly paid $800 for an out of warranty exchange to official support channels of Microsoft. And that is in spite of company’s official support site listing the cost of screen replacement $450, which is about half of it.
This kind of response and behavior is unexpected from Microsoft for a device that’s marketed as a premium product. Flicker gave website says that company is disregarding their issue. The website says:
“Surface Pro’s are marketed and priced as premium devices. Microsoft should therefore respond accordingly by acknowledging the issue and offering a solution. If the issue is a hardware fault, then Microsoft should recall affected devices.”
However, the company has not yet said whether it will recall the devices or not. So what can you do as of now? Not much, except for ditching the Surface Pro 4 entirely until some sort of solution comes out. I do not recommend the method of putting your tablet into the freezer because there’re several things wrong with this method. For example:
- The internals of your device may get frozen, no matter how nicely you pack it. And when you take the tablet out of the freezer, the frozen components may melt at room temperature, causing even more damage to your device.
- The crystals of LCD display may get frozen, thus damaging the display permanently.
God forbid, if any of these two things happen, there’s hardly any chance of Microsoft fixing the issue for you without charging you for the damaged components. So you’ll be better off not using it until some solution comes out. Put your Surface Pro temporarily to rest and use something else. Also, keep an eye on Flickergate.com to be notified when Microsoft decides to do something about it.