Why Kindle Screens Flash and How to Turn it On and Off


Lately some people have been asking why the screen on their Kindle flashes black when turning pages and when navigating and using the menus and such.

The flashing is simply a product of the way E Ink screens work. The display is composed of tiny capsules of E Ink with black and white particles that get rearranged every time the screen changes.

Battery power isn’t needed to hold an image on an E Ink screen; power is only required to change the image/text on the screen.

Over the years the black flashing has been minimized to some extent.

It used to happen with every page turn, but now E Ink screens can turn many pages without flashing the entire screen, just the text.

Over time the clarity of the text starts to degrade, so that’s why the full screen refresh is still needed at times.

Kindles have the option in settings to turn on and off page refresh. Just go to Settings > Reading Options > Page Refresh to turn the option on and off.

The Kindle will still do a full refresh occasionally with the setting turned off, usually at the start of new chapters, and it doesn’t eliminate flashing when navigating menus.

Plus certain types of content like PDFs and comics will flash with every page turn even if you have the page refresh setting turned off. More complex images need the full page refresh to look their best and minimize ghosting.

Having the setting on tends to result in crisper, darker text than having it off. With full refresh off text and images are more prone to ghosting and afterimage effects where you can see faint indications of the previous pages. Try experimenting with the setting to see if you notice a difference in the text. I used to like it turned on for clearer text, but now there doesn’t appear to be as much of a difference as there used to be so now I leave it off.

3 Responses to “Why Kindle Screens Flash and How to Turn it On and Off”

  1. Thanks! That’s really fascinating and helpful!

  2. I’m willing to tolerate the more often refreshes on the Voyage vs the 2015 Paperwhite as the voyage screen is so beautiful… It’s the only thing I sort of miss about the Paperwhite

  3. Thank you so much for that information!

    I was not only getting annoyed, but I was actually getting nauseous from the constant changing and flashing from white to black with every turn of the page and I was about to send my new Kindle Oasis back!

    I could not find one word about fixing it in the direction manual. — You have saved it.

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