Weird flashing menus?

I am having a weird problem with right click menus, often I get an annoying flicker effect when right clicking a menu.

It is going to be easier to watch the tiny screencast than have me try to explain what is happening (and convince you that I am not making it up :)

The menu sometimes flickers in and out two or three times before finally becoming available. It doesn’t matter what app I am using or where I right click, it just randomly happens.

I haven’t noticed this happening until recently but this could be because it has only started happening recently or it could be that it has only been annoying me recently :)

Any ideas on what is causing this?

Update: I have tried several things now but no joy…

I have used AppZapper to delete everything in InputManagers in both ~/Library and /Library (mainly browser plugins for Camino and Safari) and all related files. Rebooted, still happens.

I have done a safe boot (holding shift down) and when it eventually booted I loaded up finder (no other apps whatsoever were loaded) and it immediately happened and can be reproduced easily.

Update 2: Looks like it could be the mouse as suggested by a couple of people in the comments. It never happens with Ctrl+Click. What a pain in the backside because I love this mouse and it has served me well for many years!

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10 responses to “Weird flashing menus?

  1. Ronald Leroux

    Hi,

    Start your day holding the Shift key when you start up your Macintosh. If the problem disappears, one of your Startup Items (see Account prefpane, Startup tab in System Preferences) is likely the culprit.

  2. Have you installed any contextual menu plugins ? Input Manager hacks ?

  3. @Andy – Nope, no context menu plugins or input manager hacks.

    @Ronald – I will try the Shift key thing when I get home and see if that fixes it.

  4. Are you running with an external monitor connected to your MacBook? I have a friend who has a large Dell flat panel connected to his eMac and he gets little graphical glitches like this all the time. I figure his issues are caused by trying to power one display at 1920×1200 and another at 1280×960 with only 32 megs of VRAM. I doubt that is the issue here even if you are running on an external monitor but if you are you might play around and test it a bit.

  5. Does this happen system wide or does it seem to be limited to particular applications?

    You may want to check your ~/Library folder for contextual menu plugins or input managers, if you haven’t already as they’re often installed by other applications.

  6. @Morgan: It happens system wide for any app.

  7. Ok, I have tried several things now but no joy…

    I have used AppZapper to delete everything in InputManagers in both ~/Library and /Library (mainly browser plugins for Camino and Safari) and all related files. Rebooted, still happens.

    I have done a safe boot (holding shift down) and when it eventually booted I loaded up finder (no other apps whatsoever were loaded) and it immediately happened and can be reproduced easily.

    Any more ideas?

  8. How are you right-clicking, by contol-clicking with the trackpad or with a mouse? If it’s a mouse could it be possible that the mouse is sending multiple clicks?

  9. You’re assuming it’s a problem with the computer – may not be. Have you tried a different mouse? You didn’t mention if it is a wireless mouse or USB, and if it’s an optical mouse.

    Wireless – Try a different mouse, may be something interfering with your reception.

    Optical mouse – check the eye, make sure there’s no gunk around it. make sure it’s flat on the mouse pad surface – nothing stuck to the base.

    Also, if Optical, did you recently change mouse pads? Optical mice hate anything shiny. Stick to cloth covered mouse pad or use paper without a shiny surface. FWIW – I get the same sort of skittering when I have to use my optical mouse on shiny surfaces.

  10. Looks like it could be the mouse button, I dont get this problem at all with Ctrl+Click :(