In Mavericks and earlier, it was possible to make the menu bar opaque, rather than the default translucent look.

Now in Yosemite, it looks like translucency is the default, and the setting is gone from where it used to be, to toggle it.

Is there a workaround for this? Such as a way to do it through Terminal?


4 Answers 4


In System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, enable the "Reduce Transparency" option.

(Note, though, that that disables transparency across the whole system; it doesn't seem like it's possible to disable the transparency just for the menu bar anymore.)

  • 2
    Okay so I guess they moved it. The transparency feels a bit bothersome to me anyway. But I'll give it a few days to get used to it first I suppose.
    – Gary
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 5:53

In System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, enable the "Increase contrast" option.

  • Note that this option makes some text unreadable when you are in "Dark Mode" because it's rendered as black text on a dark grey background (e.g. the WiFi menu). When not using "Dark Mode" though it's a good aid to readability.
    – Perry
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 1:31

Accessibility → Display → Reduce transparency:

reduce transparency macos accessibility


I found another way to accomplish this in newer versions of macOS (e.g. Mojave and Catalina) that doesn't require turning on "Reduce Transparency" and therefore losing all of the other transparency effects in macOS.

The idea is to make a customized background image that fills your display and has white pixels underneath the exact area that the menu bar occupies.

To do this, following these steps:

  1. In your image editor of choice (such as Photoshop, Affinity Photo, or GIMP), create a new document whose resolution matches the resolution of your display.
  2. Copy and paste in the image that you want to be your background, and arrange it in the document in whatever manner you choose (e.g. filling the entire document, centering it, etc.). Or, if you want a solid color background, simply fill the image with the color you want.
  3. Create a white rectangle at the very top of the document that stretches across the entire document horizontally. Make sure its top edge lines up exactly with the top edge of the document.
  4. If your display is not a retina display, make the rectangle's height be 22 pixels. If your display is a retina display, determine the rectangle's height in pixels using the following formula:

[vertical resolution of your display] * 22 / [apparent height of display in pixels (as indicated in the Displays pref pane)]

  1. Save the document as a png file, and make it your desktop background.

For example, if you have a 5k iMac and your main display is scaled to look like 2560x1440, your image's size would be 5120x2880 (the resolution of the display), and the white rectangle would be 44 pixels tall (or 2880 * 22 / 1440).

Here's an example image that would work for a 1080p display.

Note: this method has one important limitation, which is that if you change the resolution of your monitor, the image will no longer properly line up with the menu bar. So this method is only appropriate if you never plan to change your resolution.

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