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I recently did a fresh reformat and install of Yosemite on my macbook pro, it was working as expected until today when i noticed that whenever i use the top keyboard row keys to change something like screen brightness, volume, backlight level, there is a black box around the rounded box that normally pops up. Is this a common problem with yosemite and is there a fix?

Here is a screen shot of it

  • The alpha channel (transparency) was apparently not taken into account when displaying the image on-screen. Were you doing anything particularly taxing on the system at the time? – tubedogg Nov 13 '14 at 6:45
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    I found the problem because you mentioned transparency. I had accidentally turned on "Reduce Transparency" in the Accessibility Pane. If you would like to post a real reply i will gladly mark it as solved answer. – user2237160 Nov 13 '14 at 7:12
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This effect occurs when "Reduce Transparency" is enabled (System Preferences > Accessibility).

(Very odd that this is how the effect would degrade, instead of just make it a solid colored square.)

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I solved it accidentally on my 2009 macbook pro running 10.10.3 by removing the battery, unplugging the charge cable, and holding the power button down for 15 seconds. I was trying to reset the SMC/PRAM for unrelated reasons and noticed the black boarders are gone.

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