I find that I frequently close the wrong window or app by accident, because I think that (for example) the Browser window I am looking at has the focus, when in fact another app, such as iTerm really has focus. (It doesn't help that I am able to scroll windows that don't have focus.)

When I look at the visual appearance of windows, the difference between the one that has focus and the ones that don't is very slight: the focused window has a slightly different shade of gray in the title bar, and the three round buttons at the upper-left are red, yellow, and green instead of gray.

If the title bar was some completely different, non-gray color it would stand out more. I tried going to System Preferences:General, but changing the "Highlight color" doesn't affect the window's title bar. I couldn't find anything else under System Preferences that seemed relevant.

How can I change the appearance of the focused window so it stands out?

  • 1
    possible duplicate of Is there a software that can visually highlight focused windows more?
    – klanomath
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 17:28
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    @klanomath this seems to imply that the answer to my question is, "You can't without buying 3rd party software" ... :(
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 17:33
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    @klanomath I was hoping there would be a simple fix... cost/benefit wise anything beyond a simple (hidden?) config option seems hardly worth it to avoid closing the wrong window a couple times a day.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 17:48
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    @bmike I'm using Command+W. Full screen won't work for me because (1) i usually have at least 3 windows with info I need visible at once, and (2) i've got a lot of screen space across two devices: 27" iMac and a 21" second display.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 19:12
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    Isn’t an issue in Windows which has a setting to fix the bad default behavior. Is there really no equivalent in Mac OS X?
    – binki
    Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 17:10


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