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The hyperlinks in Notes on macOS are essentially yellow on white, as shown in the screenshot below.

Default Hyperlink Color in macOS Notes

I would like to change the color to any darker color to improve the contrast, but how? I have tried to highlight hyperlinks to change their color, but the color remains the same even after selecting a color for them.

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  • 1
    I'd try the solution presented in apple.stackexchange.com/questions/205575/…
    – Volsk
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 0:07
  • @Volsk Thank you, but that question is about font size, not hyperlink color. I followed all references but did not find references to hyperlink color in any configuration file. Was I supposed to infer more that I have from the answers and comments? Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 0:26
  • There is a section about hyperlinks in pad.css. It looks lik this: a { color: rgb(158, 75, 47); text-decoration: underline; }
    – Volsk
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 13:14
  • Oh, gosh - I missed that somehow. After disabling SIP in order to change the value (to rgb(0, 64, 128)), Notes still displays the yellow hyperlink. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 17:48
  • Sorry. Was worth a try
    – Volsk
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 18:07

6 Answers 6

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Not sure when this started, but I found something relevant to this question just today. I really hated the color of the links in Notes, too, and had come across this question months ago and wanted to return to add my discovery:

Link color is mostly connected to highlight Accent color in Sys Prefs. I'm running 10.14.6 and using Dark Mode. I recently changed my highlight color from grey to orange (the orange looks good against the slate color of dark mode). I just happened to open a note containing a long list of links. It took a second to realize, "I can read these links!" Then, "I can read these links because they're orange!" I tried changing the highlight color to blue and the links turned yellow (against Dark Mode that now works) not blue. So mode also plays a part in determining link color in Notes.

EDIT: The change in Accent color changes the link color. Changing the Accent color might also change the Highlight color but they don't necessarily have to be the same.

System Preferences > General > Accent Color

Hope that helps someone.

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  • Thank you! That was spot on. I can read hyperlinks again. Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 10:21
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    Amazing that in 2020, MAC only gives us 8 color choices. Of the 8, 7 work as expected, but blue (the one I want for highlighting urls like every other computer in the world), when I choose blue, mac picks ugly yellow on white. Anyone know how to tell a mac to actually use blue?
    – ScottK
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 22:55
  • I had to try this a few times to get it to work. I'm not sure why it didn't work the first time.
    – Merchako
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 16:47
  • Thank you. Took me years to finally look for this solution. Ventura: System Preferences > Appearance > Accent Color
    – Greg
    Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 22:36
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+50

As someone who's done a lot of UX (user experience) work over the years, I have to admit I was very surprised when I first saw the hyperlink colour in Apple's Notes app. Not so surprised that someone would actually propose it, but very surprised it passed through all the review processes at Apple.

Anyway, I do have a couple of workaround options that may help you until Apple addresses this, as I fully expect they will at some point. These options are far from perfect, but if the default hyperlink colour is enough of an issue, they are worth considering.

Hyperlinks displaying the actual URL

If your hyperlink text displays the actual URL (e.g. "apple.stackexchange.com" instead of "Ask Different") you can do this:

  1. Right-click on the yellow link
  2. From the context menu, select Remove Link

You will notice that the link text now changes to black* and the actual link no longer activates by just clicking on it. However, you can still use it as a hyperlink by selecting it (just double-click) and then right-clicking to select the Open URL option from the context menu. If you prefer, you can also change the text colour to something you prefer.

*If the URL is a full URL (i.e. it starts with http: etc), then you will need to manually change the text colour from the default yellow after removing the link.

Hyperlinks displaying words

If your hyperlink text displays words instead of an actual URL (e.g. "Ask Different" instead of "apple.stackexchange.com") you can do this:

  1. Right-click on the yellow link
  2. From the context menu, select Edit Link...
  3. This will open up the Link Destination window with the full URL already selected. Copy (commandC) or cut (commandX) the link and click on the OK button.
  4. In your note, Paste (commandV) the URL over the original hyperlink text
  5. Right-click on what is still a yellow link
  6. From the context menu, select Remove Link

Once again you will notice that the link text now changes to black* and the actual link no longer activates by just clicking on it. However, you can still use it as a hyperlink by selecting it (just double-click) and then right-clicking to select the Open URL option from the context menu. If you prefer, you can also change the text colour to something you prefer.

*If the URL is a full URL (i.e. it starts with http: etc), then you will need to manually change the text colour from the default yellow after removing the link.

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  • Thank you. I knew these things, but I very much appreciate your answer. I will have to wait for Apple to include the feature. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 22:32
  • This answer just removes the hyperlink. This does not answer the original question 'How to Change Hyperlink Color'. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 7:44
  • Thank you. This helps. It's now 2020. Does Mac ever fix their notes app? It's a small thing, but it makes me want to throw my mac out the window. I like notes, but I should be able to set the colors and styles.
    – ScottK
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 23:00
  • Yes. Apple does work on the app. It used to be plain text with tabs. Now it has features like better formatting, images, drawing, etc. Once there was a way to change the color of links with CSS. Maybe the link color changed by Accent in preferences has always worked, we just didn't figure that out until recently, or someone threw us a bone/band-aid by connecting them in a fairly recent OS ... we may never know.
    – D. Geren
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 3:56
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However, you can still use it as a hyperlink by selecting it (just double-click) >and then right-clicking to select the Open URL option from the context menu.

Double-clicking the modified link does not work, because the entire line is selected... including whatever that unseen character is at the end of the line.

That character must be removed (de-selected) in order for the 'Open URL' contextual menu item to appear. That will open the URL and will not change the color of the URL as it appears in notes.

It's still more painful than it ought to be.

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I had ordinary text being converted into links so I did the same as above: removing all the links by copying the complete note file (command A, then command C) and and then doing a paste and match (command-alt-shift-v) which reverted everything to ordinary text in black.

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I am trying to manage hashtags using notes, cutting and pasting. The link color and function is a pain for this job. One workaround is to paste the text in using Paste Matching Format, this will strip out the links automatically.

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As of Feb 8, 2019, the link color is still tan. If you are pasting in to Gmail, easier to change the link color in Gmail than in Notes.

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