I'm trying to enable the Sunset to Sunrise option for Nightshift. When I do so, a pop-up informs me that it "requires location for time zone to be enabled," and offers a button to send me to the appropriate privacy settings page. Here's a screenshot of the pop-up.

Night Shift error

But the privacy settings appears to have no option corresponding to what's referenced in the pop-up. Here's two screenshots showing my privacy settings:

privacy settings 1 privacy settings 2

As far as I can tell, all privacy settings are enabled, but Night Shift still refuses to enable sunset to sunrise. Does anyone know how I can enable it?

  • 1
    Have you rebooted since you checked the time zone setting box? Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 20:08
  • That was it. I didn't think to reboot and I don't remember anything prompting me to, but it may have. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 20:17
  • This is still a problem, it looks like. No matter what I turn on or turn off or reboot, it just doesn't work -- same behavior.
    – jesdynf
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 5:06

7 Answers 7



Sometimes, settings don't come into effect until you reboot your device, especially if it's a system-wide preference. Rebooting tends to solve most System Preferences-related issues.

Sometimes, System Preferences won't tell you to reboot your device, but if something isn't working, rebooting should solve your issue.

Night Shift location services do not take effect until your computer is rebooted.

  • 3
    BLARGH. It's an apple setting to satisfy another apple setting on an apple device. C'mon.
    – doublejosh
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 19:49
  • 6
    Rebooting did not solve it for me. Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 15:53
  • 3
    Although this is the accepted answer, at least as of macOS 10.13.6, it's incorrect. See the other highly-voted answer, which explains how to fix this without rebooting.
    – Tom Loredo
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 1:23

Update: Rebooting isn't required! See response below. The rest of this answer is correct.

Rebooting didn't help and I couldn't get Apple's official instructions (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH26239?locale=en_US) to work, either.

I ended up unchecking "Setting Time Zone", rebooting, and then rechecking "Setting Time Zone" after the reboot. Selecting Sunrise to Sunset was then accepted without complaint.

Here are the complete instructions, using variations on Apple's official instructions:

Uncheck the Setting Time Zone option: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy. Select Enable Location Services, scroll down to System Services, click Details, deselect Setting Time Zone, then click Done.

Optionally, reboot (Although I'm not sure this step is necessary, it's what I did. [Users have reported this is not required])

Check the Setting Time Zone option: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy. Select Enable Location Services, scroll down to System Services, click Details, select Setting Time Zone, then click Done.

  • my location services were disabled and enabling fixed it (macOS 10.13.6): Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy > >click the lock icon to unlock preferences > check "Enable Location Services" Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 3:40
  • 15
    I just followed this sequence without rebooting, and it worked. So, uncheck the Setting Time Zone option, exit settings, return to settings, check it, then turn on Night Shift. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 3:11
  • 1
    I think the trick may be unlocking the Security & Privacy page before trying to enable "Sunset to Sunrise."
    – jelder
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 2:10
  • 1
    Just want to echo @carbocation: You don't need to reboot (at least for macOS 10.13.6 on a RMBP), but you do need to uncheck and recheck the time zone option.
    – Tom Loredo
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 1:22
  • @jelder I tried unlocking the Security & Privacy first and it still didn't work. I think you have to actually uncheck/check.
    – Jon-Eric
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 16:26

Final answer:

  • Uncheck "Setting Time Zone"
  • Recheck "Setting Time Zone"

Shame on Apple to have us do that..


You need to have your Wi-Fi connection on, so the system can find your location. I was just using Ethernet and had Wi-Fi turned off so it couldn't properly locate me. You'll probably also need a restart after the location locks down, but I haven't tried that yet.

  • 1
    Restart doesn’t seem necessary. My iMac has Night Shift turned on as soon as I activate Wi-Fi. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 5:00
  • Making sure Wi-Fi is enabled is important. macOS won't be able to determine "Sunrise" or "Sunset" without it as it uses your location to determine those times
    – RHPT
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 2:33

Here's another "privacy setting" that's relevant:

enter image description here

  • 1
    OMG thanks for this hint! This was what I was missing in order to finally enable Night Shift from Sunset to Sunrise. No reboot or unchecking/rechecking Location Services needed.
    – Oliver
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 16:35

Unchecking the Setting Time Zone then changing Night Shift option to location works without rebooting on Mojave.


in time zone setting untick set automatically time zone base on current location

and set manual time zone base on your location.

and then set sunrise to sunset. it's work

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