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Today I very excitedly took delivery of my very first Mac, an iMac Pro! It’s all set up and I’m very happy with most of it. But, and it’s a BIG but, I think my display is faulty. Here is a screenshot:

enter image description here

If you look below the menu bar it appears to have a discoloration for about a half inch of the screen. It’s slightly a darker shade than the surrounding color!

At first I thought it could just be the wallpaper, so I changed it to a solid white wallpaper and the discoloration is still there!

SCREENSHOT 2

Is my beautiful iMac Pro faulty? Can I calibrate the display somehow?

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    If your display were faulty, you couldn't see it in a screenshot. You just conducted an experiment to test the display's quality and it came out positive. – henning Jun 22 '18 at 12:20
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    The menu bar has a shadow... – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jun 22 '18 at 14:30
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No! Your iMac Pro is not faulty!

I also have an iMac Pro, and below is a screenshot of the same section of the screen.

enter image description here

My desktop background (i.e. wallpaper) is actually a photo taken by one of this community’s most respected members (so it’s not anything bundled with or generated by macOS) and as you can see the slightly darker shade is also there. This darker shade is actually the menu bar shadow and has been part of Mac OS X since the beginning.


Personally, I wouldn't worry about the shadow. However, if it worries you enough, you have the following built-in options within macOS:

  • Change your desktop background to an image that camouflages the menu bar shadow (e.g. the bundled Earth and Moon photo)
  • Go to Apple > System Preferences > General and tick the Use dark menu bar and Dock option
  • Go to Apple > System Preferences > General and tick the Automatically hide and show the menu bar option
  • Go to Apple > System Preferences > Accessibility and change your Display Contrast by dragging the slider far enough to hide the menu bar shadow

There are also Terminal commands you can use to disable the shadow effect, however I haven't tested these since probably the Mac OS X El Capitan days, so will test these first before adding them to this answer.

[UPDATE]

This update confirms I have now tested the Terminal commands that could be used in older versions of macOS to remove the shadow effect from the menu bar and windows. Unfortunately, after testing these in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5, I can confirm they no longer work.

I have also checked the status of older 3rd party apps that used to be able to do this as well, and they do not work in macOS High Sierra either. As a result, the options I provided earlier in my answer appear to be the only workarounds available at this point.

  • Note, every open window also has the same drop-shadow. Additionally, you will see other elements similar throughout macOS - for instance in Safari, if you scroll down a window, you will see the header of that page 'glowing' through the top of the Safari page. Try movies.stackexchange.com for a simple example - you can see the red header through Safari's top bar as you scroll. – Tetsujin Jun 22 '18 at 11:46
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    btw, @Monomeeth ... I'm getting a warm glow ;-)) Hope you're still enjoying your desktop pic :)) – Tetsujin Jun 22 '18 at 11:48
  • What a relief. I think I will just change the wallpaper for now, but can you please update your answer when you know if the terminal commands will work on the iMac Pro. Thanks. – TruthSeeker Jun 22 '18 at 22:50
  • @Tetsujin Ok, I see what you mean. So there are lots of these .stackexchange sites then, eh? Very cool. I will have to go exploring. – TruthSeeker Jun 22 '18 at 22:52
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    @VictorEngel Agreed! It's one of those "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" things, but having an option to disable shadows is really something that users should have. – Monomeeth Aug 28 '18 at 2:05
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On MacOS, various user interface elements are transparent. It's most visible when you scroll for example a browser window, and you can see how the window title bar changes with the contents that's behind it.

The same with the menu bar. The desktop picture shines through. It's absolutely 100% intentional, and people like it. As far as I know, Windows does the exact same thing or at least can do the exact same thing. iOS does the same thing. Everyone does it.

PS. Excellent idea to ask here before dragging your iMac to the Apple Store.

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