In Big Sur the window title bar looks too chunky in icon only mode. It looks like the bar was designed for "Icon + Text" but doesn't shrink when you remove the text.


Icon and Text: enter image description here

Icon only: enter image description here

Text only: enter image description here

Is there a way to shrink the size of the title bar so that it doesn't look so chunky. So it looks more like this:

enter image description here


good news, the chunky bars problem is being worked on: here's MEMiniMe.

it needs macForge, and it isn't working on mac m1 yet as far as i know, but hopefully ..soon.. we'll have a solution for these horrible fat bars.


defaults allows you to set some "hidden" settings for the window style. At the moment I only found one that allows you to go back to the old toolbar style with

defaults write -g NSWindowSupportsAutomaticInlineTitle -bool false

If there are other NSWindow setting in Big Sur then they may be listed on macos-defaults.com in the future.

  • 2
    That just makes it bigger. – Simon O'Doherty Nov 16 '20 at 0:58
  • @SimonO'Doherty You are right - I was testing VMware and thought the title got smaller. – laktak Nov 16 '20 at 8:19

It is possible to use the open source app ThemeEngine to edit .car files and tweak all the UI. The V.3 branch is for macOS Big Sur and later.

I tested it on Big Sur and an Apple M1 and, from what I can tell, every part of the theme is modifiable. colours, icons, traffic lights, size of the different UI elements, .etc.

A short feedback report can be found here. This is screenshot of the app: enter image description here

The downside is that SIP needs to be disabled, a few actions in Terminal are required and you must reboot to apply the modifications, each time. But it does work.

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