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Is there a way to prevent macOS from changing the menu bar from light/dark mode whenever a wallpaper changes, and if so, how to do so?

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The Accessibility System Preferences give you some control over the menu bar. The "Reduce transparency" check box will remove the transparency in the menu bar so that it does not show the desktop wallpaper.

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And it does reduce transparency in other places (e.g. Dock and window backgrounds). If that is a problem then @TJ Luoma has the best answer with Option B.

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Option A:

If you are asking:

Is there a way to do this which is built into macOS and accessible either by a setting in, for example, System Preferences, or via the command line using a hidden defaults write command or similar?

Then the answer is no.

Option B:

If you are asking:

Is there a way to exert more control over the menu bar colors in Big Sur?

Then the answer is:

  1. Yes.

  2. Use the app Boring Old Menu Bar which I use and recommend because the developer has been very responsive.

  3. It has a 14-day free trial, after which it costs $9.95 USD.

Option C:

If your response to “Option B” is to say “I want a native solution, not a third-party app, and/or I want it to be free” then I would refer you back to the answer to “Option A” with the additional comment that I am not aware of any other 3rd-party app (paid or free) that will do this.

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  • Your Option A is not entirely correct, though I agree that Boring Old Menu Bar may be a better method.
    – Gilby
    Jun 10, 2021 at 4:17

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