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Apple has decided to go with a notch instead of a wider top bezel for their latest MacBook generation. This notch takes the place of valuable screen real estate in the top bar regardless of how it's incorporated: either it covers up interactive menu items and widgets so you cannot see them but can still move your mouse beneath them, OR it takes up place that could have been used by interactive menu items and widgets.

There are users out there who would prefer to give up some of the vertical area of the screen so they can have that notch out of the way of more important menu bar space. Can users who want to make that trade somehow configure the boundaries of their MacBook screen to start below this notch?

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This can only be done on a per-application basis. It's not possible to have the menu bar always below the notch, like using a global setting.

  1. Close the app you want below the notch.
  2. Click on an app’s icon in the Finder and Get Info on it (Cmd + I on your keyboard, or go to File > Get Info).
  3. If it’s available, you’ll find an option in the General section to “Scale to fit below built-in camera.” Check that box, close Get Info.
  4. When you launch the app and go into full-screen mode, the menu bar will be positioned under the notch.
  5. According to Apple’s Developer Documentation for User Interface, this setting shows up if a developer doesn’t write their software to switch on its own. If a developer decides to write their software to use the mode they deem best for their app, the option is not available.
  6. In case you’re wondering, this option is not available for the macOS Monterey Finder, which is basically an app that runs in full-screen mode all the time. So you can’t block out the notch by default, at least for now.

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Update: Macrumors lists a few new applications that will make the menu bar adjustments for you:

  • Forehead (free): Besides letting you switch between your default wallpaper and a black notchless one, Forehead includes options to round the corners of the screen, similar to the rounded top corners of the new MacBook Pros. The ability to simulate a notch on older Macs is coming in an update.

  • TopNotch (free): Offers the same features as Forehead, and also supports Dynamic Wallpapers, works with multiple displays and spaces, and remains in the background and detects for wallpaper changes.

  • De-Notch-ifier (paid): Offers the same features as TopNotch, just in the form of a dropdown menu in the menu bar. De-Notch-ifier isn't a completely new app, rather it's a pre-configured version of Boring Old Menu Bar that gives you a boring old non-transparent menu bar on macOS Big Sur and later. If you buy one app, you get the other for free.

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