My mid-2015 MacBook Pro (Monterey 12.5.1) has recently started exhibiting a strange behaviour when the sleep focus is activated, and I'm not sure what might be causing this. As you can see it becomes almost impossible to read the time. I have my device set to auto switch between dark and light mode, so it's always dark mode when this occurs, and it's impossible to read the date/time. I've included light mode screenshots just to show the effect better.

Dark Mode, sleep focus not active: Light Mode, Sleep not active Dark Mode, sleep focus active: enter image description here Light mode, sleep focus not active: enter image description here Light mode, sleep focus active: enter image description here

Does anyone know what might be causing this, or what I might be able to do to stop this, without disabling the sleep focus?

  • 1
    Does applying this make any difference: apple.stackexchange.com/a/407474/350043 Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 3:50
  • Thanks @AivarPaalberg, that answer pointed me to the resolution. Slightly different from the linked answer (due to OS changes I guess), but I had to go to the Dock and Menu Bar preferences, and add the 'Focus' icon to the Menu Bar, with this, the Focus icon now changes and the clock doesn't dim. If you post as an answer, I'll accept it.
    – user2497
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 8:19

2 Answers 2


Dimming indicates that Focus is active.

If you don't like dimming as visual clue of Focus then you should go to Dock & Menu Bar in Preferences. On left pane select 'Focus' and tick 'Show in menu bar' (it should not matter whether status is 'when active' or 'always').

By doing this tilted half-moon icon will be displayed on Status menu if Focus is active (or always if set so) and date/time will not be dimmed.


The first thing I would do is reduce transparency in the accessibility controls.

Next I would increase contrast.

If both don’t work, you might need to choose a different background or set one mode for dark or light and optimize for that setting all the time.

  • Many thanks, that helps and is a good work around, though isn't perfect as the clock still dims but is at least readable. That said, I don't like the look of the menu bar with this setting. as the transparency looks much nicer IMO. It never used to do this, and only just started doing this in the last week or so, so I'm hoping there might be another way of putting it back to how it was until recent.
    – user2497
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 18:32
  • Get ready for Ventura changes @Bryan
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 18:33

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