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I own an Apple MacBook Air M2, and a section of the screen is obscured by the notch. It’s only a matter of time before I encounter a problem where I can't access certain apps because the notch covers the icons, making them un-clickable.

I’m up to date with latest software updates, surely I’m not the only owner of MacBook Air M2 here.

Ideally I’d like to stay away from any 3rd party software unless it’s freeware and available via app store.


enter image description here

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  • For your peace of mind, go to the display settings in the preferences app and change between different resolutions “Larger Text” to see how programs behave. It’s fine.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 24 at 15:08
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    Is your problem purely hypothetical? Have you tried to fill the bar with icons already?
    – user28434
    Commented Jan 24 at 16:39
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    On any size of screen, there's a practical limit to the number of menulets you can display. Surely you can access these apps by other means? Also, is that NORTON? You could get rid of that to vastly improve things, for starters.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jan 24 at 16:56
  • this is NOT a hypothetical issue, this is 100% real deal! (the screenshot was meant to display notch only) I can't access app as not all apps has other means to access and no, this is NOT a "NORTON", it's "Okta Verify" app.
    – alexus
    Commented Jan 25 at 14:45

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FWIW, while I understand the concern, I have to honestly say that I have not experienced it in macOS Monterey (14.3) on my MacBook Air (M2; 2022). See screenshots below of Sublime Text (Build 4169).

Maybe this is a software specific thing and the Sublime Text developers programmed their software to detect the notch, but I thought it would be worth it to bring up as a example of, “Don’t worry about the notch!”

Screenshot taken from my iPhone; note the “Help” menu item is properly (awkwardly?) placed to the right of the camera:

enter image description here

And here is a screenshot taken from the Finder via Command+Shift+ 4 of the same exact menu; note that the “Help” is placed in the same location as above but the camera is not pictured since this is an OS screenshot:

enter image description here

It’s ultimately a bit awkward, but at least no menu items are hidden.

Note that when checking Sublime Text info in the Finder, nothing like “Scale to fit below built-in camera” is checked:

enter image description here


Update: This is very odd, but I experienced this issue while in macOS Sonoma (10.3). See pictures below; the first image shows icons for (left to right) FortiClient and Dropbox:

enter image description here

And then after Zoom is launched, the “Camera On” green icon overlaps the FortiClient:

enter image description here

But wait! Something changed since I updated macOS Sonoma (10.3.1) earlier this week (2nd week of February 2024)! The issue is solved. Now with Zoom launched, the “Camera On” green icon is properly placed to the left of the FortiClient icon:

enter image description here

I see utterly nothing mentioned in the macOS update notes for Sonoma, but I swear that is the only change that I made between the first set of screenshots and the later set of screenshots. Odd; was it the macOS update or a cache cleaning as a result of the update? Who knows. But I wanted to share this quirk with you.

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  • TBH, I'm more concern with icon and not the menus, When icon isn't showing up, one cannot access app period while hidden menu, only limited functionality may be lost.
    – alexus
    Commented Jan 24 at 15:54
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    @alexus, so your problem is more like this one then? apple.stackexchange.com/q/46679/57722
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 24 at 16:25
  • @CarstenS - not exactly... in my situation, I don't encounter apps with lengthy menus. Instead, it's the notch that physically obstructs icons, causing them to disappear rather than relocate to the other side of the notch. This renders apps unusable, and the only solution is to close the app occupying one of the hidden icons.
    – alexus
    Commented Jan 26 at 1:41
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The moment you suspect an app has a hidden icon (or just want to check), turn on scaling for that app.

All apps in that space will be scaled until you quit that one app or reverse the preference setting. I think a global setting to hide the menu exists, but not auto scale when the system detects an occlusion or collision from the physical display notch.

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    i'm gonna try global flag with AppleMenuBarVisibleInFullscreen and see how that works for now) otherwise i'll opt-in to per-app method, +1 thanks!!!
    – alexus
    Commented Jan 24 at 2:46
  • For sure. Have at editing my answer to suit your needs or put up the answer you find best.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 24 at 3:12
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The notch makes worse an existing problem: Menu bar icons (to the right) have low priority and will be overwritten if you don't have enough space. Some icons take priority as defined by the system but otherwise it just hides whichever ones it can't fit in the menu bar.

The solution to this is to reduce the number of icons or use a tool like Bartender (paid app).

If you have icons that you don't need, see if there's a setting to disable them. If you can't find those settings, or need to keep all the icons, use Bartender to hide the in a disclosure menu.

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