There's an application called ShadowKiller that seems popular and supposedly works for Lion, but it just seems to die as soon as I try to start it on Mountain Lion.

I'd like to get around of the shadows surrounding a window.


This one works well for me: toggle-osx-shadows.

It is easy to compile and use, and there are only 17 lines of code.

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ShadowKiller still works for me on 10.8, but it's supposed to quit silently after it's opened. You can run it at login by adding it to login items.

Nocturne also has an option to disable the shadows.

Related questions at Super User:

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  • Ah I see. I tried Nocturne but it seems like the disable shadows option doesn't do anything either. – Kit Sunde Aug 24 '12 at 20:14
  • It's only available when the night mode is enabled. – Lri Aug 24 '12 at 20:17

I spent a lot of time on this issue, and even got to the point that I wrote a little program to fix it. Then I discovered something much simpler:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSUseLeopardWindowValues NO
defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUseLeopardWindowValues YES

The second one is necessary because Safari doesn't seem to like the shadows (you get a "Invalid unbuffered shadow parameters." comment in syslog).

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  • I ran those commands in a terminal window. Nothing happened. Where are they supposed to be modified?. Sorry newbie to Mac. – so_mv Apr 27 '13 at 18:25
  • so_mv: log out & in; the only thing I notice these commands changing is removing shading on the window title bar... shadows are still cast onto underlying windows – Dolph Jun 6 '13 at 12:50

The program I use to do this on OS X 10.8.4 is ShadowSweeper.


This one looks like it might also work but I haven't tried it myself.


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  • Thanks for the answers on this. Be sure to read the promotion section of help center if you recommend the same software several times. – bmike Oct 6 '13 at 19:25

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