Apple's 2021 MacBook Pro models unexpectedly came with a display notch, or as Apple calls it, a camera housing, which sits dead center at the top of the screen. This article covers all the ways you can conceal the notch or at least make it play nice with your apps using software-based solutions.

macbook pro 2021 notch feature
The inclusion of a notch on the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro allowed Apple to slim down the display bezels and move the menu bar up around the camera housing to leave more screen real estate below, but it was a controversial decision.

For some users, the appearance of the notch in the center of the menu bar is a blight on an otherwise fantastic screen. For others, its location actively interferes with app menu items. Either way many would rather not have it at all. Thankfully, there are ways to hide the notch to varying degrees or make it compatible with app menu bars.

Let's take a look at the available tricks below, starting with how to conceal the notch completely.

Hide the Notch With Fullscreen Mode

The easiest way to make the notch essentially invisible when you're using a specific app is to use it in fullscreen mode. If you click the green button in the row of traffic lights at the top-left corner of the app window, the app will expand to fill the screen. This automatically hides the contents of the menu bar by turning it black.

macos notch hides in full screen
You can hover over the menu bar with your mouse pointer to reveal the menu items, but the effect is such that you don't even see the notch is there in front of you for as long as you stay in fullscreen mode. To exit out of fullscreen, simply click the green traffic light button again.

Apps That Hide the Notch Completely

If you don't like the notch staring you in the face while you look at the display, there's an app for that. While the following third-party apps don't outright cancel the notch, they at least make its existence less obvious by forcing a black menu bar, similar to how macOS Monterey adds a black bezel to the top of the display when apps are in fullscreen mode, only by adapting your chosen wallpaper instead, like so.

remove notch app feature2
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 ($9.95): 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.

Scale App Menu Bars to Adjust to the Notch

In some cases, older apps that make extensive use of menu bar items may have some of their content concealed beneath the camera housing, making for an unsightly appearance and difficulty accessing menu options. Going fullscreen or hiding the notch with a third-party app doesn't solve this issue, so what can be done to fix it?

notch behavior feature
Fortunately, Apple was wise to the potential issue of having menus or menu items in the menu bar inadvertently being hidden behind the notch. In macOS Monterey, there is a compatibility setting called "Scale to fit below built-in camera," which adjusts an app's settings so that it either uses the whole display or uses only the area below the camera housing.

"Scale to fit" ensures the menu bar and app windows appear below the built-in camera on your Mac and are always visible. Moreover, if the app has menu bar items or windows that would appear behind the camera housing, all open apps or apps that share the same space appear below the camera until you quit the app using the scaled setting.

Here's how to turn it on for an individual Mac app.

  1. Close the app that you want to adjust for the notch.
  2. Launch Finder and select the Applications folder.
  3. Right-click (Ctrl-click) the icon for the app in question and choose Get Info.
    mac app notch get info

  4. Check the box next to Scale to fit below built-in camera.mac app scale below camera

Now restart the app, and as it launches you should see the screen automatically scale to fit its entire menu bar below the notch area, ensuring all of the app's menu bar items stay visible.

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

Related Stories

notch behavior feature

How to Make an App's Menu Bar Fit Below a MacBook Pro's Display Notch

Friday October 29, 2021 11:53 am PDT by
When Apple unveiled its new MacBook Pro models with a notch to house the camera in the thinner display bezel, many users saw it as a potential problem for third-party apps that place additional content across the menu bar, such as menus that extend from the left or menu items that extend from the right. However, it turns out Apple was wise to the potential issue of having menus or menu items ...
fullscreen menu bar macos

How to Make Your Mac's Menu Bar Stay Visible in Full Screen Mode

Friday January 7, 2022 9:20 am PST by
In macOS Monterey, when you take an app fullscreen by clicking the green traffic light icon in the top-left corner of the app window, the menu bar may be hidden from view in order to draw your focus to the window's content. If you're using a Mac that has a camera housing or "notch" centered at the top of the screen, like a 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, hiding the menu bar effectively makes ...
22 mic camera access

macOS Monterey: What Does a Green or Orange Dot in the Menu Bar Mean?

Thursday December 16, 2021 1:49 pm PST by
If you're wondering what the green and orange dots are that you sometimes see in your Mac's menu bar, just next to the Control Center icon, you've come to the right place. Apple has added these to macOS as a privacy feature in order to indicate when an app is using your Mac's microphone or camera. The feature was first introduced on iPhone and iPad, after it emerged that some popular apps...
airdrop logo

AirDrop Not Working? Here's How to Fix It

Wednesday December 22, 2021 3:06 pm PST by
AirDrop is a handy feature on Apple devices since it lets users discover nearby Macs and iOS devices and securely transfer files between them over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The only problem is that it doesn't always work. If that sounds like your current experience with AirDrop, this article offers some troubleshooting steps that may help. AirDrop is designed to let you send and receive photos,...
monterey shared with you

How to Turn Off 'Shared With You' on Mac

Tuesday December 14, 2021 5:10 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple introduced a feature called Shared with You that takes content you've received in Messages and makes it available in the relevant app on your Mac. So when a friend shares content with you, such as a link to a news story or TV show, that content will show up in a dedicated Shared with You section in the corresponding app. If you don't want content that's been shared...
messagesimages

How to Share Your Screen Using Messages on Mac

Friday December 3, 2021 4:34 pm PST by
When you're chatting in Messages, you can share your Mac's screen with the person you're messaging, or they can share theirs with you. You can also let someone control your screen, and vice versa. It's a great way to give a friend or family member some remote tech support, or you can use it to work collaboratively on a project. Here's how it works. In the Messages app on your Mac, select a...
magicmouse2 1

How to Customize the Mouse Pointer in macOS Monterey

Thursday December 9, 2021 8:03 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple allows you to change the color of the mouse pointer from the standard white outline and black fill, to pretty much any color combination you want. So if you're having a hard time working out when it moves or changes to an insertion point, crosshair, hand, or other shape, it's worth switching things up. The following steps show you how. Launch System Preferences...
macOS Monterey FaceTime Portrait Mode

How to Blur Your Background on a FaceTime Call on Mac

Thursday December 16, 2021 1:50 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple brought several enhancements to FaceTime on Mac, including new visual and audio effects to improve the video call experience. One of the new visual features is Portrait mode in calls. With this mode enabled, you can blur your background so that the focus is on you rather than what's behind you. The feature is commonly used by other video conferencing apps like...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...