MacBook pro-2021: Notch and how to remove it

In the 2021 Apple promotional materials for the new MacBook Pro, there\’ was no denying the notch was there. And yet, thanks to designing trickery, it became much less noticeable in person and in practice.

Perhaps recognizing the long-running controversy surrounding the iPhone notch, Apple hid the MacBook Pro notch automatically in full-screen mode with native apps by adding a black border at the top of the display. Additionally, Mac developers can choose whether or not to add the border to their apps. The notch also goes away in dark mode to create an experience identical to previous-generation MacBook Pro models.

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How to Remove the Notch on MacBook pro

Hide the Notch With Fullscreen Mode

The easiest way to make the notch on the MacBook pro 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.

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 on the MacBook pro, 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.

Forehead (Free): Besides letting you switch between your default wallpaper and a black notch-less 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, remains in the background, and detects 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.

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