Activate Night Shift mode on your Mac and spare your eyes

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Spare your eyes with Night Shift mode on Mac.
Photo: Pexels Laptop Computer Turned on While in Dark Area

If you use your computer before going to bed, you owe it to your eyes to turn on Night Shift on your Mac. The feature, which adjusts the color of your display to the warmer end of the light spectrum after sundown, eases eye strain and can make falling asleep easier.

Night Shift dials down the amount of blue light emitted by your display. Studies have shown that exposure to blue light, which makes images look bright and crisp, can have adverse effects during nighttime use of electronics: Getting too much blue light after dark can make it more difficult to drift off to sleep.

After introducing Night Shift for iPhone and iPad a year ago, Apple is finally bringing the feature to the Mac. You’ll find Night Shift in beta versions of macOS 10.12.4, which Apple has been releasing to developers and members of the Apple Beta Software Program in recent weeks.

(If you don’t do betas, you’ll have to wait awhile to try Night Shift on Mac. However, if you have ever used the F.lux app, you are already familiar with how Night Shift works.)

Set up and use Night Shift mode on Mac

You can toggle Night Shift mode on and off in the Notification Center.
You can toggle Night Shift mode on and off in the Notification Center.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

From the Notification Center

Once you download macOS 10.12.4, you will be able to quickly toggle Night Shift mode on or off from your Mac’s Notification Center. Either click the Notification Center icon in the top right corner of your screen or swipe left with two fingers from the right edge of your trackpad. Click the Notifications tab, and you’ll find the Night Shift toggle right above the Do Not Disturb toggle at the top of your list of notifications.

From System Preferences

The System Preferences menu will allow you to change more Night Shift options.
The System Preferences menu will allow you to change more Night Shift options.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Alternatively, you can toggle Night Shift mode from System Preferences. (You’ll find additional settings you can tweak to your liking there.)

  • From the Apple menu, launch System Preferences.
  • Click on Displays.
  • Click on the Night Shift tab.

You can set Night Shift mode to start automatically at sunset and stop at sunrise (my preferred setting) or choose other options from the dropdown menu. You can also check the Manual box to engage Night Shift mode and make your screen appear warmer at any time. A Color Temperature slider lets you adjust the display from Less Warm (more blue light) to More Warm (less blue light).

Use Siri to start Night Shift mode on Mac

You can also ask Siri to turn Night Shift on or off. If you have the feature set up to trigger automatically, toggling the feature on will override the settings until the next sunrise or sunset. The automatic schedule will resume regularly afterward.

Will Night Shift mode work with Touch Bar?

One thing I noticed about macOS beta 10.12.4 is that Night Shift mode cannot be toggled using the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. This could change in a future update.

What does Night Shift mode look like?

Want to see what Night Shift mode does on a Mac? Check out the two photos below. I maxed out my color temperature, so with Night Shift on I see a very warm hue that’s far different from how the same image looks with Night Shift off. You can use the slider to change the color temperature however you please.

macOS 10.12.4 beta 5

Here’s a little more info on macOS 10.12.4 beta 5, the latest update from Apple. It became available earlier this week.

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  • GreenGirl

    Wow, what a pointless article, explaining what all of us have already had on our phones for a year now, has already been covered to death, makes virtually zero difference to most people in everyday usage, and is currently only on a beta you have to sign up for.

    Great article. Kudos. Maybe I can suggest one next for how to open the lid on our MacBooks, or how MagSafe works?

    /smh

  • Meh. This is a useless feature for me. I often use my iPad, iPhone, or MacBook Pro right up until the time I go to bed, and I fall right to sleep. No difficulty. This B.S. about blue light is just fake science.

    • Tallest Skil

      Prove it’s fake, then. You can’t just say things and expect to be taken seriously.

    • David Kaplan

      it’s absolutely not fake I notice a big difference.