Skip to main content

How to hide the notch on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The newest MacBooks have some excellent features, including Apple’s own M1 chips (and now M2 chips with the latest models), compatibility for Universal Control, better keyboards, and much more. But the recent MacBook Pro and Air models also have something that users aren’t big fans of: the notch.




15 minutes

What You Need

  • MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

The notch, which highlights the MacBook cam, is a black rectangle that intrudes on the laptop’s display in a very obvious (and, for many, distracting) way. It’s a little baffling why this design choice came about, but all is not lost for those with newer MacBooks. While the notch is hardware, there are ways that you can effectively hide it so it’s less of an eyesore. Here are the best ways.

How to hide the notch on Macbooks

Step 1: Switch to full-screen mode when using apps. That may sound like a strange fix, but it frequently works. Look in the upper-left corner of the app window to find Apple’s window-control buttons. The right-most button is a green circle with small arrows pointing outward. Select it to move the app to its full-screen version. This should automatically replace the notch with the larger app window.

When you are finished using the app, hover in the upper-left corner to unveil the buttons again and exit full screen mode, or use the Control + Command + F shortcut on your keyboard.

The catch is that this method primarily works with Apple’s own native apps. If you’re using a third-party app on your MacBook Air or Pro, there’s no guarantee that it will have the notch-replacing gimmick.

The menu buttons on the Mail app.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: If the notch is actively hiding a part of the app you want to use or generally making an app look bad, there is a step you can take that won’t hide the notch but will help fix your problem. Go into Finder, then your Applications, and find the app either alphabetically or by searching for it.

Right-click on the app and choose the Get info option. This will open a window of options. Look for the option that says Scale to fit below the built-in camera box. Make sure that this is selected. Close the Get info window and open your app, which should now sit just below the notch.

Chose to scale app below camera notch.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: If the notch is constantly bugging you, you can take a more drastic step: Download the app TopNotch. TopNotch is one of the dedicated apps made to hide the notch and is the best option if you want full protection against the notch.

Download the app for free right here. It will require MacOS 11.0 or newer, but this shouldn’t be a problem. Open and enable it, and the app will place a black bar across the top of your display, effectively hiding the notch. You will still be able to see and use all your menu items at the top of the screen. It doesn’t matter if you are using an app or not, TopNotch works in the background all the same. It also supports Dynamic Desktop wallpapers so you don’t lose those features.

You even have the option to enable rounded corners if you prefer that aesthetic. Oh, and if you’re sharing your display with an external monitor, TopNotch will work with that too, so you never have to see the dreaded notch again.

TopNotch home screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Now that you’ve solved your notch problem, maybe it’s time to make your MacBook the best it can be. Check out our guide to the best MacBook Pro accessories to learn more, or hop over to our list of the best cases and covers for the MacBook Air.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
Best refurbished MacBook deals: Get a MacBook Air for $140 and more
A stack of MacBooks is pictured from the top down.

If you’re in the market for one of the best laptops it’s worth turning your attention toward Apple’s MacBook lineup, and if you’re looking for some savings it can be helpful to shop MacBook deals. Due to the popularity of Apple’s MacBooks they don’t often see significant discounts, but a good way to land some impressive MacBook deals is by shopping refurbished. Most refurbished MacBooks are backed by warranties and decent return windows, allowing you to shop refurbished MacBooks with the confidence you might have when shopping for a brand new one. We’ve tracked down what we feel are the best refurbished MacBook deals currently taking place, so feel free to start shopping for a refurbished MacBook with some savings.
MacBook Air 11.6-inch (2015) -- from $140

Once the latest MacBook Air but now eight years old and still competent, the MacBook Air 11.6-inch (2015) is a great starting point for anyone new to macOS or who just needs something financially on par with a Chromebook. It's a refurbished model but it comes with a one-year warranty so there's peace of mind here. It won't run the latest macOS unfortunately, but its Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and 128GB of SSD storage helps you perform the basics. It still has all the style of a MacBook so we're thinking this could be a good entry point as your child's first MacBook or if you want a project.

Read more
Best laptop deals: Save on the Dell XPS 14, MacBook Pro 16 and more
The Dell XPS 14 on a white table with the screen open.

There's no shortage of laptop deals online, so narrowing down your choices will be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, we're here to help you out as we've gathered our favorite bargains on some of the best laptops below. These include offers on hardware from the best laptop brands like HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple, and Dell, with discounts that will let you pocket hundreds of dollars in savings. Read on to figure out what your next laptop should be, and to learn other important things that you need to know before making your decision.

Today's best laptop deals
HP Chromebook 14a -- $200, was $310

Read more
I’m worried about the MacBook’s next big rival
The MacBook Air on a white table.

MacBooks have dominated the laptop landscape over the past few years.

As good as Windows laptops are, they just haven't been able to compete with MacBooks in terms of efficiency or performance-per-watt. It's what allows modern MacBooks to be thinner, quieter, and longer-lasting, without losing performance. They're so efficient that you don't even lose performance when on battery.

Read more