For quite some time, I’ve been using a pitch black wallpaper for my home screen on my black iPhone 7. The focus it brings to the colorful apps is remarkable. Recently, a colleague prompted me to go with this same approach for my Mac. My Mac’s wallpaper isn’t pitch black though. It’s a slightly transparent version of black, so that it is completely indistinguishable from the background of macOS’ menu bar. Here are the steps involved to pull this off:

  • Go to System Preferences -> General and checkmark Use dark menu bar and Dock.
  • Go to System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver and select in the left pane Apple -> Solid Colors. In the ensuing pallet, click the Custom Color... button in the lower right corner. Choose the Grey Scale Slider in the new window that appears, and set its brightness to 9%.

I’ve been doing it this way for about a week now and I’m not going back. I really love it. It lets me focus on the apps that I’m using and reduces the noise. You don’t realize how distracting wallpapers are until you remove them.

Wallpaper isn’t used in homes any more. Why would you use it with your electronics?1


  1. I’m still using a wallpaper on my iPhone’s lock screen. I view this as a totally separate thing. It makes sense having one there. ↩︎