How to Use Night Shift on the Mac


Use Night Shift on the Mac

One of the biggest features in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is the inclusion of Night Shift. The feature we first saw in iOS 9.3 has finally made its way to the Mac. Is it going to be useful on your Mac? How do you start using it? Read on to find out.

Recommended: iOS 10.3 Features and Updates: What’s New

What Does Night Shift Do?

Night Shift is like a night mode for your Mac. Looking at a strong blue light at night can be harmful to your eyes. If you work late nights, that damage can materialize in different ways – stress, lack of sleep.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is warmer, yellow/orangish light. It’s possible that looking at warmer colors before bed, or at night time, can help reduce the damage.

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Night Shift simulates this effect by putting an orange tint all over your Mac’s display.

Does Your Mac Support It?

If you’re running one of the Macs listed below, or higher, you’re good to go.

• MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or later)

• MacBook (Early 2015 or later)

• MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later)

• Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)

• iMac (Late 2012 or later)

• Mac Pro (Late 2013)

How to Quickly Turn on Night Shift

It, just like on iOS, can be put on automatic schedule and you can tinker with what exactly it looks like. But first, let’s just quickly turn it on and see what it looks like.

Step 1: From the menu bar, click on the Notification Center button (it looks like a list icon).

Step 2: Make sure you’re on the Today tab and then using Mac’s trackpad, scroll down to reveal hidden options at the top.

Step 3: One of the options here is Night Shift. Click on the toggle next to Night Shift and voila, it’s turned on!

Can’t Find Night Shift Option?

If you can’t locate the Night Shift option, it’s possible that you haven’t upgraded to the latest macOS update. Or your Mac isn’t supported. You need to be running macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or higher for the feature to be available.

Open the App Store, click on the Updates tab and then update your OS. Install it, reboot and you should find the option.

Customizing Night Shift on macOS

There’s an entirely new panel in System Preferences that will help you customize Night Shift just the way you like it.

Step 1: Click on the Apple button from the menu bar and select System Preferences.

Step 2: Now click on Displays.

Step 3: Switch to the Night Shift Panel.

This is where you’ll find all the options for interacting with the feature.

From the Schedule section, you can put Night Shift on a Sunset to Sunrise cycle. Meaning, it will automatically turn on around sunset time for where you are. If you want manual control over the timing, choose on Custom from the Schedule drop-down and you can set your own time range.

At the bottom, you’ll find the slider for Color Temperature. This is where you’ll be able to tone down or turn up the warmth. The warmer you go, the more pronounced the orange tint will be.

Will It Work For External Displays?

Yes, Night Shift does work with connected monitors. We tested it in both mirroring mode and external display mode. It just won’t work if you’re attaching it with a television or a projector. Although, you can’t have display-specific settings for it. Color Temperature setup for Night Shift is global.

Should You Start Using Night Shift?

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Yes, you should. While everyone reacts to it differently, there’s a chance it might just help out with things like eye strain. It might help you sleep better. Plus, the feature is built-in and turns on in one click.

I would also suggest you try it out on your iPhone and iPad, especially if you use your iPhone right before going to bed (and let’s be honest, you probably do). On your iPhone or iPad, swipe up to bring up the Control Center and tap on Night Shift. From Settings -> Display & Brightness you can access the Night Shift settings and put it on a schedule.

Will you start using Night Shift? Have you already used something similar like Flux? Share with us in the comments below.

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