How to Reduce Transparency in OS X Yosemite

Apple’s obsession with design aesthetics has finally reached the point of overkill. The new OS X Yosemite update is great in a lot of ways, but the transparency effects that Apple has added to different windows, menus, and docks throughout the operating system can be kind of distracting. If you don’t want to be able to see through your dropdown menus, here’s how to reduce the transparency effects and revert to a less modern looking set-up.

Step 1
From your transparent OS X dock, select System Preferences, then click “Accessibility.” (The icon is a blue circle with a stick figure in it.)

Step 2
If you aren’t already viewing the “Display” menu, select it from the sidebar on the left side of the menu. Display is the top option, so it should be the menu you are viewing by default.

Step 3
In the menu itself, check the box next to “Reduce transparency.” This option should be at the bottom of the checkbox list.

Step 4
Exit the Accessibility menu and look at your menus and toolbars. Everything that looked transparent should be opaque now. Unfortunately, you can’t control the level of transparency your operating system uses: the “reduce” option essentially turns transparency off.


Some people will like the transparent effects on OS X Yosemite and the modern aesthetic they provide. Others will find that they make things harder to read. If you fall into the latter camp, use the steps above to return to the more opaque look of past Mac operating system versions.

Not open for further replies.
Not open for further replies.