Apple has brought its Night Shift mode - which first debuted on iOS devices with iOS 9.3 - to the Mac.
With the release of MacOS Sierra 10.12.4, anyone who owns a Mac running Sierra can now cut down on the amount of blue light they're exposed to during the evening. Night Shift automatically shifts the display of a Mac to a more yellow tone. Blue light is thought to have a negative effect on your circadian rhythm and sleeping patterns. It may even cause insomnia, according to various studies.
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Apart from Apple, companies like Amazon offer a similar feature for their hardware devices. It significantly changes the look of your display, and while some people may not be a fan of that, it's certainly worth trying if you're prone to using your Mac late at night and yet have trouble falling asleep when it's time for bed. With Night Shift, there's no need to install an additional app. It's built-in to your system.
However, the Night Shift controls are a little buried and may be difficult to find. So, here's how to enable it on your Mac.
How do you turn on Night Shift on a Mac?
- First, make sure your Mac is running MacOS Sierra 10.12.4, the fourth major update to MacOS Sierra, which released in September. It is now available as a free over-the-air update and can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on your Mac.
- The Night Shift option is located in the Display section of System Preferences. Click on the Apple icon in the menu bar, then select System Preferences, and click the "Displays" icon. You will see three tabs in this menu: Display, Colour, and Night Shift. Select Night Shift.
- From the "Schedule" option, select either "Sunset to Sunrise" or "Custom". The "Sunset to Sunrise" option makes Night Shift to turn on each night when the sun sets and turn off when the sun rises based on your local times. To use this option, your location must be enabled under the Security & Privacy Preference. As for the "Custom" option, it lets you choose a start and end time for Night Shift to turn on every day.
Can you quickly enable Night Shift?
If you want to quickly enable or disable Night Shift, you can go back to System Preferences and use the "Manual" setting to force Night Shift to turn on - or you can use the Notification Center. Simply click on the Notification Center menu bar icon (three lines). When it slides out, select the Notification Center tab at the top, then click on the "Night Shift" turn the feature on or off.
You can also use Siri to turn on Night Shift. Click the Siri button in the menu bar or the dock, and then say "Turn on Night Shift" or "Turn off Night Shift" to turn the Night Shift feature on or off, respectively.
Can you adjust the colour temperature?
When you're under the Night Shift menu in System Preferences, you will see an option to adjust the colour temperature of Night Mode. It is set to the middle by default, but you can drag the slider to the left or right to get more blue light or more yellow light, respectively.
Is that it?
Just keep in mind Night Shift will also work on any connected external displays, as it mirrors your Mac settings, but it does not extend to connected TVs or projectors.