Turn on Night Shift on Mac

Night Shift is a colour-al­ter­ing screen mode de­signed to help you get a good night’s sleep. David Price ex­plains how to use it

Macworld - - Contents -

Night Shift is an op­tional fea­ture (added in Sierra) that warms up the colour pal­ette of a de­vice’s screen, par­tic­u­larly late in the day. It’s be­lieved that cooler (bluer) ar­ti­fi­cial light from a screen can af­fect a per­son’s cir­ca­dian rhythms and dis­turb their sleep, and Night Shift is de­signed to stop this hap­pen­ing.

It was first made avail­able on iPhone and iPad as part of the iOS 9.3 up­date, but it’s since been added to macOS.

Turn on Night Shift man­u­ally

If at any point you de­cide that your Mac’s screen is mak­ing you feel tired or strain­ing your eyes, you can switch on Night Shift mode man­u­ally. This is very easy to do.

No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­tre

Open the No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­tre side­bar by click­ing the icon with three dots and three lines at the very top right of your Mac’s screen, or by swip­ing from right to left on your track­pad. Scroll up a lit­tle and two tog­gle switches – Night Shift and Do Not Dis­turb – will ap­pear above the date (if you’re in the To­day screen) or the lat­est no­ti­fi­ca­tion (if you’re in the No­ti­fi­ca­tions screen). Click the Night Shift tog­gle; it will turn blue, while the whole screen will change to a warmer colour pal­ette.


This may be the quick­est method of all. Click the Siri icon at the top right and say: “Turn on Night Shift.”

To switch it off again, you can click the Night Shift tog­gle in the Siri pane, or ac­ti­vate Siri again and say: “Turn off Night Shift.”

Sys­tem Pref­er­ences

Open Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Dis­plays, and click the Night Shift tab on the far right. Where

it says Man­ual, tick the box that says ‘Turn On Un­til To­mor­row’.

Sched­ule Night Shift au­to­mat­i­cally

Gen­er­ally speak­ing we’d say it’s a far bet­ter idea to set Night Shift to au­to­mat­i­cally fol­low a sched­ule – oth­er­wise you’re de­pen­dent on think­ing about your sleep hy­giene at some point late in the day.

As be­fore go to Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Dis­plays and click the Night Shift tab. In the drop-down menu you can choose the Sun­set to Sunrise op­tion or cre­ate your own cus­tom sched­ule. Fill in the From and To fields and Night Shift will come on au­to­mat­i­cally be­tween those times.

Ad­just the colour shift

In the same sec­tion of Sys­tem Pref­er­ences (Dis­plays > Night Shift) you can ad­just how rad­i­cally Night Shift will al­ter the colour bal­ance of your screen. Use the slider la­belled ‘Colour Tem­per­a­ture’ to suit your pref­er­ences.

As long as you’re hold­ing down the mouse but­ton to move the slider, the screen will change colour to give you a pre­view; once you let go, it will slowly fade back into the stan­dard set­ting for right now, whether that’s Night Shift or your con­ven­tional colour bal­ance.

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