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Don’t Like the MacBook Pro Notch? Try Virtual Bezels

MacBook Pro Notch
(Image credit: @Jatodaro)

Apple announced its latest MacBook Pro family early last week with blazing-fast M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs, and the overall reception was positive. However, one feature raised a few eyebrows: the notch in the top-center of the display. So, today Apple posted a new support document that explains how to avoid the notch in exchange for what we'd call larger "virtual" display bezels.

First, you'll need to go to the Applications folder on your MacBook Pro, select the app you want to run, and press Command-I to bring up the Get Info window. From there, check the box that says "Scale to fit below built-in camera." When you run the app, it and all other background apps will share a smaller viewable space below the notch while retaining the traditional 16:10 aspect ratio. Once the user exits the initially selected app, all other apps will return to their notch-loving ways. 

MacBook Pro Notch

(Image credit: @Jatodaro)

Twitter user @Jatodaro posted a quick video that shows how to enable the feature and what it looks like for 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro users.

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The downside to this method is that you now have larger bezels all around your desktop. So, in essence, your brand new MacBook Pro transforms to look more like its thick-bezeled predecessors to avoid the notch, which houses the new 1080p FaceTime HD camera. 

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Unfortunately, as we've seen in several videos, not all apps have been updated to play nice with the notch, leading to inaccessible items in the menu bar that get "stuck" behind the camera.

Apple's "Scale to fit below built-in camera" option should only serve as a temporary fix until apps are fully updated to accommodate the notch since we can't see people spending $2,000+ on a new MacBook Pro using it as a permanent solution.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • ezst036
    :ROFLMAO:
    Reply
  • kal326
    Stuff like this is the double edge sword of Apple secrecy. Granted I haven't ever worked with Mac development specifically, but the notch will rumored wasn't a sure thing. How would developers know that they needed to update their apps for the notch without having access to test this ahead of time? Sure there is that window of announcement to hardware release, but are you just going to guess at where the notch is? Was Xcode updated immediately to allow work to begin on updates asap? Even if it was, it still isn't a lot of time in the grand scheme of things to update and test an entire applications UI changes before units shipped.
    Reply
  • Nolonar
    Why is the notch even this big? Does the new MBP have Face ID?
    Reply
  • Sippincider
    Apple, you do realize it's a problem, when you dedicate part of an ultra-premium display to simulating a bezel?
    Reply
  • husker
    Will there also be a patch for older macs to simulate the notch? I'm mean, Apple must think it's a good design choice, right?
    Reply
  • Laura2333
    It can be done but it is not necessary:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
    Reply