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Depending on the wallpaper I select in Mac OS X 10.6, the menu bar is semi-translucent. Ironically, on black backgrounds, this looks best, as it comes out a simple, flattish gray. On any background I select which has strong colors, however, it either becomes a distraction or (to me) makes the menu bar near-unintelligible.

The simple answer is to stick with less-bold backgrounds. But that really limits my selection, and I like to change things up every now and again.

Can the transparency be removed / toned down / adjusted in OS X 10.6?

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You might want to remove the images, or upload scaled down versions. Even with 10Mbit internet, it takes a while to load. – Daniel Beck Jan 23 '11 at 20:14
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can disable the transparency of the menu bar:

  • Open your Systems Preferences window
  • Open the Desktop & Screensaver window under the "Personal" section
  • Uncheck the "Translucent Menu Bar" option


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And ... I officially feel like a moron. I somehow never saw that option, but thanks a million, because it works. :) – John Rudy Feb 21 '10 at 5:51
For future reference, searches in system preferences are quite powerful: a search for "menu bar" would have brought up an auto-complete list with "Translucent menu bar" being the first item. Selecting that item highlights the Desktop & Screensaver pane. (This is in OS 10.6) – Roy Tinker Jun 11 '12 at 1:58
In the new Yosemite, you can find "Reduce transparency" in Accessibility. – Overload119 Oct 18 '14 at 13:08

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