I've found the default 40px Mac OS X window shadow too big:

mac os x shadow

Is it possible to decrease it to, say, 4px?

Update: I can disable shadows entirely with defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true, but I don't want to. I do want decrease them.


4 Answers 4


Only the frontmost window has this huge shadow, it's smaller for background windows. So you can try screenshotting non-focused windows (easy if you activate e.g. Mail and close all its windows, so no window has focus). However you would have to live with the deactivated, washed out look or manually merge both deactivated and active window screenshots.


On dual screens this shadow is annoying.

http://www.blacktree.com/projects/nocturne.html has a Night/Day modus, the night modus removes the shadow. If you disable the rest of the night modus settings it has the effect I wanted.

Would like a little Apple preference setting somewhere though.

  • The link is broken now.
    – Spidey
    Sep 19, 2019 at 12:22

I don't have a way to reduce the shadows but if removing them entirely is an acceptable solution then the program I use to do this on OS X 10.8.4 is ShadowSweeper.


This one looks like it might also work but I haven't tried it myself.


None of the other posted methods for removing shadows entirely worked for me.


According to this post on AppleInsider, WindowShade X has the ability to manipulate window shadows. However I don't see it mentioned in WindowShade X's documentation anywhere...

Ever tried WindowShade X?

The Shadows tab (er, button) gives you very fine-grained contol over window shadow appearance.

EDIT: There's also Shadow Killer X (still working on OSX 10.7 Lion)

  • Shadow Killer X is old, and won't work on Leopard, which means it won't work on Snow Leopard either. Second, the OP first ask about changing shadows on the screen, then brought up killing screen capture shadows. Which is it, that you want?
    – user43950
    Jul 25, 2010 at 21:10

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