macOS’ New ‘Scale to Fit’ Setting Ensures Menu Items Don’t Disappear behind Notch

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 28 Oct 2021

Today, Apple shared a support document detailing how users can ensure that the notch doesn’t obscure menu bar items on the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The document comes just a day after YouTuber Quinn Nelson took to Twitter to demonstrate how the notch caused issues with macOS on the new MacBook Pros.

In its support document, Apple said that users can turn on “scaled to fit below built-in camera” so applications adjust to the active area of the display and account for the notch. When enabled, the setting ensures that the app’s menu bar is displayed below the notch for unhindered visibility at all times. However, a visible downside of using this feature is that when enabled, the entire display scales down to maintain the aspect ratio. This means that besides introducing a black border on the top to hide the notch, borders are added to the sides of the display as well, making the screen as big as the older MacBook Pro.

Apple released the support document in response to Snazzy Labs host Quinn Nelson’s tweet demonstrating how macOS lacked polish and didn’t account for the new MacBook Pro’s notch.

If you are okay with the thick bezels, Apple’s document explained that the new feature can be enabled by opening the Finder app and clicking on the Applications tab. From the menu that appears, right-click on the desired app, and in its Info window, check the “scale to fit below built-in camera” box. Now the display should adapt automatically when the app is launched or running in the background.

Addressing developers, Apple said if applications are optimized for the notch, the new setting will no longer appear for them.

Our Take

Apple’s move seems to overcompensate for an aesthetic problem. Moreover, the solution seems clunky and unfinished, just like the OS that caused the problem. We believe Apple shouldn’t maintain the aspect ratio to hide the notch. It just defeats the purpose of getting the new MacBook Pro with a larger screen. A simple solution would be to move the menu bars down and add a black bar to flank the notch on either side.

[Via Apple]