How to get iOS 9.3’s Night Shift mode on your Mac right now

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 30 Jan 2016

Watching movies or reading articles on the laptop is a common before bedtime ritual for many of us out there. But reading on a bright screen before bedtime is not the best for your health or sleep patterns. That why the iPhone jailbreak app f.lux was so popular among the jailbreak community. 

But for the millions of iPhone users out there with a non-jailbroken phone they were shit out of luck. But then came Night Shift for iOS 9.3, a clear inspiration from the f.lux tweak. So while Apple may have addressed the issue for our phones, f.lux is here to save us from those darn laptop screens.

How to get iOS 9.3’s Night Shift mode on your Mac right now

f.lux was available briefly via the sideloading method before Apple took it down. The developers of the app took it in stride and vowed to continue making their helpful application even better. While there is a bunch of chatter about iOS 9.3 Night Shift and its similarity to f.lux, the developers still have a Mac download for their now infamous application.

You can download F.lux or Flux for Mac from their website. The whole point of Flux is to minimize the amount of blue light emitted from your computer screen. This blue light is meant for reading during the day, and even if you dim the brightness that light still emits, albeit at a much lower rate. Basically, consuming blue light at night ain’t that great for you, and the guys at Flux have a bunch of information to back that up. So now that you know what Flux is; let’s get started on how to use it.

Installing an using F.lux on your Mac

When you download the file from the Flux website it will save as a .zip. You’ll need to unzip it to gain access to the app. Once unzipped the app will appear all you need to do is double-click on the icon. You may see the warning for download from the internet. Just hit Open.

Open - Internet Download

Developers Note: for people using f.lux on El Capitan (10.11): The new version of “Automatically adjust brightness” in El Capitan seems to cause flickering with f.lux. For the moment, you’ll have to turn this feature off to use f.lux. To make the fix, use System Preferences > Displays and uncheck. Occasionally, a reboot may also be necessary.

After you hit open, Flux will prompt you to move the app into the Applications Folder. You want this, so click Move to Applications Folder. Basically instead of you dragging and dropping the icon into the Applications Folder, Flux will do it for you. Cool beans.

Move to App Folder

Next Flux will ask to use your current location. This is so that the app will know what time of day it is where you are, and automatically adjust your screen’s lighting.

Flux - Location

You can click Don’t Allow and still use the app if you’d rather not share your location information. If you choose that option you can enter in a zip, close city, or other location marker.

Flux - Location

Once you have confirmed a location the app is ready to go with its default settings. To adjust these settings click on the Flux icon in the toolbar.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.09.38 PM

From the toolbar you can adjust Options:

Flux Toolbar 1

Adjust the Color Effects:

Toolbar - Dark

The color effects are pretty cool, but my favorite is OS X Dark theme at sunset. Basically it turn the turns the toolbar dark, giving the computer a cooler, dim feel. Check them out and let us know what your favorite is in the comment section.

Flux Toolbar 2


You can disable Flux for an hour, until sunrise (based on your location or custom settings), or just for the current app, which is really cool.
Flux Toolbar 3

From the toolbar you can also open up the Preference panel.

Flux - Preference Panel

You can adjust your location and adjust the settings for Daytime, Sunset, or Bedtime by moving the slider over until the screen lightning is what you want for each mode. You can also adjust the “sunset” time depending on when you wake up or go to sleep.

Slider - Flux

You can also adjust the Recommended Colors to one of the other sets Flux has created.

Recommended Colors

Here what the developers say about each category:

Recommended colors: Use these for the first week while you get used to the change of colors and discover how you like to use f.lux.

Custom colors: Custom color control, click the time of day you want to change and then drag the slider to your preferred color temperature.

Classic f.lux: At sunset, f.lux will fade to 3400K, and turn off at sunrise. For large screens this setting is probably not strong enough to remove all alerting light.

Working late: for extreme night owls, removes solar timing and gives 14 hours of bright waking light.

All in all this app continues to get better and better and has made reading on my computer late a night a much more convenient venture compared to constantly messing with the brightness settings and trying to shield anyone else in the room. While the guys at Flux didn’t get the shine they wanted by having their app available in the App Store, they do say, “imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

Let us know what you guys think of the Flux Mac App in the comment section.