grayscale is a macOS status bar app for managing the system grayscale display filter. It allows you to toggle grayscale mode easily by clicking the status bar icon or using a keyboard shortcut, and it also supports enabling or disabling grayscale based on which application is currently active.
Using the grayscale filter can help you reduce your screen time. For more information, check out the following links:
grayscale has been tested on macOS 11 Big Sur but may also work on other versions.
grayscale enables or disables grayscale mode based on the active application. It stores a a default grayscale value, which determines whether grayscale mode should be on or off for all applications that have not overridden it. To toggle the default value, you can left click the status bar icon or use a keyboard shortcut. Right-clicking the icon brings up a menu, which allows you to view the default value, override it for the active application, and configure the keyboard shortcut.
grayscale is designed to make using grayscale mode practical. It's not realistic to keep your screen in grayscale all the time, and automatic transitions reduce the burden of manually turing it on and off. I recommend enabling grayscale by default and disabling it for specific applications that benefit from colors but don't use them to capture your attention, like a text editor with syntax highlighting. Potentially addictive applications that sometimes need color, like web browsers, can then be used with the default setting (i.e. with grayscale enabled), and you can use the keyboard shortcut to toggle grayscale as necessary.
Note: if you aren't building from source, you will have to follow Apple's instructions for opening an app from an unidentified developer (basically, control-click, click Open, then click Open again) to open either the application or the installer pkg for the first time.
Install option 1: homebrew
brew install --cask brettferdosi/tap/grayscale.
grayscale.app will be
Install option 2: run the installer (easiset for non-technical users)
Download the most recent installer (
releases and run it (click
to download directly). It will install
there is already a version of
grayscale.app on your system, the installer will
detect and overwrite it.
Install option 3: build from source
Clone this git repository using
git clone --recurse-submodules and run
xcodebuild -project grayscale.xcodeproj -scheme grayscale -configuration Release -derivedDataPath build.
grayscale.app will be placed into
Optional: open at login
Automatically open grayscale at login by following Apple's instructions here (add grayscale to the list in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items).
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