by Jim Lynch

How to get Night Shift functionality in macOS Sierra

Sep 27, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsMacOS

macOS Sierra has many great new features but Night Shift isn’t among them. Fortunately, f.lux is a great alternative for nighttime use of your Mac.

When Apple finally added Night Shift to iOS there was a collective cheer from iPhone and iPad users. Night Shift changes the color temperature during the evening to lower the blue spectrum. This can be a help to some users in terms of making it easier to sleep.

Unfortunately, Apple did not include Night Shift in macOS Sierra, and that has caused some irritation to Mac owners who expected the new feature to be available for the Mac as well as for iOS devices. It has also caused some to think that, once again, iOS gets a higher priority than macOS from Apple’s developer teams.

Fortunately, there is a work around for Mac owners. f.lux is an app that you can download for your Mac for free, and it offers pretty much the same functionality as Night Shift in iOS.

Here’s the official description from the f.lux site:

Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?

Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?

During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.


f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.

I run f.lux on all of my Macs and it works beautifully. I never have to worry about my sleep being affected by day-time blue spectrum lighting. I’ve been running f.lux for years and it’s always worked very well for me.

Hopefully Apple will eventually get around to adding Night Shift to macOS, but until then I highly recommend that you download f.lux for your Mac. It might help you get much better sleep if you’re someone that uses your Mac a lot at night.

screen shot 2016 09 27 at 1.14.19 pm

This topic also came up in the Apple subreddit recently, and folks there weren’t shy about sharing their opinions about it. So I’ll leave you with this selection of comments about the lack of Night Shift in macOS Sierra:

Throwaway359478: “Mac is always at least a major version behind in getting features. Heck, Siri was added to the phone 4 years ago and the Mac only just got it, in a cut down form.”

Error_Loading: “Seems obvious to me. It was much harder to do on the iPhone before they added it. Mac its very easy.”

SuchUserHasBeenTaken: “One thing I like about f.lux that Night Shift doesn’t have is a third mode at around midnight that makes the screen a ton more warmer than it normally is.”

FrankPapageorgio: “I just assume they hold back features so they have something for their next annual release.”

Marino4K: “Maybe we’ll see it in a 0.1 release.”

Dydegu: “It might come in a dot release along the elusive new Macs.”

More at Reddit

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