Black Menu Bar on OS X Mountain Lion (Updated)

Working with screens at night could be exhausting for the eyes, that’s why i prefer dark wallpapers and discreet light. Anyway, the OS X Menu Bar is not very impressed about a dark wallpaper . Good to know that “Nocturne” is still working and able to invert the menu bar.

“Nocturne” will just invert the menu bar – not the menu itself. The setup is pretty easy… Just go to the “Nocturne” Homepage and download the latest version (2.0 at the moment of writing this). Don’t worry – the project seems to be no longer under active development, but this tool is still working on Mountain Lion as well as Lion and Snow Leopard. After you downloaded and extracted the Application, just drag and drop it into your Application-Folder. If you like to start it on logon, you can drag and drop it also into your User Accounts Logon-Objects (System-Prereferences>Users>Logon Objects).

Let’s do the configuration: First we’ll need to disable the Menu Bar transparency effect: Go to “System Preferences>Desktop  & Screensaver” and uncheck “Transparent Menu Bar”.

Now Click on the sun/moon Icon on the top right and go to “Preferences”. Check “Invert menu bar” and you are done. Note that also the icons will be inverted – you can correct this a little bit by checking “Invert hue” but that depends on your taste ;-)

That’s all. There are also alternative ways to get a real black menu instead of inverting it, but you’ll need to change system files and theses changes could be lost on any new update – so here we have a really stable simple solution ;-)

Update #1, 2nd Sep. 2012

After using Nocturne for a while, some issues on ML occurred. Sometimes the Menu Bar starts to flicker and there seems also a problem on switching between spaces. An issue is already opened on the authors page (link) – Hopefully the tool will be updated soon. As far as i see, there is currently no risk testing the tool anyway. You can easily remove it by dragging and dropping it from the application folder into the waste basket.

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  • Scboffspring

    The only issue is when swipping from on space to another, else looks good, thanks for sharing !

    • joh

      I noticed also some issues with flickering of the Menu Bar. I updated the text respective – hopefully the tool will be updated soon. Thanks for reporting back.