Make Mac OS X Run in Grayscale Mode

May 4, 2010 - 2 Comments

Mac running in Grayscale Mode OS X

You can run Mac OS X in Grayscale mode by adjusting the display settings in the Accessibility or Universal Access control panel. Likewise, you can stop a Mac from running in greyscale mode and get full color back by disabling the setting in the same system control panel.

This is an easy display settings adjustment to make, and it serves a variety of purposes.

How to Enable Grayscale Mode in Mac OS X

This effectively turns everything on screen to black and white with gray shades. It makes no permanent change to any files, it’s simply how the onscreen images are displayed:

  1. GO to the  Apple menu and System Preferences
  2. Choose ‘Accessibility’ (or it could be named Universal Access in your OS X)
  3. In the Display section, toggle Grayscale mode on by checking the box

Grayscale Mode option in OS X

The exact appearance of the preference setting varies slightly per version of OS X, prior versions may look like this:

grayscale mode mac os x

Turning this off is just a matter of unchecking the toggle.

The settings are part of the standard Universal Access capabilities inside System Preferences, and while they are intended to be used for people who are visually impaired, I have seen a few pranksters adjust Mac’s to grayscale mode just for fun – it certainly confuses people.

Mac running in Grayscale Mode OS X

Note that changing your Mac to run in grayscale mode does not actually alter any graphics or images to be permanently black & white. The images on screen simply display in variations of gray, like the screenshot.


Related articles:

Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. esaruoho says:

    It’s really sweet. Now I just want to figure out how to enable / disable grayscale-mode from the Terminal. It’d be really awesome.

  2. Geeks On Hugs says:

    I think it’s fun for retro Mac computing.

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site