Enable/Disable Drop Shadow in Mac Screenshots


Use the following command to disable drop shadows in your mac screenshots.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

As a mac user, you should have known the three basic screenshots hot key:

  • ⌘+Shift+3 for capturing the whole screen
  • ⌘+Shift+4 for manually dragging an area of interest
  • ⌘+Shift+4, then press space for selecting one active window and capture.

Mac has a built-in feature of rendering a drop shadow to the screenshots by default. This is useful in some cases that you have a white background and would like to add a layer of aesthetics to your screenshots.

A nice-and-neat drop shadow

However, sometimes you may find it unnecessary. Say, you are writing some user manuals that want to keep all the photos looks “2D”. Or, you have both screen dumps from Mac and Windows and you want to keep the same screencaps format (i.e. without drop shadow).

Turns out you COULD control whether the drop shadow should be added or not! Just do the following:

Open your terminal. Copy this command and hit enter:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

This command is literally what it is saying: set the disable shadow option to TRUE. After typing in this command, try to make a window screenshot. You should see the shadows surrounding the window are now gone.

Drop shadow disabled

But what if you regret afterwards? Well, just change the value back to false again:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false

We have a double negative here: disable the “disable-shadow” option. So, we enable the shadow again. Take a window screenshot and you will see the shadow is enabled again.

Drop shadow enabled, again



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