MacBook Pro 'top notch' design issue hides apps on menu bar — how to fix it

Apple MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models have finally arrived, with both the 14-inch MacBook and 16-inch MacBook Pro sporting a notch at the top of the display. The Cupertino tech giant's signature design has already run into an issue that owners have been quick to point out.

As spotted by content creator Quinn Nelson on Twitter, when adding to the app menu to the left of the notch and status menu on the right, options get stuck behind the Mac menu bar. This makes it impossible to see what's available, especially for users who cram the menu bar with apps. 

This happened when Nelson turned on iStat menus, but another issue was spotted when opening the video editor app DaVinci Resolve. Once opened, not only could the user not see what was behind the menu, but Nelson couldn't click on the options, as the cursor would jump from the left and right of the notch.

Apple has now responded to the notch design issue, releasing a support page to help users adjust an app's settings to appear below the camera area instead. This can be done by turning on the "Scale to fit below built-in camera" for the app to adjust the active area of a user's display. Now, apps that share the same space on the menu bar appear below the camera until the app is closed. 

How to stop apps hiding behind notch on MacBook Pro

  • On your MacBook, quit the app that's being hidden. 
  • Click the Finder icon in the Dock, then click "Applications" in the Finder sidebar.
  • Select your chosen app, then click "File" then "Get Info", or press Command-I.
  • In the info window that pops up, select "Scale to fit below built-in camera."

The notch is a recently introduced design for the new MacBook Pro models, which has been seen on other Apple devices since the iPhone X. Since then, Apple's signature notch has been met with mixed reviews, although the recent iPhone 13 has at least made it smaller. Content creator Marques Brownlee quipped it was a "top-notch design."

Regardless of the issue, the new MacBook Pro 14 is a portable powerhouse that's practically perfect in every way, except for its high price and lack of USB-A ports. Despite its desirable specs, check out why Laptop Mag's Jason England believes you probably don't need Apple's new MacBook Pro

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.