Shady for Mac

Shady puts a shade over your screen to help soothe your tired or dazzled eyes. You can use it to reduce your Mac's brightness far below the usual minimum, without any risk of damage to your screen.

Shady works on Mac OS X Leopard (10.5), and Snow Leopard (10.6) or later. It's completely free, and if you're a developer you can grab the source code too.

Download button   Check out source code button

Brighter than bright

Modern Macs have exceptionally bright screens, and often the minimum brightness level is still dazzling. If you're working late at night, or your eyes are tired or maybe you're just sensitive to bright light, it can be difficult to stare at the screen for long periods. That's where Shady comes in.

Large version of the Shady application icon - a set of metal blinds partially covering a Mac desktop

Pull the shades

Shady lets you pull a virtual shade over your screen (or screens, if you have more than one - Shady covers them all), dimming the display to a more comfortable level.

The shade will ignore your mouse clicks, naturally, so you can continue to use your Mac as usual.

Screenshot showing a window full of text, both with and without Shady active.

You can brighten the shade all the way up to your normal screen brightness, or darken it down to 90% shade (very nearly black). It'll change in increments of 5%, and it starts at 40% opacity (or 60% transparency), which should be quite comfortable.

Shady will save your shade level and restore it next time you launch the app, and it'll also automatically get out of your way when it's launched (returning the focus to whatever app you were in when you launched Shady).

Shady doesn't do anything funky to your system (it's just a regular application; just quit it and trash it if you don't want it anymore), and will not damage your screens in any way. It should, however, make your eyes feel better - as long as you don't make your screen so dark that you're straining to see anything!

Shade your way

You can control Shady right from your menubar, choosing the shade level you find most comfortable.

Screenshot of the Shady global menu in the Mac menubar.

If you chooose to have Shady's icon appear in your Dock and Application Switcher (it will by default), then you can also control it via the keyboard when Shady is the frontmost application. There's even a handy overlay to remind you which keys you can use.

Screenshot of Shady's help text overlay.


Many thanks to the talented Matheau Dakoske for the Shady icon!

Thanks to Jim Moore for art contributions.

NSApplication+DockIcon category by Tony Arnold.

Shady's automatic update system is powered by Sparkle, created by Andy Matuschak.

Thanks to Jeff LaMarche and Cyril Godefroy for the idea.


Shady's job is to soothe your dazzled eyes.

  • Shade your screen up to 90%.
  • Quickly change shade level from your menubar.
  • Works with multiple screens (no matter how many you have).
  • Smooth shade adjustments via Core Animation.
  • Completely safe for your screen.
  • Choose whether Shady appears in the Dock or not.
  • Automatic or manual updates.
  • Free and open source!

We hope you'll enjoy using Shady. Feel free to get in touch via our contact page!

If you'd like to help fund Shady's continued development, or just to say thanks, perhaps you'd consider a donation?