How to remove the shadow effect from screenshots on Mac OS X

By , Aug 3, 2014

Mac OS X Tips

We take screenshots all the time to illustrate our posts here at iDB. Most of them are from iOS devices, but from time to time, we do post screenshots from a Mac app or utility.

If you have a Mac, you’ve probably noticed that every time you take a screenshot of an opened window, it will add a nice drop shadow to this screenshot. While it does give the screenshot a little more character, sometimes, you just don’t want to have this shadow effect in your screenshot.

In this post, we’ll show you how to quickly remove the drop shadow effect from screenshots you take on your Mac

For the sake of clarification, it should be noted that this drop shadow appears when you take a screenshot of a window on your Mac using the following shortcut: Command + Shift + 4 + Space bar, then click on the window you want to screenshot.

How to remove the shadow from screenshots you take on your Mac

If like me, you want to delete the shadow effect, here is what you can do:

Step 1: Open Terminal.

Step 2: Type or copy/paste this:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true ; killall System UIServer

 

remove shadwo from screenshots on mac

The first command will tell your Mac to remove the shadow from screen capture. The second part will kill the SystemUIServer, a background process that controls several aspects of OS X user interface.

How to add the shadow effect back to Mac screenshots

If you change your mind and want to revert back to the drop shadow effect, follow these steps

Step 1: Open Terminal.

Step 2: Type or copy/paste this:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false ; killall System UIServer

 

enable shadow on mac screenshots

As you can tell, it’s a fairly easy tip that doesn’t require much technical knowledge.

If you have more tips you’d want to share with us, or if you have questions about how to perform certain tasks on your iOS device or Mac, please feel free to email us at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

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  • Anmol Malhotra

    Awesome! Love you iDB :*
    This works.. Just did it 😉

  • Mark S

    Not getting this one working on el capitan. Receive this reply “No matching processes belonging to you were found”

    • M165437

      I don’t know if this has changed recently but you need to type SystemUIServer without the space (as in the command above). It’s actually:
      defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true ; killall SystemUIServer