How to make third-party menu bar icons look better with dark mode on Mac

Dark Mode Menu Bar Compare

OS X Yosemite introduced a new dark mode option to change the tint color of both the menu bar and the dock in OS X. While I’m a big fan of dark mode, some of the third-party apps that I use have not been updated to play nice with dark mode. This results in menu bar icons that look weird with dark mode enabled, because they don’t invert after toggling dark mode on.

If you’re someone who always uses dark mode and never switches to regular mode, there is a way to force these menu bar icons to look better with dark mode enabled…

Note: this is a quick fix for those of you who plan on always using OS X’s dark mode. If you like switching back and forth between light and dark mode, then this tutorial won’t really address the problem. Instead, contact the app developer and ask them to fix the issue. Actually, you might want to do that anyway, and use this as a temporary workaround.

Step 1: Right click on the application associated with the menu bar icon in /Applications, and click Show Package Contents

Show package contents

Step 2: Navigate to /Contents/Resources and locate the menu bar icon

Step 3: Right click on the icon image and select Copy

Step 4: On your desktop, right click, hold the Alt/Option (⌥) key on the keyboard, and select Move Item Here

Step 5: If requested, enter your administrator password and click OK

Step 6: Open the image that’s now on the desktop using Preview

Step 7: In Preview’s menu bar, click Tools → Adjust Color

Preview invert adjust color

Step 8: Use the sliders at the top of the Adjust Color interface to invert the black and white colors found in the image. Drag the right slider fully to the left side and drag the left slider fully to the right side

Step 9: Close Preview

Step 10: Drag the image from the desktop back to the /Contents/Resources folder of the application associated with the menu bar icon that you wish to modify

Step 11: If requested, click Authenticate, enter your administrator password and click OK

Step 12: Quit the application associated with the menu bar icon that you wish to change and then restart the app

Now you should be able to enjoy dark mode full time and have third-party menu bar icons that look as if they belong there. Be sure to watch the full video walkthrough embedded above to see the entire process performed step-by-step.

What do you think? Do you use dark mode on your Mac? Have you encountered any third-party app icons that cause similar problems?