The MacBook Pro notch problem has a workaround — and it's not great

MacBook Pro 2021 (16-inch) on a patio table
(Image credit: Future)

If you're struggling to use your MacBook Pro 2021 because the new display notch keeps interfering with your apps, there may be a possible solution. It's not foolproof, but you might just find that "scale to fit" will make life with the new MacBook Pro much easier.

As pointed out by user Jatodaro on Twitter (via 9to5Mac), this is an option you can toggle for certain apps that scales your screen down so that the top edge of your desktop stops before the notch. You end up with a slightly smaller display area than the MacBook's capable of, but with no intrusion from the camera area.

While most of the time the notch in the MacBook Pro's display is covering up empty space in the menu bar, in some apps there are enough headings that a few will be hidden "beneath" the notch, making them difficult to use. Some apps have found ways to stop the mouse cursor from getting lost in the notch, but there's no consistency in how they work.

That is, unless you use the "scale to fit" option. While this means sacrificing some of your beautiful mini-LED display space, it theoretically eliminates any potential notch-related problems you could face. Unfortunately, this also isn't a fully consistent method; if an app is marked by a developer as notch-compatible, this option doesn't show up.

This option is worth a try if you are not getting on well with your new MacBook. However, Apple really needs to implement a permanent fix that developers and users can use to ensure their expensive new laptops don't interfere with their workflow.

How to scale apps on the MacBook Pro 2021

Here's how you can enable this option yourself. Just keep in mind that this option may not be available on every app, and that when enabled, your screen will be scaled from when you open the app to when you close it again.

1. Open Finder, then navigate to the app you want to change.
2. Right-click on the app, then select Get Info
3. In the box that pops up, select the "Scale to fit below built-in camera" checkbox

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.