Dim background windows

If you are a distraction-prone Mac user the Isolator app might be exactly what you need. This free app will let you dim, blur, or completely blackout windows that are in the background. As you switch between windows the effect changes to provide a strong focus to the frontmost window. The effect can quickly be enabled or disabled directly through the menubar shortcut or by using a keyboard shortcut so that you only have to use it when you’re trying to focus on what you’re working on.

Here are some of the settings you can configure with Isolator:

  • Hide the Dock when you activate Isolator
  • Customize the background window (including semi-transparency and blur)
  • ‘Hide’ background windows, as well as covering them up (they’re just covered up by default)
  • Customize the shortcut key (normally shift-command-i)
  • Disable the menubar icon
  • Left-clicking the menubar icon can activate Isolator
  • Automatically launch Isolator when you log in

You’ll find even more hidden options for Isolator listed over on the homepage that can be set through the terminal to do things like only isolate windows on a specific monitor. So make sure you check out their FAQ section to see if there are any other settings that interest you.

Isolator Homepage (Mac only; Freeware)