UI is blurry. Font is not clear type? or not smoothed?

Has anyone else had this problem? See picture

Which version of Big Sur do you use, does a restart fix this? Is font smoothing in System Preferences > General en- or disabled?

I am using version 11.2.3

And actually I can’t find anywhere in preferences where the font smoothing is. Its definitely not in “general”

In case of value to you, I used Google “font smoothing Big Sur” and found How to Adjust or Disable Font Smoothing in macOS Big Sur - MacRumors

Also if you have Apple Care, they may be able to help.


@Kbob Yeah, I experienced the same problem with DEVONthink and a few other apps after updating to Big Sur. From what I can tell, it’s specific to non-retina displays, which Apple doesn’t seem to care about any longer. To be honest, this has been a huge problem for me, too - particularly with small text, such as in context menus, dropdowns, etc. I have some problems with my eyes, and this has just exacerbated things.

To echo what @rmschne said, I’d recommend tinkering around with the various font smoothing settings. In Catalina, I had good luck with changing the AppleFontSmoothing and CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled settings. However, Big Sur doesn’t appear to work quite the same way. Not only did they remove the setting from System Preferences > General, but some of its related, more fine-grain display settings appear to operate a little differently than before. I also tried the AppleAntiAliasingThreshold and several others, but I am still not happy with the way things look.

In case it’s helpful to you, so far I’ve had the best luck with disabling AppleFontSmoothing globally:

defaults -currentHost write -g AppleFontSmoothing -int 0

Here 0 = disabled, 1 = light smoothing, 2 = medium, and 3 = strong. And, if you changed your CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled settings or others, go back to the system default.

Like @Kbob, I’d be grateful for any insight others have (e.g., what settings worked best for you, etc.). Admittedly, this stuff is way over my head, but I spent the better part of two or three days experimenting with settings and reading numerous blogs to try and fix the problem. While I’ve found that these settings work best, things are still blurry in spots. It’s all been quite frustrating.


Very helpful. Thank you !