How To Keep Windows Always on Top in Mac OSX

It boggles the mind that a simple feature like the Always on Top for windows is still not part of the core Mac OS system. After all, in a way, the Mac OS is the premium version of the open-source Linux platform. And, this feature is not missing from the open-source platform.

Now, just because Always on Top is not an option when you right-click your application window on your Mac, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some workarounds. Here’s how you can implement the Always on Top for windows on Mac OS.

To start things off, you need to download the latest mySIMBL version. Extract the master.zip file and access the mySIMBL app.

This process may seem a bit straightforward, but some users report that it doesn’t always work this easily. If you encounter issues with the installation, there is something you can do.

You can disable the System Integrity Protection before attempting to install SIMBL again. To do this, you have to restart your machine and then press and hold Command-R during startup. This action will help you enter Recovery Mode.

–Don’t worry. You’ll enable the System Integrity Protection once SIMBL is installed.–

From the recovery screen, access the Terminal through the keyboard shortcut or from Utilities. In the Terminal, type “csrutil disable.” This command will disable System Integrity Protection.

Restart your machine again and log in normally.

Now you’ll want to move SIMBL to the applications folder. You can do this when prompted by a message which should read:

Once SIMBL is on your system, you get the Afloat collection from the Github page. Use Finder to navigate to the Bundle folder. You’ll notice two files: ‘SIMBLE-0.9.9.pkg’ and ‘Afloat.bundle.’

You want to pull the ‘Afloat.bundle’ file into your mySIMBL window. Just drag and drop the file.

Once you complete the above step, make sure that you receive a notification that Afloat is listed among the plugins, which is represented by a green dot next to it.

Restart your machine. When you log back in, open the Afloat app. From there, go to the window options and click “Keep Afloat” within the list. This process should give you the Keep Afloat option for some of your applications.

Don’t expect it to work on all your apps. The Keep Afloat option will only work with apps that are compatible with SIMBL. For apps that recognize Keep Afloat, it should appear like this:

Depending on how you installed SIMBL, you may need to do one more thing. Yes, you’ve guessed it, re-enabling System Integrity Protocol. Go back to the Recovery Mode’s terminal, and type “csrutil enable.”

Restart your machine, and you’re good to go.

Final Word

Although it seems like Afloat solves the Always on Top problem on Mac OS, do remember that it only works with SIMBL-compatible applications. For example, you won’t be able to keep your Firefox browser always on top.

Even Google Chrome showed mixed results depending on the version of the OS and the version of the SIMBL package. For the best results, always keep both up to date.

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