Top menu bar or simply menu bar in macOS is the permanently visible element that always shown on the top of the display. It shows menus and icons allowing you to access apps, settings and navigate through app’s menu items. Did you ever wonder, how to add or remove icons and customize the menu bar in Mac? Here is how you can do that in macOS Ventura or later versions.
Understanding Menu Bar in Mac
Menu bar contains the following four sections as shown in the below picture by Apple:
- Apple menu – which shows an Apple logo on top left corner of the screen. Click on that and go to “System Settings” to access all macOS settings in one place.
- App menu – this will show the navigation menu for the current active app. When there are no open apps, you will see the Finder app’s menu as a default which you can’t remove from the menu bar.
- Status menus – on the right side of the app you will see lot of icons from the apps and for system settings which are called status menus. For example, you can see Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Control Center and Siri icons.
- Date & Clock – shows at the right corner of the menu bar clicking on which will show the Notification Center in Mac.
The color of the menu bar will follow the light or dark mode as per your system mode settings. You can’t remove the Apple icon or disable app menus. Here are some of the customizations you can do to control your menu bar.
1. Automatically Hide or Show Menu Bar
If the menu bar is disturbing you, especially on smaller MacBook laptop models, then you can automatically show or hide on hovering.
- Click Apple menu and go to “System Settings…”.
- Open “Desktop & Dock” from the sidebar and find “Menu Bar” section.
- By default, “Automatically hide and show the menu bar” option will be set as “Never” to always show the menu bar.
- Click the dropdown and select one of the options – Always, On Desktop Only or In Full Screen Only option.
2. Show or Hide Status Menu Icons in Menu Bar
If the icon belongs to an app, you should check the app’s settings to enable or disable showing the icon on menu bar. Follow the below steps to show or hide default Apple icons.
- Go to “System Settings…” from Apple menu and navigate to “Control Center” option.
- Scroll down to bottom of the right pane and find “Menu Bar Only” section.
- By default, you will see Spotlight and Siri options will show “Show in Menu Bar”. Click the dropdown and select “Don’t Show in Menu Bar” to hide the icons. You can show or hide Siri, Spotlight, Time Machine and VPN icons from here.
- If you want to hide Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Sound and other Control Center items from menu bar, just scroll to the top to find “Control Center Modules” section. From there, you can show or hide the available icons in the menu bar.
- For some icons like language input, you need to find the corresponding settings and disable it. For example, go to “Keyboard” settings and click the “Edit” button against “Input Sources” and disable “Show input menu in menu bar” to remove the language input icon.
3. Move or Remove Status Menu Icons
You can move or remove status menu icons with the following trick:
- To move and rearrange the status menu icons, simply hold the command key and drag the icon to left or right.
- For removing the icon from the menu bar, hold the command key and drag the icon and drop outside the menu bar.
Note: Hiding or removing the icons from menu bar will NOT disable the functionality. For example, you can remove the Siri icon and still continue to use “Hey Siri”.
4. Show or Hide Date
By default, Mac will show the date only when there is a space available in menu bar. However, you can change that to always show or complete remove it.
- When you are in “Control Center > Menu Bar Only” settings section, click the “Clock Options…” button showing against “Clock”.
- On the pop-up, select your setting against “Show date” option. You can also show or hide the day of the week by toggling “Show the day of the week” switch.
5. Customizing Clock Settings
Many Mac users do not aware that you can do some minimum customizations for clock settings. When you are in “Clock Options” settings, check under “Time” section.
- You can choose the clock style as digital or analog and select 24-hours format or AM/PM with 12-hours format.
- If you want to make your clock noticeable, enable “Flash the time separator” option. This will blink the colons in the time and you can also enable the seconds to show in HH:MM:SS format.
- If you are doing a task with time target, it’s a good idea to enable the “Announce the time” option. You can setup the interval for the announcement as one hour, half hour or quarter hour and customize the voice settings.
6. Third-Party Apps for Using Menu Bar in Mac
Since menu bar is the quick way to access settings, most third-party apps add their icons there. For example, you can use weather, system monitoring or cool widget to quickly get a glance from the menu bar icon. In addition, here are some of the apps to make use of your menu bar effectively.
- One Thing – this app will add a custom task in the menu bar. As the name indicates, you can add one task in the bar to always remind you when using the Mac.
- Hidden Bar – if you have too many status menu icons, then this is the app you should try. This app will set a separator and help to hide all the icons right side of it. You can click on the separator to reveal the hidden icons.
- Barbee – Hide Menu Bar Items – this is another app to clean up and add custom widgets to the default menu bar in Mac.
- MenubarX – this is an ultimate app to add any web app icon in the menu bar. For example, you can add Google and search directly by clicking the menu bar icon or use social apps like Twitter or Instagram. It is also possible to switch user agents and test the websites.
You can install all these apps from Mac App Store for free.