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Customizing the Menu Bar on Your Mac

Customizing the Menu Bar on Your Mac

Customizing the Menu Bar on Your Mac

The menu bar is a staple feature of the Mac operating system, providing quick access to system functions and applications. However, many Mac users are unaware of the extent to which this feature can be customized to suit their specific needs and preferences. In this guide, we will explore the various ways you can personalize your Mac's menu bar to enhance your productivity and user experience.

Understanding the Menu Bar

The menu bar is located at the top of your Mac's screen. It contains the Apple menu, system menus, app menus, status menus, Spotlight search, Siri, and Notification Center. Each of these elements offers a different set of functions and features that can be customized to your liking.

The Apple menu, located on the far left of the menu bar, contains items that control your Mac (like System Preferences, Recent Items, and Sleep). System menus are next to the Apple menu and change based on the active application. Status menus, on the right side of the menu bar, show status and offer features from system and third-party apps.

Customizing System Menus

System menus are dynamic and change based on the application you're currently using. However, you can customize some aspects of these menus to better suit your workflow.

For instance, you can decide which items appear in the Apple menu's 'Recent Items' list, or change the keyboard shortcuts for certain menu commands. To do this, navigate to System Preferences > General and make your desired changes.

Changing Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to speed up your workflow. You can customize these shortcuts by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Here, you can change existing shortcuts or create new ones for menu commands in any application.

Keep in mind that any changes you make will only apply to the current user account. If you want these changes to apply to all user accounts on your Mac, you'll need to log in as an administrator and make the changes there.

Customizing Status Menus

Status menus, also known as menu bar icons, provide quick access to system and third-party app features. You can add, remove, or rearrange these icons to suit your needs.

To add or remove system icons, go to System Preferences and select the relevant section. For example, to add a Battery status icon, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and check the 'Show battery status in menu bar' box.

Rearranging Menu Bar Icons: You can rearrange the order of menu bar icons by holding down the Command key and dragging icons to your desired location. Note that this doesn't work with all icons, as some third-party apps don't allow their icons to be moved.

If you want to remove an icon, simply hold down the Command key and drag the icon out of the menu bar. Be careful, though, as this action can't be undone. To get the icon back, you'll need to go to the relevant System Preferences section or application settings.

Using Bartender for Advanced Customization

While the built-in customization options for the menu bar are quite extensive, you might want more control over this area of your Mac. This is where third-party apps like Bartender come in.

Bartender allows you to hide, rearrange, or move menu bar icons to a secondary bar. It also offers features like keyboard navigation and search, making it a powerful tool for power users.

Keep in mind that Bartender is a paid app, but it offers a free trial so you can see if it's worth the investment for you.


Customizing the menu bar on your Mac can greatly enhance your productivity and user experience. Whether you're just rearranging a few icons or using a third-party app for advanced customization, the possibilities are vast.

Remember, the key to a great user experience is a system that works for you. So don't be afraid to experiment with different setups until you find the one that fits your workflow best.

While you're personalizing your Mac to fit your lifestyle, don't forget to give the same attention to your iPhone. Case Monkey offers a variety of phone cases to keep your device safe and stylish. Check out our products and find the perfect case that complements your customized Mac and enhances your overall tech experience.