Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I run Hulu Desktop (and certain other programs), they turn the menubar dark (and turn on auto-hide), but they don't put it back to normal when they are done.

Is there a way of resetting the menubar to white (and turning off auto-hide) without having to log out and log back in?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In case anyone has this problem and doesn't have Nocture, you should be able to fix it by running the following Terminal command:

killall SystemUIServer

This restarts the process responsible for drawing the menu bar. It should fix almost all menu bar-related problems.

share|improve this answer
Just tried it, but although the clock etc. disappear for a second, the menubar still stays black. – Mark Dayel May 19 '11 at 4:27

I've not tried this (haven't experienced the problem you mention), but I suspect if you open the System Preferences and choose Desktop & Screen Saver, checking and then unchecking Translucent menu bar will force it to redraw and fix itself.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the suggestion---I tried it, but it doesn't work. (it turns translucent and back, but stays dark and auto-hide stays on) – Mark Dayel Apr 13 '11 at 21:13

I too have Hulu Desktop but I never see the menubar turn dark before. My Hulu Desktop version is 0.9.10 (which is currently the most up to date version). I go with what @MatthewFrederick said above and turning off and on the Translucent Menu Bar option.

Another thing you can do is to see if another program isn't causing the menubar to go dark. I looked through the Hulu Desktop settings and there wasn't any option for turning the menubar dark. I know I have some third party apps that would make my Mac perform certain functions when I run other apps.

share|improve this answer

To answer my own question...

The cause of the black menubar turned out to be running 'nocturne'. It's sufficiently useful that I'll keep using it, and switching to 'night' and back resets the menubar to white without having to log out (going back to the login window from the 'switch users' menu also resets it).

share|improve this answer

I found that simply clicking on the notification centre in the top right hand corner, next to spotlight fixed it instantly without messing about. Hope this helps

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.