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Several times the menu bar on my Mac has frozen and I've had to restart the whole computer. I know that there must be a better way to fix a frozen menu bar than restarting. How can I kill the menu bar via Terminal?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

SystemUIServer is the process responsible for the menu bar and any menu extras. You can restart it in Terminal using:

killall SystemUIServer
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I found that that only got me half of the way—my network and a lot of other things were gone after it; killing Finder (again) got me the rest of the way. :) – Kaolin Fire Oct 19 '13 at 1:09

In addition to the Terminal option @Nathan Greenstein gave, you can also force quit the SystemUIServer process using the Activity Monitor utility.

BTW, SystemUIServer is only responsible for the menu items (i.e. the right side of the menu bar). If more than that is frozen, this may not do the trick. OTOH, if it is just SystemUIServer, you probably have a buggy menu item and should try to isolate which one is causing the problem and remove or update it.

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Individual applications are responsible for the left side, so if that is frozen just force quit the application whose menus they are. – Kevin Reid Feb 4 '12 at 12:54

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