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Sometimes on my Macbook Pro when I have a lot of icons in the menu bar, if I start an application which has a lot of menu items, some of these icons get automatically obscured by the menu items.

For example, when running iTunes, the Twitter icon gets obscured...

enter image description here

...but if I switch to Finder (which has a fewer menu items) the icon then re-appears

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Is there any way I can show or get to these obscured icons without having to switch to an application with a shorter menu bar?

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possible duplicate of Menus overlap/hide Menu Extras. How to access? – user588 Mar 29 '12 at 22:17
Apologies. How did I not see that when writing the question :-( – binarybob Mar 29 '12 at 22:43
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I have been using this for a while and it seems to be configurable to do what you need.

enter image description here

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Note that MacBartender is a paid app. $15 today. – Rob Bednark May 21 '14 at 14:15
Ridiculous having to pay $15 for something that should've been so basic. – casraf Sep 23 '14 at 5:35

An app called AccessMenuBarApps allows you to do that by basically providing a keyboard shortcut to an application with no application menu items. It's free, so it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

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+1 Good find, thanks! That works pretty well actually, with the minor exception that there doesn't seem to be an option to hide its dock icon! Frankly I'm a little amazed that along with the other slick features and tricks in OS X that theres no option to, say, temporarily slide or swipe the menu bar out the way. Perhaps its just not a problem for most people... – binarybob Mar 29 '12 at 22:15
Use Dockless ( to hide the icon for it. – penguinrob Mar 29 '12 at 22:17
Unfortunately, that also seems to disable the menu bar completely for the application whose icon is to be hidden. Probably just a GUI wrapper round the LSUIElement trick (EDIT: The dockless readme.rtf confirms this) – binarybob Mar 29 '12 at 22:32
So it pretty much disables the app then? That's probably an apple ui limitation then. – penguinrob Mar 29 '12 at 22:33

NoMenuBar is a free app whose only purpose is to have no menus other than it's name so that you can switch to it and see more menu bar icons.

This isn't a direct solution to the question (not have to switch to another app), but it did help me see more icons that even Finder's menus were obscuring.

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