I've created an application with Automator.

I want to have a new icon in the menubar like this:

enter image description here

Which starts the app when I click on it.

Is it possible? (without using Xcode)

PS: I don't want a menubar launcher.

2 Answers 2


An Alternative is to use the Applescript.app Script menu.

Shown selected here in the menu bar

enter image description here

This menu is normally for easy access to Applescript scripts and will list and run them from the menu.

But a quick test shows that that it can also run Automator workflows.

To get the menu you need to open Applescript Editor.app which can be found in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder: /Applications/Utilities/AppleScript Editor.app

Once open go to it Preferences and under the General Tab check:

"Show Script menu in menu bar"

enter image description here

You may want to uncheck "Show Computer Scripts"

You can now quit Applescript.app and the Applescript menu should be in the Menu Bar.

Now you select the Applescript Menu and it will have a sub menu "Open Scripts folder" to take you to the folder where you can place your workflows.

Select the "Open Script folders" and then it's sub menu "Open Users Scripts folder menu to take you to the folder where you can place your workflows.

enter image description here

A Finder window will open into the Users Scripts folder. You can now place your .workflow file inside it.

The Applescript Menu is dynamic. So Each time you select it it scans its folders to see what is in them and populates the menu accordingly.

Your .workflow files should show up there. The Menu name will be the name of the file.

enter image description here

Selecting the Menu for your workflow will run it.

  • 4
    Thanks for the detailed answer. But I don't want an item with a contextual menu. The item has to start the app/script when you click on it (like the notification center icon).
    – Ashen
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:26
  • 1
    It appears the application is now called Script Editor.
    – nasch
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 16:22

No, there's no option to do this in Automator.

Menu bar items are stored in /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\ Extras/ with a filetype of menu. Placing apps here won't work, regardless of what program they're made with.

aLaunch and Butler both let you add apps to a menu bar menu though.

  • 2
    There is no way to create .menu easily, is it? I looked inside, and the structure is the same as an app.
    – Ashen
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:27

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