I'm seeking software for Mac OSX that can hide any icon on menu bar. Some apps leave an icon on menu bar, but don't have a option to hide its icon from menu bar, are there any applications that hide all of the icons on the menu bar? Thanks.

4 Answers 4


There is an app called Bartender, it's paid through. As far as I remember it has a full functional trial and a lot of useful functions, so you should try it.

  • 1
    I highly recommend Bartender!
    – Tuesday
    Oct 25, 2015 at 21:04

For every third-party status menu item (those implemented using the public NSStatusItem class) that is present in the menu bar, there is an application (possibly a background application) that must be running which is responsible for putting it there.

As such, there's no way to have Application B directly hide the status menu item of Application A, except to simply terminate Application A.

I'd suggest using Activity Monitor to try to determine what application or background process is responsible for the status menu item, and then quitting that process. (Note: SystemUIServer is the name of the background process that is responsible for presenting the status menu items. It's part of the OS, so don't quit it).

You could also use ps auxww in a Terminal window to get a list of all processes (including the path to the executable), which might help you figure out the desired background process name depending on where it's located on disk.

If you're not sure, just list the names of the apps that put status menu items up there and I or someone else can figure out what process it is for you.

  • IIRC Mac OS X should automatically remove status items in case the menu bar gets too cluttered. There might be some private API for that.
    – user5077
    Jul 13, 2011 at 0:35
  • Thx a lot.I want those apps run background,just b/c so many apps icon on menu bar,so I want to hide some of them, not terminate them : )
    – user392412
    Jul 13, 2011 at 1:37
  • @Bavarious: yes, the menus on the left side of the menu bar always take priority over status menu items, and if there are enough menus, the status items will be removed to make room for them. I was aware of this, but considered that an "indirect" (and automatic) way to hide status menu items...
    – NSGod
    Jul 13, 2011 at 2:31
  • Choosing which menu bar icons are visible is a feature Apple should copy from Windows May 4, 2012 at 20:58

There's another freemium app called Vanilla that adds a simple toggle for it.



I believe that to remove unwanted menu bar items you can use the following steps:


  • 2
    The question asks about third-party apps that add icons to the menu bar. This only works for things that Mac OS X puts in the menu bar. Jul 12, 2011 at 19:32
  • @Nathan yep, I've tried that way, not work for third-party apps
    – user392412
    Jul 13, 2011 at 1:38
  • Dunno whether it's a recent change, but (at least in macOS 12 Monterey) Cmd+drag works on every third-party icon I've tried, as well as all the system ones (except for the Control Centre and Notification Centre at the far end).  So maybe a third-party app is no longer needed?
    – gidds
    2 days ago

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