How do you remove icons from the Menu bar?

I'm running OS X Yosemite and I tried Command + Click + Drag to get rid of them but it isn't working.

3 Answers 3


It depends which icons you are trying to remove. There are two types; software that uses the NSStatusItem API that Apple publicise for third party developers and software that uses their private undocumented NSMenuExta API.

The icons that represent operating system features can be removed by holding down the cmd ⌘ key and dragging them with the mouse. For example, the AirPlay, Time Machine, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi icons. These are implemented using NSMenuExtra.

Other icons, the ones that represent applications you may need to close the application to remove. For example, Dropbox and Plex. Apple provide NSStatusItem for developers to implement them, but unfortunately it doesn't provide all the features of NSMenuExtra, for example dragging to uninstall is only available through NSMenuExtra.

  • I just installed the Fantastical Menu Bar (flexibits.com/fantastical) and I can't uninstall, close, cmd+drag or anything to kill the app. Based on your description, I assume '.menu' app was created as an NSMenuExtra, however since I didn't install the full out Fantastical app, I'm not sure how to remove a .menu application.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 21:27
  • If you just installed the menubar app then in the bottom-right corner of the menu there should be a gear icon. If you click on that it should open another menu with Quit at the end. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 21:39
  • The Fantastical menu add on for v2.0 doesn't have any menu when the actual Desktop applications isn't installed.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:32
  • I don't understand. You installed something that is showing an icon in the menubar but no menu when you click on it? Can you provide a link to what you actually installed? Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:34
  • I know, I probably sound crazy don't I?! :) snpy.link/te6LSo
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:36

In a few cases, you can do this:

System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items

If the app that puts your troubling icon onto the menu bar is listed here, remove it. Then logout & back in.


I had the same problem where CMD+drag wouldn't remove an icon. I realized that Bartender app was causing this problem.

For anyone experiencing this issue (and using Bartender):

  1. Quit Bartender
  2. CMD + Drag any menu icon out of the menu
  3. Re-open Bartender

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