I have Automator workflow applications that I run from keyboard shortcuts. It is great, however, a small gear icon always appears.

I would like to remove it.

  1. How do you do this?
  2. I usually remove all the pixels from the image of menu bar icons of applications, so they are invisible in the menu bar. I could easily do this with Automator (or the Automator application launcher), but can't find where the menu bar icons are stored. Where would they be stored?
  • 1
    I'm curious as to why you do what you expressed in the first sentence of number 2? As to removing it, you do realize that it provides a control mechanism to stop the Automator workflow application, if need be? Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 17:04
  • @user3439894 So I don't have my menu bar cluttered up. I currently have Flux invisible like this. If I want to disable an app with an invisible menu bar icon, I just click on it and the dropdown menu appears. It just makes it so that the icon is invisible; everything works fine.
    – samseva
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 17:10

4 Answers 4


If you are starting a long-running process with "Run Shell Script", redirecting its output should be enough. For example:

long-running-process &>/dev/null &

The gear icon appears then goes away shortly after, I think it is better than nothing...

  • 4
    Best answer IMO. Only has effect on current script and doesn't require an app. (I am not 100% sure but it seems to me killall ScriptMonitor just stops all script monitoring what is probably not what you want)
    – Hendrik
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 9:12
  • Best answer! My situation: I created a journal.app with automator which calls a shell script to start vim. The gear was still spinning, although i had done my work in vim and closed the editor (via :x). Furthermore I could not start a new vim via journal.app, first when I manually stop the gear. Adding &> /dev/null & to the shell call in the journal.app works great for me now!.
    – jerik
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 21:39

If you are using a shell script, you can add "killall ScriptMonitor" at the top of it.


You can install Bartender to manage and hide the menu bar items. You can either choose to hide it completely, or stuff it under a separate standalone menu bar.

The spinning gear originated from a core system app called "ScriptMonitor" which you can find in the following file path:


If you own Bartender, you can manually add the add by clicking on the plus icon found in bottom right part of the preferences. The gear icon will appear briefly, but it should remain hidden while the processes are running.

enter image description here

  • Ah, yes. I own a registered copy of Bartender and heard that it was possible to do this, but haven't succeeded in hiding the Automator application workflow menu bar icon. How do you do this?
    – samseva
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 17:11
  • @samseva see updated answer.
    – sayzlim
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 20:47
  • The Automator application doesn't last long; I was hoping to completely hide it (which knowing where the icon files are, would work). However, your tip will certainly be useful for applications that last longer (or anyone looking for this solution). Thanks!
    – samseva
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 22:22

I've had success with cYrus's answer, and success on Catalina with the open source Bartender alternative Dozer

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