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I had borrowed a USB modem which I used briefly with my Snow Leopard MacBook, and while setting it I had told System Preferences to show modem status in menubar. Now I have removed the modem services, but after doing so I have realized that I cannot remove the modem icon from menubar anymore. Is there a way to do so, short of finding and reinstalling (and uninstalling) another modem?

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Hold and drag it out of the menubar. Also, in the networking system preference, you can often find a show icon in the menu bar preference. I can't recall if this checkbox is easily shown when the hardware is no longer present, but it's an alternative to dragging the icon out directly in some cases.

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