I want to remove the Skype status icons from the menu bar of my MacBook, when the app is running. I see that Microsoft has been ignoring the same question from many user, for years. MS Forum. There is no such toggle in preferences either.

So I looked for the relevant .tiff, .png, .icn, .icns files in various places, including inside the Skype.app, hoping that removing those (or replacing them with blanks) would do the job. But nothing came up. Where does Skype get the icon images from?

  • I should add that Cmd-drag works for other apps, but not Skype. – Yaakov Baruch Jan 19 at 12:56
  • @Allan: not sure why. But you can go to answers.microsoft.com and enter "Remove Menu Bar icon in latest version of Skype for Mac" (with the quotes) in the search field. The thread I referred to will show up. – Yaakov Baruch Jan 19 at 15:31
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    Could this be summarized as “I want Skype installed, but no menu bar icon visible?” – bmike Jan 19 at 21:43
  • There are 5 .icns files in Skype.app/Contents folder, if you search by kind. – anki Jan 19 at 21:44
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    @ankii: I'm aware of those icons, but they don't match the 4 status ones that can show on the menu bar ("active", "away", "do not disturb" and "invisible"). – Yaakov Baruch Jan 19 at 22:14

Since Skype 8 is an Electron app you can modify its source code. Run this command in Terminal:

LC_ALL=C sed -i '' -e "s/this._tray =/\\/\\/is._tray =/" -e "s/this._trayBaseToolTip =/return;\\/\\/yBaseToolTip =/" /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/Resources/app.asar

It will prevent the menu bar icon from being created.

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You can't.

These icons appear to be rendered (on the fly) as they are animated. This indicates that there is no static icon file that you can edit or delete. I use both OneDrive and Skype, both have animated icons and neither can be removed from the Menu Bar.

It appears (IMO) that this is a design decision by Microsoft because their Menu Bar does more than just give you access to sub-menu items; the icon(s) displays status like "Away", "Do Not Disturb" or "Invisible". More importantly, it shows whether you have connectivity or not.

Speaking from a perspective of been a Product Manager for both hardware and software, it's entirely plausible there were folks who removed the icons from the status bar only to complain to Microsoft that they needed a way to know if they were "Away" when they didn't mean to be. I don't know that this happened, but I've seen similar in my own experience.

I see that Microsoft has been ignoring the same question from many user, for years. MS Forum.

Putting on my pragmatic hat here for a moment, since the 23rd of Nov. 2017 when the thread was created, there's only 183 people that identified they had the same question.

enter image description here

There are approximately 1.67 billion Skype users world wide*. To put that into perspective, that's a percentage of 1.01 x 10-7 or 0.000000002%. This is a very small population over approximately a (roughly) 26 month period!

If we compare it to the outstanding feature requests the top request at this time has 1,250 votes and that's only the 1st one. If I tabulate all the requests greater than 183, you're looking at 4,750. This issue is just 4% of that total.

Keep in mind that this is not considered a bug or a problem (as nothing is broken) but a feature request (yes, it's a "problem" to you).

What does all this mean?

It's an annoyance and you'd like it gone, but given where it ranks in the grand scheme of things, it's not likely to get implemented. The squeaky wheels get the grease and this issue barely has any squeak.


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  • Yes, in the scheme of things this is indeed a trifle :) (By any chance, I ask because of your logo, do you have anything to do with Apple Pi's old ChessPuzzle widget? I tried to make it work in Catalina, with partial success.) – Yaakov Baruch Jan 20 at 7:52
  • Never heard of the widget. I just came up with the logo because I was good at math. :-) – Allan Jan 20 at 10:49
  • My apologies for unaccepting your answer, but I think I had to, in light of clash's answer. – Yaakov Baruch Jan 30 at 0:54
  • If it works for you...great. Understand that an update can undo it... – Allan Jan 30 at 1:07

If you want Skype installed and control over the menu bar, you need an app to mediate between Microsoft and Apple.

The Skype app clearly thinks it belongs in the menu bar, changing the icon when program state changes, so unless they change or Apple changes, we’re lucky to have a flexible and powerful mediator.

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    I chose the other answer, which is more directly to the point, but this is very interesting. – Yaakov Baruch Jan 20 at 7:47
  • @YaakovBaruch Good plan - always choose the one you like most. I try to avoid needing this tool, but it’s amazing at what it does. – bmike Jan 20 at 16:01

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