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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.

Can I eliminate the visible icon from the menu bar while running Skype on macOS Catalina?

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  • I should add that Cmd-drag works for other apps, but not Skype. Commented Jan 19, 2020 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. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:31
  • 1
    Could this be summarized as “I want Skype installed, but no menu bar icon visible?”
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 21:43
  • There are 5 .icns files in Skype.app/Contents folder, if you search by kind.
    – anki
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 21:44
  • 1
    @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"). Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 22:14

4 Answers 4

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Since Skype 8 is an Electron app you can modify its source code.

  1. Grant write permissions for Terminal: System Settings > Privacy & Security > Full Disk Access

  2. Run this command in Terminal:

    LC_ALL=C sed -i '' -e "s/_initTray(){.\{7\}/_initTray(){return;/" -e "s/initTrayMenu(){.\{7\}/initTrayMenu(){return;/" /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/Resources/app*.asar
    

It will prevent the menu bar icon from being created.

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  • 3
    updated for 8.64.0.80
    – clash
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 9:34
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    this is amazing, thank you very much! now with the Notch on the new M1 MacBooks, this is more helpful than ever! :D
    – Buju
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 1:19
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    I have manually replaced _initTray(){this._tray=new by _initTray(){return;ray=new inside hex editor. The icon disappears.
    – Jakeroid
    Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 14:07
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    No longer works in 8.95.0.408 (Mac) unfortunately. Looks like the MS buggers who dev this crappy Electron web app, rather than adding this simple Fn menubar OFF OFF OFF feature, instead choose to use their time to break our manual workarounds with every new version. Fn useless buggers.
    – Ed R
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 9:40
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    updated for 8.95.0.408
    – clash
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 18:28
4

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 Microsoft changes the design or adds a preference, someone clever hot patches the app 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. Commented Jan 20, 2020 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
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:01
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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.


*https://www.statista.com/statistics/820384/estimated-number-skype-users-worldwide/

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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.) Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 7:52
  • Never heard of the widget. I just came up with the logo because I was good at math. :-)
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 10:49
  • My apologies for unaccepting your answer, but I think I had to, in light of clash's answer. Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 0:54
  • If it works for you...great. Understand that an update can undo it...
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 1:07
0

Try Hidden Bar or for the power users: brew install --cask hiddenbar

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  • What does this do and how does it solve the problem described in the question?
    – nohillside
    Commented May 15 at 18:07
  • I believe the name of the app checks out: Hidden Bar, hides app icons. Also, it will hide the app bar. What a great name for an app!
    – waykone
    Commented Jun 30 at 17:37

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