The Display icon has disappeared from my Menu Bar and I cannot figure out how to get it back.

The ability to add it to the toolbar has disappeared from System Preferences > Displays

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I found an excellent article that contained instructions on how to add it back in this scenario:

For one reason or another, some menulet options remain hidden in System Preferences by default. Interested users can find the full collection in the System folder: Open a Finder window, from the menu bar select Go -> Go to Folder..., and then navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras.

Some of the extras in this folder are pretty obscure, but one or two might come in handy – like Eject if you use an optical drive, or Ink if you connect a graphics tablet to your Mac, for example. Just double-click any that look useful and they'll be added to the menu bar. They can be removed just as easily using the Command (⌘) key method described above.

When I try this method, the Display icon does indeed show up on the Menu Bar again...


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However, when I try to click it, it immediately disappears.

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What am I missing?

I'm running Catalina (10.15.6) on a 2015 Macbook Pro.

3 Answers 3


Two options:

  1. Open a Terminal window and enter:

    defaults write com.apple.systemuiserver menuExtras -array-add "/full/path/to/that/file.menu" && killall SystemUIServer

    N.B.: This only works on ≤ macOS Catalina; Big Sur moves some stuff around (see below)

    Edit: As user3439894 pointed out, this does the same as launching Displays.menu manually. Instead, try the following in addition to launching Displays.menu:

    defaults write com.apple.systemuiserver "NSStatusItem Visible com.apple.menuextra.displays" -bool true && killall SystemUIServer
  2. Update to macOS Big Sur. No, seriously. Among a cornucopia of other features, 11 introduces a dedicated preference pane for the Menu Bar and its Extras, besides bringing the Control Center over to macOS.

  • 1
    There is no need to perform 1. in that manner as simply open '/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/Displays.menu' in Terminal will add it to the com.apple.systemuiserver.plist file and show it on the menu bar. Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 0:00
  • Actually, good point, @user3439894! In fact, I'm back here to edit my answer xD Didn't realise that that's all the menuExtras dict really did
    – mavenor
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 12:01
  • Btw, thanks for pointing that snag out, @user3439894!
    – mavenor
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 12:28
  • Oh, if anybody tries (1.), please do comment and tell me if it works. I have no way of finding out, since I’m on Big Sur.
    – mavenor
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 12:29

Looks like you have a lot of third-party widgets in your menubar. That's not inherently bad, but I'd suggest rebooting into safe mode and attempting to reproduce the behavior there.

Whether you can or cannot reproduce it, there's a chance this will resolve the behavior when you reboot again into normal mode. It's magical voodoo when this happens, but it has worked for me on similarly mysterious problems in the past.

If the problem disappears in safe mode and returns when you come back to regular mode, try disabling your third-party menubar widgets one at a time.


It says that it will show the Mirroring options in the menubar when available.

Do you have something like an AppleTV where you are or external monitor connected to your computer?

If not, I don't think the menu option will appear. Why have it show up of you don't have the ability to use it?

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