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In macOS Big Sur and Monterey, the clock in the menu bar now toggles Notification Center.

I use iStat Menu to display the clock in the menu bar, and it looks bad having two times visible:

iStat Menu Clock + stock macOS clock in menu bar

Is there a way to re-add the dedicated Notification Center menu bar icon, as existed in Catalina and previous versions of macOS?

How can I remove the time and clock from the modern macOS menu bar?

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    For reference, my Apple report: github.com/feedback-assistant/reports/issues/131 Dec 20, 2020 at 16:05
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    Not a response to the question, but what I did was to change my Stats config so that it doesn't display the time
    – finitud
    Aug 23, 2021 at 21:07
  • I agree with @finitud - why turn off an OS feature because of a third-party thing that does exactly the same? If iStat can turn off its clock, then do that. It's not like it's a 'better' clock or more accurate.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 27, 2021 at 19:45
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    @benwiggy The iStat Menus clock has much more control over the date and time format it displays. It also has a handy configurable dropdown showing a month-by-month calendar, the current time at selected cities, calendar entries, and/or other stuff you select. So yes, there are reasons why you might want it instead of the system clock.
    – gidds
    Dec 27, 2021 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

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The clock is no longer optional for Big Sur and newer macOS. It drives the do not disturb shortcut (option + select) and summons the Notification Center when selected.

To minimize screen area, select the analog clock icon preference for the menu bar:

System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Clock > Time Options > Analog

This is not what you want as per the title, as it removes the text of the time from the menu bar, but as per the question's description, it does set Big Sur notification to a single (clock) icon.

Analogue clock

In terminal.app, this preference can be scripted or set from the command line:

defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock IsAnalog -bool true
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There's no way to do it now because the time serves as the button for showing the notification center and the widget view. Hope it gets fixed in the future.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – bmike
    Dec 28, 2021 at 12:40
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I also use (and LOVE!) iStat Menus. Best solution is to display the date with iStat and the time with the system. Decent compromise.

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