As a Windows/Fedora/Mac/Ubuntu user, the menubar at the top of the screen has always bugged me. It doesn't go away and you can't move it. I've tried dragging it away in vain several times. It would look so nice on the right, just like my taskbar.

But after experiencing success with asking other questions that I thought impossible, I decided to ask it here to see if anyone knows how. So, with no further ado:

How can I move the top menu bar in Mac OS X?

  • 1
    why would you do this? The menu bar has no task bar (application launching) functionality, and menus of windows/linux apps are usually at the top, so doesn't it make sense for the menu bar to be on the top?
    – Alexander
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:31
  • 16
    Turn the monitor on its side. Problem solved.
    – Daniel
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:36
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    @Daniel L: Wow! It worked! Now, next question: Why are all my icons sideways? Mar 27, 2012 at 3:39
  • 8
    That's an Easter Egg specially planted for people who want the menu bar on the side. Shhh, don't tell anyone.
    – Daniel
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:40
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    @CousinCocaine I am a heavy linux user but critical apps including JuniperNetworks vpn and Webex are either not well or not at all supported. And OS/X has great developer apps. That does not preclude my disliking the wasted real estate and their poor support for keyboarding/mnemonics. If any suggestions on how to improve within os/x (not X windows) it would be appreciated. Nov 9, 2014 at 18:08

6 Answers 6


I think the only moving of the menu bar you can do is from monitor to monitor.

SecondBar gives you, well, a second menu bar. It is draggable, so you could position it in the middle or bottom of your screen, but I can't get it to change orientations to go vertically on the right.

  • 2
    Aww, dang. Now my vision of Apple.SE as a place where everything has an answer is ruined. :( Mar 27, 2012 at 3:08
  • 2
    @JavaAndCSharp Dashed on the ground like so many iPads.
    – Adam Davis
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:10
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    JavaAndCSharp, everything DOES have an answer here. The answer is that the Mac menu bar has been fixed at the top of the screen since 1984 and you can't move it. Apple INVENTED the menu bar and pull-down menus with commands, so they established this convention and they've never departed from it. Windows, on the other hand, circa 1987, was designed with every app having its own menu bar in its own window, which could be moved.
    – user9290
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:23
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    @Wheat Williams: I meant a satisfactory answer. Now leave me be to cry in the corner with my non-movable menu bar. :( Mar 27, 2012 at 3:25
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    @Kubuntuer82 The app seems to be no longer under development (likely because recent versions of macOS display a menu bar on multiple monitors), but I've updated the answer to include a link to MacUpdate, which still provides a download for it: macupdate.com/app/mac/33264/secondbar
    – penguinrob
    Feb 16, 2021 at 17:39

You can not re-position the menu bar, but you can configure it to be hidden when idle by checking the option 'Automatically hide and show the menu bar' under the General tab of System Preferences. Screenshot provided for further clarification. enter image description here


The top menu bar is non-moveable since the first version of MacOS and later Mac OS X.

You can't move it (tho you can drag it to an external display if you have one).

  • 4
    Think different.. great.. Nov 8, 2014 at 2:12
  • @javadba so different that Ubuntu linux also went with the same approach. Nov 10, 2014 at 6:41
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    I have several ubuntu laptops, all of which I have changed the top menubar to be (a) on the left side and (b) autohide. So what are you talking about? Point is it is configurable in ubuntu. Nov 10, 2014 at 15:37
  • The point is, if you don't like the way OS X does things, you just use something else as opposed to leaving pointless rants that nobody really cares about :) Nov 10, 2014 at 18:09
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    I have not "given up" on those two issues being resolvable - thus my continued comments. Nov 10, 2014 at 18:23

As mentioned in other answers the menu bar can unfortunately not be moved. However - as of El Capitan - it is possible to hide it!

It is in General | Appearance | Automatically hide and show the menu bar:

enter image description here

No top menu bar!

enter image description here

I appreciate this additional vertical real estate as well as diminished visual distraction.


You can't

move the menu bar to your application top. This is a designed function from the original desktop metaphor. This is providing both an ergonomic (it's faster to move to a fix location) and a security function (this area is protected, and thus can never get hidden).

You can

move your keyboard to the menu bar:

ctrl ^+F2

and from there access any menu entry without touching the trackpad and faster than any mouse addict.

  • 2
    It is a "you don't know any better" feature. I have long ago memorized all of the menu items from my IDE and it takes up valuable vertical space. Well in any case noone on this thread made that decision. Nov 8, 2014 at 2:13
  • You can. You only do not know how. Nov 9, 2014 at 18:24

You can by holding ⌘ Command while moving the icons but it would only work for the bars that were created by apple.

  • got pic?͏͏͏͏͏͏͏
    – Pacerier
    Jan 22, 2022 at 3:13

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