If I have a bunch of menu extras (the things on the top right side of the menu bar, such as time, date, battery status, and other OS X icons, plus 3rd party icons from QuickSilver, DropBox, etc.), sometimes they are hidden if the foreground application has a lot of or long-named menu items.

Is there a way that I can access the menu extras that are not displayed because the menu items get priority? I can switch to an app that has fewer menu items, but sometimes the menu extras operate on the foreground app, so this won't always work.


I've searched far and wide for a way to do the same thing. The best I can come up with is an app called AccessMenuBarApps.

  • This did not only solve the problem for me, it also gave me a bunch of laughs. The gestures and default sound effects are scary. :D It is well worth reading the (short) documentation. – Jpsy Jul 9 '16 at 8:27

I don't know any way to do this, so I usually switch to finder.

Note that some extras can be dragged on the menubar while holding down command; this might get some extras that you need in an app with long menu lists accessible from there.


Note: See Keyboard icons & terminology if any of this is confusing to you.

This may not be a working answer (see below), but it's too big and format-laden for a comment. I notice there's a default shortcut of ^ F8 (and in many cases, Fn ^ F8) which let's you "Move focus to status menus".

Having said that, in my tests with it, I can't seem to move left of MenuMeters, which means that, for me, Last.fm, Sparrow, Alfred, LittleSnitch, Dropbox, Divvy, and GeekTool's menus cannot be manipulated in this manner. Given that it ends at MenuMeters, I'm curious if that's just a bug. Try Fn ^ F8 or ^ F8 (as necessary), use your left and right arrow keys, and see if this solves your issue?

  • 1
    I know that Last.fm and LittleSnitch ate not MenuExtras, but provided by applications. COuld this be the reason? – Josh Dec 22 '10 at 19:19
  • That makes sense. – Jason Salaz Dec 22 '10 at 19:20