I am using Mountain Lion.

The only advantage (for me) over the gesture is that Option + clicking the button enables/disables showing alerts and banners (toggles the switch in the notifications center).

Is there a way to hide the button in the status bar that opens notification center?

  • See also: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/57377/…
    – Daniel
    Jul 25, 2012 at 20:50
  • I hope an answer to your question will solve my problem also, but I'm not hopeful it's out there. To clarify, you want to disable the button without disabling Notification Center entirely, correct?
    – Daniel
    Jul 25, 2012 at 20:51
  • @DanielLawson correct, the button seems rather superfluous with such a nice gesture to open it.
    – penguinrob
    Jul 25, 2012 at 22:13
  • What do I do with the bounty? There's no answer that actually answers this... but for some reason there's some upvoted above the 2 votes limit, so they'll get the bounty even though it doesn't answer the question.
    – houbysoft
    Aug 3, 2012 at 4:47
  • @houbysoft I'm not sure; there isn't a way to extend a bounty, is there?If someone were to figure out how bartender hides the icon, and out that into a simple little script, that would be ideal.
    – penguinrob
    Aug 3, 2012 at 21:09

3 Answers 3


I had the same problem yesterday, and found this tool called Bartender. It is paid software.

On my Mac, running Mountain Lion, the icon is gone but the other notification functionality remains.

  • 1
    Just tried this myself, and I could only get it to hide all system menubar items except the Notification Center icon (Spotlight, Clock, WiFi, etc).
    – rickster
    Jul 26, 2012 at 23:11
  • @rickster I only see the icon for a second when I reboot. as soon as macbartender runs its gone. Go through the config again and maybe post some info of your setup.
    – Jan
    Jul 27, 2012 at 10:29
  • I couldn't get it to remove Notification Center either. I definitely couldn't get it to leave Spotlight and hide Notification Center, which is what I wanted.
    – Daniel
    Jul 29, 2012 at 12:46
  • 1
    To update this, Bartender has reached v1.x status and is no longer beta. It's $15 and works with all the system icons as advertised. I just now — well, 5 minutes ago — installed it and used it to hide my Notification Center, Bluetooth, and WiFi system icons. (Notification Center hidden completely, and BT/WiFi moved into the "Bartender Bar".)
    – Bryson
    Oct 25, 2012 at 21:57
  • 1
    I can confirm the trial of Bartender is working, but I'm not willing to pay that much just to remove one icon :) still looking for a free / better solution.
    – FLY
    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:22

Sadly we can't remove the icon yet without disabling Notification Center entirely.

Should you want to proceed, this procedure requires a short disclaimer.

This involves hacking your System folder; make appropriate backups and proceed with caution!

Go to /System/Library/CoreServices and select Notification Center.app. Press I to Get Info. Click the Lock icon at the bottom of the screen to unlock the settings (you will be prompted for your password). In the Sharing and Permissions portion of the pane, click the plus sign. Add your account as a special user, then set the Privilege column to Read & Write for yourself. Then, in the Name and Extension field, add the letter x to the beginning of the file name, dismissing any warnings the system throws your way.

Reboot the system.

If you don't want to reboot you can use Terminal.app, which can be found under /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app. Type killall NotificationCenter and press enter. This terminates the NotificationCenter process.

Note that this eliminates the icon, but also all Notification Center functionality.

  • 2
    I'd still like notification center, just without the button, but thanks for your research into this!
    – penguinrob
    Jul 25, 2012 at 22:14
  • Following your instructions, you will get an error that you can't trash an open program file. Did you perhaps reboot and then trash the file?
    – bmike
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:29
  • @bmike: did you try my solution???
    – Matt
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:31
  • @matt - You can't drag the icon out of the bar and no-one has described a full way to even delete the running app. I'm sure there is a launchctl command to unload the Notification Center job so that it can be deleted, but again that kills the service - not simply the UI icon.
    – bmike
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:35
  • 1
    @matt - it's always better to edit a close answer - but have at a new answer if you have something short, tested and that works ;-) (And by works - doesn't actually disable the function). Perhaps we have answers for a different question - how to delete all notifications and most of this should move there...
    – bmike
    Jul 26, 2012 at 16:15

Holding the Command key then click and drag-off-the-menu-bar totally worked! This is so great. (I wanted to remove my User Login Name from displaying up there. I know who I am, and I never ever switch users...wasted space.) I can also confirm that this idea works for all those system icons up there.

  • 4
    Are you sure? I cannot remove the Notification Center menu-bar icon.
    – gentmatt
    Jul 26, 2012 at 14:47
  • 3
    This does not work. Neither the Spotlight icon nor the Notifications center icon can be removed with the mouse and any combination of modifier keys. Perhaps @karen misunderstood the icon name?
    – bmike
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:16

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