How to Take Control of Your Mac’s Menu Bar with Bartender

A complete menu bar on a Mac.

The clutter of the menu bar on Macs is a reality, but Bartender helps by hiding everything you do not need and hiding it when you do it. Here's how to use it to unclutter your menu bar without losing functionality.

Why the bartender is so useful

It sometimes seems that each application adds an element of the menu bar. Over time, the number of items in our menu bar increases.

The problem is that the solution proposed by Apple to de-clutter this area is not very useful. Of course, you can enable and disable specific items, but there are some that you might need occasionally but do not want to see all the time.

This is where Barman comes in. If you only need one item from time to time, you can hide it behind the Bartender icon. You click on it to open the Barman Bar, and you will find all the items you have chosen to hide.

The bartender is available like a four-week free trial. You have to pay $ 15 to continue using the app after that.

How to hide an article with the bartender

Right-click the Barman icon in the menu bar, and then click "Preferences."

Right click on the bartender's icon and click on "Preferences".

Click on the "Menu Items" tab. All available items are listed on the left of the window. Click on an item to select it.

Select an option from the first drop-down list to choose whether to show or hide an item.

Click the first combo box and click an option.

The bartender offers four options:

Show: Displays the item in the menu bar.
Hide: Hides the item from the menu bar and moves it to the barman bar.
Always shows: Displays the item in the menu bar and bartender bar.
Always hide: Hide the object completely. It remains accessible via the search.

Some elements change depending on different circumstances. For example, the drop-down list item is changed during the synchronization process. Bartender displays items when a change is detected. Check "Show Updates" to enable the option and select how long you want the item to be visible.

You can also type a text name for the item to use when you search for it.

How to find or search an article

Items set to "Hide" are not visible in the main menu bar, but items set to "Always Hide" do not even appear in the bart bar. However, you can search for these items to access them. To do this, the simplest way is to configure Bartender to use a keyboard shortcut so you can quickly access the search.

Right-click on the icon in the menu bar to open the Barman preferences and select the "Hotkeys" tab to configure the search.

Click on the "Enter a keyboard shortcut" box and press the key combination you wish to use.

Once set, you can quickly view the Bartender search prompt. Quickly tap your new shortcut to test it.

Type the shortcut and a search bar appears under the Barman icon. Type the search name of an item and press Return. Press Back again or click the item to interact with it.

This is the fastest way to access the hidden items and the only way to access those who are still hidden. You can assign more shortcut keys to show hidden items, all items in the menu bar, and so on.

In the bartender's settings

The bartender has a lot of options. Some are aesthetic, but others are essential to the operation of the application.

First, you can choose if Bartender opens when you start your Mac. Make sure this box is checked (you can find it in the "General" tab) to make the most of Bartender.

You can also hide hidden items automatically after viewing them for ultimate reduction in clutter. Otherwise, all items remain visible until you click on the Barman icon again.

The Barman icon does not have to be visible if you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to show hidden items – we've talked about it before.

To disable the Barman icon, uncheck the "Visible" box in the "Appearance" tab. You can also customize the Barman icon when it is visible.

The bartender keeps track of objects so they can be displayed when they change. This consumes power, which can affect the life of the battery on portable Macs. You can ask the Barman to check the changes less frequently by checking the "Decrease check to update check" option in the "Advanced" tab.

Note that Barman checks for item updates less frequently and may not appear immediately if this option is selected.

You may find that the menus of an application hide the items in the menu bar, especially on small screens and low resolution. Check the box "Remove application menu if necessary" in the same tab to allow Bartender to remove items from the bar when he needs more space.

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