Menu bar clutter on Macs is real, but Bartender helps by hiding everything you don’t need and surfacing it when you do. Here’s how to use it to declutter your menu bar for good without losing functionality.
Why a bartender is useful
It seems like every app menu adds a bar item. Over time, items increases in the bar menu.
The problem is that the solution to declutter the area is not very useful. Sure, you can enable and disable individual items, but there are some that you sometimes need but don’t want to see all the time.
That’s where the Bartender comes in. If you only need one thing a few times, you can hide it behind the bartender icon. You click the bar to open it, and there you find all the items you want to hide.
The Bartender is available as a free, four-week trial. After that, you have to pay $ 15 to continue using the app.
Within the bartender’s settings
The bartender has plenty of options. Some are cosmetic, but others are important for how the app works.
First, you can choose whether or not the bartender opens when you start your Mac. Make sure it’s checked – you can find it in the “General” tab to get the most out of the bartender.
You can also hide hidden items automatically after they are shown for clutter reduction. Otherwise, all things remain visible until you click the bartender icon again.
If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to view hidden items, the bartender icon should not be visible – as we discussed earlier.
To disable the bartender icon, uncheck the “Visible” checkbox in the “Appearance” tab. You can also customize the bartender icon when it appears.
The bartender keeps track of things, so they can display when they change. It uses power, which can affect battery life on portable masks. You can instruct the bartender to frequently check changes by checking the “Reduce check for update checking” option in the “Advanced” tab.
Note that the bartender regularly checks for item updates, and they will not appear immediately if this option is selected.
You might find that the menu of the app hides the items in your menu bar – especially on smaller and lower-resolution displays. Check “Remove apps menu when needed” in the same tab to allow bartenders to remove bar items when more rooms are needed.
How to search or find an item
Items sent to “hide” do not appear in the main menu bar, but items set to “always hide” do not show in the bar. However, you can find this to access. The easiest way to do this is to set up a bartender to use a hotkey, so you can quickly access .search.
Right-click the icon in the menu bar to open the bartender selections and select the “Hot Keys” tab to configure the search.
Click the “Insert Hotkey” field and press the key combination you want to use.
Once set up, you can quickly bring up the bartender’s search prompt. Give your new hotkey a quick press to test it out.
Type a shortcut, and a search bar appears under the bartender icon. Type an item name and press Return. Press turn again or click the item to contact it.
This is the fastest way to access to hidden items, and it is always the only way to access to any hidden items. You can assign more hotkeys to show hidden items, show all menu bar items, and more.