Hide menu bar icons on Mac

Mac allows users to hide and show the whole menu bar at the top of the screen automatically from System Preferences. It however doesn’t allow us to select and hide only certain app or items from the Mac menu bar. Here, in this article, we introduce you a third-party app, Bartender for Mac.

About Bartender

Bartender helps us take control of menu bar items, icons. You can choose which apps to stay in the menu bar on Mac and quickly access the hidden icons, apps or items from Mac menu bar whenever you want. You can try or buy this app from this page.

Hidden menu bar items on Mac

Launch the menu bar hiding app on your Mac, you will get a pop-up dialog asking you to grant the permissions it requires: Accessibility permissions and Screen Recording permissions. Go to System Settings Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. Click Accessibility to grant Bartender the permission, and then switch to the Screen Recording tab to grant it the permission. Or you can simply click the shortcuts displayed in the above pop-up dialog to quickly access the corresponding setting page and grant the required permissions.

Once the Bartender app opens, you can choose which apps to show or hide under the Menu Items tab of the app.

show, hide menu bar items, apps, icons Mac bartender
show, hide menu bar items, apps, icons Mac bartender

On the left panel, the active menu bar items, system items, and apps are listed. On the right are the settings for the app selected on the left. Click the selection box besides “Menu bar item should” to get the drop-down menu with 4 show/hide options as below.


Show an icon in Mac menu bar, and will be hidden when showing hidden items.


Hide the app from Mac menu bar and display it when showing hidden items.

Always Show – Show all the time

The item will show in the menu bar always even when showing hidden items.

Always hide – Never visible

The app will be invisible from the menu bar and not show up even when showing hidden items. You can then see these items by either setting them to display only when updating or by showing all menu bar items.

By default an app icon will be set to Show so it displays on your Mac menu bar. Change it to Hide or Always hide if you don’t want to see it in the menu bar on your Mac.

Bartender free alternative

Hidden Bar for Mac is the best free alternative to Bartender. It is light-weight, straightforward, easier to setup, but not as feature rich as Bartender. Refer to these steps to hide menu bar items, app icons on Mac using this free app.

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