Make your Mac invincible
May 08, 2020 The Menu bar sits at the very top of your Mac's screen. It houses the Apple menu, which will get you to all of your system settings, the app menu, which is specific to the app you are currently using, computer status shortcuts and third-party quick look tools, Spotlight, and Siri. Learn how to use the Menu bar on your Mac; Finder. Jan 06, 2020 System status menu - The System status menu includes third-party widgets that you can download from the Mac App Store, the volume controls, Wi-Fi status, AirPlay, the battery (on laptops), and the date and time.; Spotlight - Spotlight is the Mac's system-wide and online search tool. You can type anything into the Spotlight search and you will almost definitely find what you are looking for.
Apr 14, 2019 In this episode we jump ship to macOS, building an app for the menu bar that lets us transform text using ROT13, similar characters, strikethrough, and Zalgo. BitBar is an application on GitHub that can 'Put anything in your Mac OS X menu bar'. It runs shell or other executable scripts (which it calls Plugins - see the many examples in the plugins repo ) and displays the results in the menu bar. Sep 19, 2019 Some apps give the option to remove icons from the top bar on Mac in their settings: chosen app Preferences. However, a lot of apps won’t. However, a lot of apps won’t. To fully customize which icons appear in the menu bar, you should use a third-party app like Bartender.
Without a doubt, the menu bar is one of Mac’s great features. It’s condensed, easy to tap into on the fly, and displays much-needed information in real time.
But, with every new icon app added, things become a little more cluttered and usability takes another hit. Fortunately, it’s possible to edit the menu bar to rearrange and remove icons so that it’s able to suit your needs at any given moment. Read on for the best ways to make the menu bar on Mac truly yours.
A tool that perfects menu bar
Rethink the menu bar with this app. Bartender customizes one of the main parts of Mac's interface, efficiently.
Mac Menu Bar App Tutorial Download
How to rearrange items in menu bar
How much freedom you have to rearrange items in menu bar depends on which version of macOS you’re running. The users of macOS Sierra and later definitely have more creative license here than others. And if you are not there yet, it’s time to upgrade to the newest macOS anyway.
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Rearranging menu items in macOS
To move an icon in the menu bar, hold Command (cmd), then click and hold the icon to drag it across the bar. Simple.
There are no restrictions here — feel free to move icons anywhere you see fit. Don’t like the clock all the way over there on the right-hand side? Drag it to somewhere more suitable. Want to place the Setapp icon over to the area of the bar once reserved for first-party apps? Do it!
The only icon that cannot be tampered with is the Notification Center. Apple has decided this must remain in the far right corner of the menu, which is fair enough — it looks good there.
Rearranging menu items in OS X versions (El Capitan and older)
Movement of icons in old versions of macOS is reserved for selected apps only: Bluetooth, audio, Time Machine, WiFi, battery, clock, and user switching. Spotlight and Notification Center must stay put, as must all third-party apps.
To move icons around within the designated area, once again hold Command, then click and hold the icon to drag it.
How to remove icons from the top bar on Mac
If there are items in the menu bar that you feel don’t belong there, hold Command, click on the icon, and drag it outside of the menu bar.
Note: this only works for first-party icons.
It is possible to remove third-party icons from the top bar on Mac by clicking on them and selecting “Quit” or “Close,” but this will stop the app from working until you reopen it.
Some apps give the option to remove icons from the top bar on Mac in their settings: [chosen app] > Preferences. However, a lot of apps won’t. To fully customize which icons appear in the menu bar, you should use a third-party app like Bartender.
If you’ve removed the first-party app and you’d like it back on the menu, it can be re-enabled in System Preferences.
How to add icons to the top bar on Mac
If you’re missing a specific system icon in the Mac’s menu bar, you can add it through System Preferences. For instance, to enable the Language icon, select Language & Region in the preference pane, click Input Sources, and check the box next to “Show Input menu in menu bar.”
Add menu bar extras
Because the menu options like Clock and Ink can’t be found in System Preferences, you might need to use the System folder as well:
- Open Finder.
- Select Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar.
- Type a path: /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras.
- Double-click an item and it will instantly appear in your menu bar.
You can easily remove any of the icons by holding Command and dragging it outside of the menu bar as described above.
How to customize and tidy Mac menu bar
It’s possible to change the look of the default menu bar items in System Preferences and third-party apps’ ones in their respective preferences. Most of the time, you’ll be able to at least switch the color to black and white.
Change how the date and time are displayed in the menu bar
In the right corner of your menu bar, click on date and time to Open Date & Time Preferences. Go to the Clock tab and unlock the preferences by entering your administrator password, so that you can make changes. To customize the look of the clock, choose between two different time display options: Digital or Analog. You can also tick the boxes for “Show date” and “Show the day of the week.”
To instantly toggle between different display options, click on date and time in the menu bar and choose “View as Analog” or “View as Digital.”
How to use your battery status on Mac
Keeping track of your battery life from the menu bar takes a few simple actions and yet is vital to Mac’s performance.
Click on the battery icon and tick Show percentage to see how much battery power you have left. In the same drop-down menu, you can check the programs that are using significant power in case your battery is draining too fast. To optimize battery usage, select “Open Energy Saver Preferences” and adjust sleep settings.
Toggle between fast user switching icons
There are three different options on how the Fast User Switching menu can be displayed in your Mac’s top bar – as a full name, account name or icon. Here’s how you do the customization:
- Click on the icon and open Users & Groups Preferences.
- Enter your password to unlock.
- Select Login Options in the bottom left corner of the Users & Groups.
- Go to “Show fast user switching menu” and pick one of the options.
- Untick the box if you prefer to remove the icon from the menu bar.
Show Wi-Fi status in the menu bar
To enable the Wi-Fi icon in your Mac’s top bar, go to System Preferences and select Network. Tick the box next to “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.”
How to replace menu bar app icons
If you want to have custom icons in your Mac’s menu bar, there’s a way to replace the default ones. To change the icon of a third-party app, find it in Applications, right-click to open a context menu, and choose “Show Package Contents.” Go to Resources folder to find the defaults – these can be used as templates for the new icons. Once you have a custom icon ready, simply copy it into the same Resources folder.
The same works for system icons, except you won’t find all of them in Applications. Here’s the path for you to take: Hard Disk > System > Library > CoreServices > Menu Extras. Once you’ve found the item you need, click on “Show Package Contents” and navigate to the icon via [MENUITEM.menu] > Contents > Resources.
In both cases, it’s a good idea to create backups of the default icons before replacing them – just in case you’ll need them later.
Hide menu bar items
One low-key feature on Mac is the ability to auto-hide menu bar. To do this, open System Preferences > General. Check the option to “Automatically hide and show the menu bar” and the menu bar will immediately disappear.
To get the menu bar to show up again, simply move the cursor to the top of the screen and hold it there for a second. Now you can access the menu whenever you need it and enjoy an extra bit of screen real estate when you don’t.
Customizing the menu bar with Bartender
If you want more control over how the menu bar looks and what it does, you should consider using the Bartender app.
Bartender lets you hide icons without quitting and rearrange icons in a way that better suits how you use the menu bar — something particularly useful if you’re running an older version of macOS.
App icons can be displayed when updating, shown in the Bartender Bar only, or hidden completely and accessed easily using a built-in search function. It’s even possible to toggle through and activate items using keyboard navigation.
If you’re someone that prefers a minimalist look, the app gives you the option to remove the Bartender menu item, leaving you with a crisp, clean menu bar.
Overall, the Mac menu bar is there to help you improve your productivity by giving you quick access to the apps and tools you need. Using the tips above, you can customize the menu bar in a way that works for you. Best of all, you can get full access to Bartender and over 150 more high-quality macOS apps on Setapp, with a 7-day free trial to get you started. So why not get your menu bar organized now?
So, you've purchased your new Mac and you've got it all set up. Now, you're sitting in front of your screen, wondering what to do next. Lucky for you, we've got this useful guide to understanding the basic anatomy of your desktop or laptop. So, if you're new to Mac, welcome to the family. Now it's time to learn where everything is and what it does.
Touch ID and Apple Pay
Apple added support for Touch ID with the latest model MacBook Pro. With it, you can log into your account with one touch, and even set up multiple users with Touch ID. You can also use it to make online purchases thanks to Apple Pay on the web.
You can set up your Mac with a super strong password without having to worry about the inconvenience of having to retype it every time you lock your screen. Auto Unlock makes it possible for you to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch just by being in proximity to it. So, you can set a 14-digit password that not even the most super of computers could figure out, but still unlock your Mac in a split second.
The Touch Bar
Apple added a big new feature to the latest model MacBook Pro. The Touch Bar is an OLED panel that sits at the top of the keyboard and replaces the row of function keys. It is contextual, meaning what appears on the panel will change, depending on what app you are currently using. It is also customizable, which will allow you to set up different apps (including third-party apps that support customization) to improve your workflow.
The Dock is what you can consider the 'favorites' section on your Mac. It stores all of the apps, files, and folders you consider to be the most important for quick access. It also temporarily holds apps, files and folders that are currently open, so you can get to them with one click, instead of sifting through all of your open windows and programs.
The Menu bar
The Menu bar sits at the very top of your Mac's screen. It houses the Apple menu, which will get you to all of your system settings, the app menu, which is specific to the app you are currently using, computer status shortcuts and third-party quick look tools, Spotlight, and Siri.
Finder is the one-stop shop for every shred of data on your Mac. It is sometimes the best way to find what you are looking for (though Spotlight really gives it a run for its money). The best part is that you have direct access to cloud-based programs in Finder, too. So, you don't have to go digging around in the Dropbox app or iCloud Drive.
Desktop background images and the screensaver
No computer seems right until you've made it your own with your personal background image or screensaver. Even if you use the built-in content, you are still the one choosing your look, and that's what makes it feel just right.
The Mac App Store
The Mac App Store is where you will find some of the best apps and games for your desktop or laptop. It's also the place you go to when you need to update the Mac operating system and other software programs. Visit often to see new content that will really make your Mac shine. You'll need an Apple ID to purchase and download content from the Mac App Store. So, if you don't already have one, create an Apple ID before you start.
The Mac isn't like other computers. The included mouse or trackpad doesn't actually come standard with a right-click function. But, you can still get the right or control-click usability. You just have to set it up first.
The Trackpad & Magic Mouse
The trackpad on a Mac laptop and the included Magic Mouse for a Mac desktop have some amazingly useful features, including but not limited to, gesture-based functions that will zoom, swipe, scroll, and more. Get to know your trackpad or Magic Mouse. You'll be amazed at what they can do.
Full screen mode
Going full screen helps you stay productive and avoid distractions. On the Mac, you can split up your screen and have two programs running at half-full side-by-side. This is useful for when you want to work in one app but reference another. You can really make full-screen mode work to your advantage if you know how to use it.
So, you've finally got the high score inSuper Hexagon and you want to show off that final screen to your friends, or maybe you want to save a cute picture to your desktop, but can't seem to find a way to save it from a website. Take a screenshot! Just like on iPhone and iPad, you can take a screenshot on your Mac with a simple keyboard shortcut.
Spotlight is basically the most robust search program around. It digs through your personal files, folders, apps, emails, and other content to produce results that you were most likely to be looking for in the first place. It also searches the web to cover all the bases. If you're looking for something, chances are Spotlight will find it for you.
You can use Siri on the Mac just like you would on your iPhone or iPad. In fact, Siri on the Mac can access even more data than its iOS counterpart. Ask Siri to schedule events, remind you of a task, tell you the weather, search your hard drive for files, look up pictures, and a whole lot more. Instead of putting out so much effort yourself, let Siri do the work for you.
The launchpad is where all of your apps and games are displayed. Think of it as the Home screen on your iPhone or iPad. You can organize apps and games into folders, delete them by clicking and holding until they go into jiggly mode, and search for something specific using the search bar.
Safari is the default Mac browser. You might be used to a different way to surf the internet, but you should, at least, give Safari a try before you switch. Because it is integrated with the Mac operating system, it has some very awesome features you might end up loving too much to let go of, especially if you use Safari on your iPhone or iPad.
The Mail app
When you've connected your mail client to the built-in Mail app, you can get notifications whenever a new message arrives in your inbox. you can also set up filters for VIP contacts, unread messages, emails with attachments, and more.
You can use Messages on the Mac the same way you do on your iPhone or iPad. You can even set it up to receive text messages from contacts that don't use an iPhone (including those friends that don't even use a smartphone at all). When chatting with other iPhone users, you can view rich links, and even see some of the bubble effects
iCloud and Continuity
When you create an Apple ID, you will automatically get 5 GB of iCloud storage for free. You can use it for little things like saving your iPhone backups and syncing app data. You can also use it for bigger things, like storing all of your music and photos in the cloud and optimizing your Mac's storage. If 5 GB isn't enough, you can upgrade for as little as $0.99 per month. When you connect your Mac and your iOS devices to iCloud, you can take advantage of Apple's Continuity feature, which allows you to start something on one device, then pick up and continue on another.
Troubleshooting the Mac
Just like with all forms of technology, sometimes, things don't go right. Luckily, the Apple community is incredibly helpful. If something is wrong with your Mac, chances are, someone has already found the solution. You can get help directly on your Mac, from the iMore forums, and from Apple support. Just remember to relax and breath. A solution is waiting for you, you just have to know where to find it.
The Mac lineup
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