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Make your Mac invincible
MacOS: 10 great menu bar apps The Mac’s menu bar can be a fantastic tool if you have the right apps for it. Here are some terrific menu bar apps to get you started. Apr 02, 2014 Put Web Bookmarks on Mac Icon Dock - Duration. 15 Touch Bar Tips and Tricks for MacBook Pro - Duration. Switching from Windows to macOS 2019. Jun 12, 2020 There are all sorts of apps that add various capabilities to your Mac’s menu bar, but I’ve stumbled across one that can add literally anything to the menu bar through a plug-in system. It’s called BitBar, and it’s both free and open source.I’ve tested and confirmed that it works in both macOS 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina.
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.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET To force quit a Mac app, you can call up the Force Quit Applications menu from the Apple menu button in the upper-left corner or by hitting Command-Option-Esc.
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.
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.
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?
macOS Big Sur brings a refined new design, powerful controls, and intuitive customization options to the most advanced desktop operating system in the world.
Updated menu bar
The menu bar is now taller and more translucent, allowing your desktop picture to extend from edge to edge. Words lighten or darken based on the color of your desktop picture. And pull-down menus are larger, with more space between the lines to make everything easier to read.
The redesigned Dock is lifted from the bottom of your display and is more translucent, allowing your desktop wallpaper to shine through. And app icons are all-new and even easier to recognize.
New icons for apps
App icons have been redesigned to feel both familiar and fresh. Icons have a uniform shape but retain the stylistic touches and details that give Mac its character.
Lighter window appearance
Windows have a lighter, more spacious appearance that makes them cleaner and easier to work with. Additional translucency and rounded edges designed to match the radii of Mac create a cohesive look and feel throughout macOS.
Sheets in apps have been completely redesigned, removing borders and bezels to put the focus on your content. They automatically dim the background and scale into the center of the app.
New and updated sounds
System sounds are all-new and even more pleasing to the ear. The new system alerts were created using snippets of the originals, so they sound familiar.
A new look for app sidebars makes it easier to find what you want and gives you more space to get things done. Easily track your Mail inbox, access Finder folders, and organize Photos, Notes, Stocks, and more.
New symbols throughout macOS
New symbols in toolbars, sidebars, and controls bring clarity and consistency across apps, helping you immediately recognize where to click. When apps share common tasks — like viewing the inbox in Mail or Calendar — they share the same symbol. There are also localized versions of symbols with numbers, letters, and dates to match your system language.
Designed just for Mac, the new Control Center consolidates your favorite menu bar items into a single place to give you instant access to the controls you use most. Just click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and adjust Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and other settings — without opening System Preferences.
Customize Control Center
Add controls for the apps and features you use most, like Accessibility or Battery.
Click for more options
Click to expand the menu. For example, click Display to see options for Dark Mode, Night Shift, True Tone, and AirPlay.
Pin to menu bar
Drag and pin your favorite menu items to the top of your menu bar for easy one-click access.
Updated Notification Center
A redesigned Notification Center puts all your notifications and widgets into a single, dedicated column. Notifications are automatically sorted by most recent, and redesigned Today widgets deliver information at a glance.
Do more with your notifications on Mac for Apple Podcasts, Mail, Calendar, and more. Simply click and hold the notification to take action or get more information. Reply to an email, listen to the latest podcast, and even expand a Calendar invitation to see where the event falls in your day.
Notifications are grouped by thread or app. Expand each group to see earlier notifications. You can also disable grouped notifications if you prefer to see them individually.
Experience brand-new widgets and beautifully redesigned widgets for Calendar, Stocks, Weather, Reminders, Notes, and Podcasts. Widgets also come in different sizes, so you can pick the one that works best for you.
Easily add new widgets to Notification Center by clicking Edit Widgets. Then customize the size to show the amount of information you want to see and drag it into your widget list.
Discover more third-party widgets
Discover new third-party widgets for Notification Center on the App Store.
Customizable start page
Customize the new start page to make it your own. You can set a background image and select which sections are displayed on the start page — including Favorites, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, iCloud Tabs, and even a Privacy Report.
Safari was already the fastest desktop browser — and now it’s even faster. Safari loads frequently visited sites 50 percent faster on average than Chrome.1
Improved power efficiency
Safari is optimized specifically for Mac, so it’s more efficient than other browsers on macOS. Stream video for up to three hours longer and browse the web for up to one hour longer on a Mac notebook compared with Chrome or Firefox.2
Favicons in tabs
Default tab favicons help you easily identify open tabs at a glance.
See more tabs at once
The new tab bar design displays more tabs onscreen at once so you can quickly move between them.
When you just want a peek at what’s behind a tab, hold the pointer over it to get a quick preview of the page.Beta
Translate entire web pages in Safari.3 When you encounter a compatible page, just click the translation icon in the address field to translate into English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese.
Safari extensions on the App Store
An all-new extensions category on the App Store showcases Safari extensions with editorial spotlights and top charts, making it easier to discover great extensions from developers. All extensions are reviewed, signed, and hosted by Apple for your security.
WebExtensions API support
New support for the WebExtensions API and migration tools allows developers to bring Chrome extensions to Safari — letting you personalize your browsing experience with new Safari extensions from your favorite developers.
Grant extensions website access
Keep the websites you visit and tabs you use even more private. Safari asks you which websites a Safari extension can work with — and you can grant access for one day or all the time.
Safari uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention to identify and prevent trackers from profiling or following you around the web. A new Privacy Report shows how Safari protects your browsing across every website you visit. Go to the Privacy Report from your Safari menu and you’ll get an in-depth overview of every cross-site tracker blocked over the last 30 days.
Privacy Report for each website
See the privacy practices for every website you visit. Just click the Privacy Report button in your Safari toolbar for a summary of all cross-site trackers being blocked by Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Start page Privacy Report
Add a Privacy Report to your start page — so every time you open a new window or tab, you can see how Safari protects your privacy.
Safari securely monitors your passwords, automatically keeping an eye out for any saved passwords that may have been involved in a data breach. If a breach is discovered, Safari helps you upgrade existing passwords and even generates secure passwords automatically. Safari keeps your data private and doesn’t reveal your password information to anyone — even Apple.
Import passwords and settings from Chrome
Easily import history, bookmarks, and saved passwords from Chrome into Safari.
Pin your favorite conversations to the top of your list. New messages, Tapbacks, and typing indicators animate in right above the pin. And when there are unread messages in a group conversation, you’ll see the most recent participants circle around the pinned conversation.
Multiple pinned conversations
You can have up to nine pinned conversations that sync across Messages in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
It’s easier than ever to search all your past messages for links, photos, and phrases. A new search experience for Messages organizes your results into links and photos and highlights matching terms. It also works great with keyboard shortcuts — just press Command-F to open.
Share your name and photo
Automatically share your name and photo when you start a conversation or when the other person responds in a message. Share with everyone, just your contacts, or not at all. You can even choose to use a Memoji, image, or monogram for your photo.
Set an image for your group conversations using a photo, Memoji, or emoji. Group photos are automatically shared with all members of the group.
Put App In Macos System Barcelona
Direct a message to an individual in a group conversation by typing the person’s name or using the @ sign. And choose to receive notifications only when you’re mentioned.
Messages allows you to reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation. See all related messages in their own view to easily keep track of a thread.
Celebrate special moments with balloons, confetti, lasers, and more. Or send a message loudly or gently, or even slam it. Send a personal message with invisible ink that remains blurred until you swipe over it with your cursor.
Find trending images and GIFs and quickly add them to any message. Discover popular memes when you open #image, or search by keyword to find images relevant to your conversation.
Easily create and edit a Memoji that reflects you. Choose from a wide range of hairstyles, headwear, facial structures, and other features to create one of over a trillion possible combinations.
Express yourself with Memoji stickers. The stickers are automatically generated for your personalized Memoji character, making it quick and easy to share with friends.
Enhanced photo picker
Use the updated photo picker to quickly access and share your recent photos and albums.
Discover the best places to eat, shop, and explore in cities around the world with Guides created by brands you trust.4 Save Guides so you can easily get back to them later. And Guides update automatically when new places are added so you always have the latest recommendations.
Create your own guides
Create guides for all your favorite places, like “best pizzerias in Chicago,” or soon‑to‑be‑favorites, like “sites to see in Paris.“ Then share them with friends and family.
Explore select cities with an interactive 3D experience that lets you pan 360 degrees and move smoothly through streets.
Plan your cycling route right on your Mac.5 See the elevation for your ride, how busy a street is, and whether there are steep inclines or stairs along the way. When you’re ready to ride, send your route directly to your iPhone.
Electric vehicle routing
When you’re planning a trip with an electric vehicle, Maps automatically adds charging stops along your route and accounts for charging time when calculating the ETA.6 Add your electric vehicle on iPhone, and Maps will keep track of the current charge and charger type to help you plan the best route.
Browse detailed indoor maps of major airports and shopping centers around the world. Find out which restaurants are past security at the airport, where the nearest restroom is, or where your favorite store is at the mall.
Live updates for shared ETA
When friends send you a shared ETA, you can get live progress updates on the map so you’ll know when they’re expected to arrive.
New maps available in more countries
Detailed new maps are coming to more countries later this year, including Canada, Ireland, and the UK. See detailed roads, buildings, parks, marinas, beaches, airports, and more.
Major cities like London and Paris have congestion zones to help reduce traffic in dense areas. Maps lets you see congestion zone tolls and even helps route you around them.7
License plate restrictions
For cities in China that limit driving through dense urban areas, you can see if you have access based on your vehicle’s eligibility.8 Enter your license plate number to find out whether you can go through the city or need to reroute. License plate information is stored securely in Maps and never leaves your device.
Privacy information on the App Store
A new section on each app’s page on the App Store will help you understand the privacy practices of the app before you download it.9 It's similar to the way nutrition labels help you understand what’s in food before you buy it.
Self-reported privacy practices
Developers self-report their app privacy practices on the App Store.9 See the types of data their app might collect — like usage data, contact information, or location — and whether that data is shared with third parties.
Displayed in a simple format
Just as nutrition labels are convenient and easy to read, an app’s privacy information on the App Store is displayed in a consistent, simple format.9 This lets you quickly and easily understand the app’s privacy practices.
Once macOS Big Sur is installed, software updates begin in the background and complete faster than before — so it’s easier than ever to keep your Mac up to date and secure.
Signed system volume
macOS Big Sur introduces a cryptographically signed system volume that protects against malicious tampering. It also means that your Mac knows the exact layout of your system volume, allowing it to begin software updates in the background while you work.
Automatic device switching
AirPods automatically switch between active devices paired to the same iCloud account — making it even easier to use your AirPods with your Apple devices.10 A pop-up banner shows which device is playing audio. Automatic device switching works for all Apple and Beats headphones featuring the Apple H1 headphone chip.
Friends playing recommendations
See Apple Arcade games that are popular with your Game Center friends right from the Apple Arcade tab and game pages.
Visit Apple Arcade game pages to see your achievement progress and explore the goals and milestones you can unlock in games.
Launch the games you’ve recently played across your devices directly from the Apple Arcade tab.
See all games and filter
Browse the entire Apple Arcade catalog. Sort and filter by release date, updates, category, controller support, and more.
Game Center in-game dashboard
The in-game dashboard showcases you and your friends’ game progress at a glance. Quickly access your Game Center profile, achievements, leaderboards, and more from within your game.
Get a sneak peek at upcoming Apple Arcade games and download them as soon as they’re released.
Optimized Battery Charging
Optimized Battery Charging is designed to reduce the wear on your battery and improve its lifespan by ensuring that your Mac notebook is fully charged when unplugged. Optimized Battery Charging learns your daily charging routine and activates only when your Mac predicts that it will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time.
Battery usage history
Battery usage history displays graphs of battery level and usage for the past 24 hours and the past 10 days.
Sign language prominence
FaceTime now detects when a participant is using sign language and makes the person prominent in a Group FaceTime call.
Share third-party app subscriptions
App developers can make in-app purchases and subscriptions from the App Store available for sharing among family members, so everyone gets access with a single App Store purchase.
A new visual status at the top of the Home app gives you a summary of accessories that require your attention, have important status changes to share, or can be quickly controlled.
Adaptive Lighting for smart light bulbs
Light bulbs that change color can be automatically adjusted throughout the day to maximize comfort and productivity.11 Ease into morning with warmer colors, stay focused midday with cooler colors, and wind down at night by removing blue light.
Face Recognition for video cameras and doorbells
In addition to person, animal, and vehicle detection, security cameras can identify people you’ve tagged in the Photos app for richer activity notifications.11 Easily tag people, and choose to be notified based on the person.
Activity Zones for video cameras and doorbells
With HomeKit Secure Video, you can define Activity Zones within a camera’s view to capture video or receive notifications only when motion is detected in those areas.11
The new Listen Now tab is designed for playing and discovering your favorite music, artists, interviews, and mixes all in one place. Listen Now starts with a summary of your Top Picks across your music interests. As you play, Apple Music12 learns what you love and provides new suggestions.
An all-new search experience showcases the best music for the genres and activities you love. Get more helpful suggestions as you type and additional results to help you find what you’re looking for.
Collapsible Pinned section
Collapse or expand your pinned notes list.
Top Hits in search
Top Hits appear at the top of your search results in Notes and surface the most relevant results — making it easier to find what you need.
Access additional text styles and formatting options with a click of the Aa button.
Continuity Camera has never been better. Use your iPhone or iPad to capture sharper scans that are more precisely autocropped, and have them automatically transferred to your Mac.
Expanded video editing capabilities
Adjustments, filters, and cropping are now supported for video editing so you can rotate, increase exposure, or even apply filters to your videos.
Expanded photo editing capabilities
Now you can apply the Vibrance effect to photos and adjust the intensity of filters and Portrait Lighting effects.
Improved Retouch tool
The Retouch tool now uses advanced machine learning to remove blemishes, dust specks, and other objects from a photo.
Easy, fluid navigation
Zoom in and out to quickly get to the photos and videos you’re looking for in views across Photos — including Albums, Media Types, Import, Places, and more.
Add context to photos and videos with captions
View and edit captions, previously called descriptions, to add context to your photos and videos in the Info pane. With iCloud Photos enabled, captions sync seamlessly across all your devices, including captions you add on your iOS or iPadOS device.
Enjoy a more relevant selection of photos and videos in Memories, a larger selection of music tracks that automatically adapt to the length of your Memory movie, and enhanced video stabilization when playing Memory movies.
Listen Now makes it even easier to find what to play next. Easily resume the next episode in your queue from a more focused Up Next. Enjoy a new section devoted to helping you discover the latest episodes in shows you follow. And browse hand-picked episode recommendations.13
Assign reminders to people you share lists with and they’ll get a notification. It’s great for splitting up tasks and knowing who’s responsible for what so nobody forgets.
Smart suggestions for dates and locations
Reminders automatically suggests dates, times, and locations for a reminder based on similar reminders you’ve created in the past.
Personalized lists with emoji
Personalize the appearance of your lists with emoji and newly added symbols.
Reminder suggestions from Mail
When you’re corresponding with someone in Mail, Siri recognizes possible reminders and makes suggestions for you to create them.
Organize smart lists
Customize your smart lists in the Reminders app. You can easily rearrange smart lists or hide them.
New keyboard shortcuts
Easily navigate your lists and smart lists, and quickly move dates of reminders to today, tomorrow, or next weekend.
Find the right reminders by searching for people, locations, and even detailed notes you’ve added.
Spotlight is more optimized for speed. Results appear faster than ever, as soon as you start typing.
Streamlined list of results
Spotlight presents all your results in a streamlined list, making results easier to digest so you can get to the app, website, or document you need even faster.
Support for Quick Look
With support for Quick Look in Spotlight, you can access a full-size, scrollable preview of almost any document or website. You can rotate, crop, and mark up images, sign PDFs, or trim media files — without launching an app.
Integrated in Find menus
Spotlight technology now powers the Find menu in apps like Safari, Pages, Keynote, and more.
Siri can now help you find answers to a broader set of questions using information from across the web. Ask questions like “How do hybrid cars work?” or “What causes seasons?” and Siri helps you find the answer you’re looking for.14
Folders let you organize your Voice Memos recordings.
Put App In Macos System Barrel
Smart Folders automatically group Apple Watch recordings, recently deleted recordings, and Favorites — making it even easier to stay organized.
Easily mark recordings as Favorites so you can quickly access them later.
Automatically reduce background noise and room reverb with a single click.
In the medium-size and large Weather widgets, view a minute-by-minute chart that shows the intensity of rain or snow over the coming hour. Available for the U.S.
The Weather widget indicates when the weather will be much warmer, colder, or wetter in the next day.
The Weather widget displays government alerts about certain severe weather events including tornados, winter storms, flash floods, and more. Available for the U.S., Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia.
New bilingual dictionaries
New bilingual dictionaries include French–German, Indonesian–English, Japanese–Simplified Chinese, and Polish–English.
Enhanced predictive input for Chinese and Japanese
Enhanced predictive input for Chinese and Japanese results in more accurate and contextual predictions.
Macos System Font
New fonts for India
New fonts for India include 20 new document fonts. In addition, 18 existing fonts have been upgraded with more weights and italics to give you greater choice.
Localized message effects in Messages for India
Macos System Extension
When you send a greeting in one of 23 Indian local languages, Messages will add a corresponding message effect to help you celebrate the moment. For example, send “Happy Holi” in Hindi, and Messages automatically adds confetti to accompany the greeting.