Bartender keeps my Mac menu bar clean

The Context

So… I’m the kinda guy who has a ton of apps running on my Mac at the same time. And I’m also the kind of guy who has a lot of Menu Bar apps. You know, the ones that have icons up in the top right instead of say, the Dock. Which, for me, is kinda perfect. I have a dashboard with the really important information at a glance.

Problem is, you put enough information up there, that glance gets a little overwhelming, and after a while you stop looking. Especially when it looks like this mess:

several icons in my Mac's menu-bar

Which, you know, maybe not pretty but maybe manageable. Until you realize that in scale… those menu items cover over half the top of a 15” MBPr screen.

several icons in my Mac's menu-bar that run across more than half the screen

The App

This is where Bartender comes in. Bartender does two things: allow me to rearrange the icons in the menu bar (want your Wi-Fi indicator in the far right? No problem, just hold down ⌘ and click and drag, and you can rearrange anything in there).

The ability to move icons in the Menu Bar around might not be very important to some people, but for some of us it helps put different kinds of information in the right place.

But wait, there’s more!

The other thing that Bartender does, is take any icons you don’t need, and allow you to hide them in the Bartender Bar, which is basically an extra menu bar that you get by clicking on an ellipsis icon (the dot-dot-dot). So suddenly I go from that top screen shot, to this:

several icons in my Mac's menu-bar

… or this…

several icons in my Mac's menu-bar

Which is much cleaner and more manageable.

When it comes down to it, Bartender is one of those quiet apps that sits in the background ticking away, that you forget about within a week because they become so natural to the Mac. You know, like Spotlight. Or Finder. Or the heroic nameless app that reads all the taps on your keyboard and turns them into something meaningful and useful. The really important ones. It’s the kind of app I only notice when I don’t have it, which is exactly why it’s so good. Because without it, I guarantee you that I would not find my Menu Bar nearly so useful, or personal. Bartender is absolutely one of my favorite apps.

So yea. A contender for best app ever. Go get it. Or at least give it a try. 4 week trial period, and I promise you’ll want to buy it after.

Bartender: www.macbartender.com


This site has turned off cross-site user tracking for Disqus, as much as is possible. If you want to know more about it, Afterpad has a decent post about it, explaining what is tracked, and what a site opting out means.