Mac Monday: Bartender

Whenever I install an app on my mac, it always seems to add a little icon to my menu bar. My menu bar is a mess, and I found the perfect app to clean it up.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 18.21.37

Bartender is a menu bar app, yes it does add another icon, that allows you to clean up your menu bar and hide all of the apps that you don’t necessarily use that often. The utility also allows you to hide OS X menu bar items, like Spotlight and Wi-Fi.

When you open Bartender’s preferences, and navigate to the Menu Items tab, you are greeted with a list of all of the apps listed in your menu bar. The apps are separated into 3 sections, System Icons, Active Menu Items and Apps with Settings. The system icons sections shows OS X built-in extras like Spotlight, Volume and Clock – you can also hide the Notification Center icon. The Active Menu Items section is where you will find apps like Dropbox, Muzzy and Caffeine. Finally, in the Apps with Settings section, you will find Skype.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 18.19.51

When you select an app on the left, you are given a plethora of options. You can choose whether to keep it where it is, move it to the Bartender Bar or Completely hide the item. You can also choose to have Bartender alert you when an app with a menu-bar item has been updated (by showing you the icon on the menu bar for a duration you choose).

Once you’ve set everything up, you can open up Bartender by clicking the icon in the menu bar. The app itself offers a selection of icons that you can use, my favourite is the Bowtie. The Bartender Bar drops down and it shows all of the apps that you put in, sort of like a secondary menu bar that you can hide. Any item that you’ve placed in the Bartender Bar works exactly the same, you just don’t see it all the time..

Bartender retails for $15 (£10.50) –, which may seem expensive, but as time goes on and you install more and more apps that use the menu bar in some way, you will be wanting a way to get rid of them all. Bartender has been living in my menu bar for 2 weeks now, and I couldn’t live without it.