The Mac’s Menubar, specifically the right side (the left side is reserved for the frontmost application), is my go to glance to see what’s going on and to grab any one of a dozen or so utilities that make the day more efficient. The problem with the Menubar is that it remains somewhat neglected by Apple, and the more apps and utilities you use, the more Menubar real estate gets gobbled up, and there comes a time when those cute little utilities don’t work correctly, or are just not visible (though still loaded), and they don’t stay where they’re supposed to stay.
To make the Mac’s Menubar work the way power users want it to work requires one or more add-on utilities and I’ve tried them all (not to mention almost any Mac app that takes up residence in the Menubar).
First, a quick summary of the inherent issues with heavy Menubar app usage. It’s basically space and order. There’s not much space and you can’t control the order in which Menubar apps appear without a third party utility to do the deed.
Second, third party add-ons that manage the Menubar apps do so differently. Of those I’ve used the two that work the best are Bartender and MenuBar ReArranger. Both do much the same thing– organize the Menubar with options to have more Menubar apps than Apple allows– but in different ways. These are truly different strokes for different folks apps.
Bartender – What you get here is multiple Menubars, populated with whatever Menubar apps you want, in whatever order, easily accessible with a click or a keyboard shortcut.
Bartender even lets you navigate to different Menubar items by using the keyboard, and if you’re like me and the Menubar is stuffed seven ways to Tuesday, then there’s a built-in search option.
MenuBar ReArranger – You get similar results but with somewhat easier usability in MenuBar ReArranger. Create a profile– perfect for use on a MacBook which travels and may be connected at times to a larger external display– to manage individual Menubar items. Then, graphically move the items into the order which you prefer, even with dividers to section off similar Menubar apps.
MenuBar ReArranger gives you easier controls to rearrange Menubar items, has profiles which can be cycled through with a click (that’s a plus for those of us Menubar-aholics), and even hides items which you may not want others to see but you need to use.
Another feature that is useful for those with limited screen real estate and who have a cluttered Dock is the Launcher option.
If your Mac’s Menubar is getting cluttered and some Menubar items disappear when you switch to an app that takes up more Menubar space, either of these two utilities will do the job of giving you more control. However, each comes with some initial learning curve and a requirement to set it up to work, and that requires trial and error. Speaking of trials, neither app is available on the Mac App Store, but both have a lengthy trial option.