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.

bartender 2 bar

The menu bar in macOS can often be overlooked by some users who aren’t familiar with what it can do. That’s a shame since the menu bar that appears at the top of macOS can be a terrific tool if you have the right apps for it.

Recently a thread was started on the Product Hunt site asking about favorite macOS menu bar apps, and it got some great suggestions.

I’ve listed the top 10 menu bar apps below as voted by the folks in the Product Hunt thread, with links to their sites so you can snag them for your Mac.

1. Bartender 2 - Organize and hide menu bar items on your Mac.

2. f.lux - Adjusts your computer's display to adapt to the time of day.

3. 1Password 6 - Keep your passwords safe and sound.

4. Caffeine - Keep your Mac from going to sleep.

5. iStat Menus 5 - An advanced Mac system monitor for your menubar.

6. Magnet for Mac - Keep your workspace organized.

7. Spectacle - Move and resize windows with ease on Mac.

8. Alfred 3 - The Mac's best launcher just got a whole lot better.

9. Sip - Simple OSX app to sample & encode any color on your screen.

10. Noizio - Ambient background sounds for your Mac

The menu bar apps I’ve listed here are just the top ten shown on the Product Hunt site as I write this post, there are others that are also worth checking out. Be sure to click through to see the rest of the app suggestions.

You’ll need to scroll down though as there are comments posted by readers under each app, so you can also view some of the reasons why each app is popular with Mac users.

How to use the menu bar in macOS

Don’t worry if you haven’t used the menu bar much on your Mac. A writer at Intego has a helpful article that will explain how to use the menu bar in macOS. I recommend reading it to get a good idea of what the menu bar can do.

Kirk McElhearn reports for Intego:

The menu bar is one of the most ubiquitous elements you use to control your Mac. Yet, do you really know all of the many features it offers? You can access menus and their commands, of course, but you can also use menu extras (those icons at the right side of the menu bar), search for menu commands, get help, and much more. And you can access the menu bar from the keyboard, and change the way it displays.

In this article, I'm going to explain some of the lesser known features that make the menu bar a powerful tool for using your Mac.

The simplicity of the Mac menu bar

Save time with keyboard shortcuts

Hide the menu bar

Make the menu bar black

Get help with the menu bar

Menu extras

More at Intego

And if you want some additional tips on how to get the most out of your Mac’s menu bar, check out iMore’s article on how to use the menu bar too.

The menu bar in macOS doesn’t get much attention compared to some other features, but it has a tremendous amount to offer any user if you know how to use it.

Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

NEW! Download the Winter 2018 digital edition of CIO magazine