Bartender

No, this is not an article about a new career! It is about Bartender, a menubar control application. I have heard of Bartender in years past (it’s been around since 2012), but recently decided to try it out. Here is how it works.


Bartender is a third party app, you cannot get it from the App Store, yet. After it is installed it puts an icon in your menubar items (upper right corner of your screen) that looks like this:

You can change the icon appearance in the Preferences area. The first thing to do is click on this “more” Bartender icon which causes the Bartender menu to drop down like so:

That is how Bartender menu looks on my iMac. Just slide your mouse over to the gear symbol and go into the Preferences area to set it up:

When you do you will see the Preferences window. A good place to start is with the Menu Items:


The Menu Items is where you choose which items in the menubar will be showing all the time or hidden in the Bartender menu. I think the logical thing to do is to place the lesser used items in Bartender which are hidden. The more frequently used items are left on the menubar. However, I have seen some people who put ALL menubar items into Bartender and only show them when they want to see them (Bartender drops down for display). Also, you can drag Bartender to a different location at the top of your menubar which is kind of cool.

After you have setup which items you want to display in Bartender Preferences then move over to the “General” window:

Here there are all kinds of settings to tweak how Bartender performs. You can tell Bartender to Launch at Login, Autohide, Reset Bartender Location and a few other things. Don’t be afraid to experiment with some of these, I still am.

Here is how I am using Bartender at this time. I leave my most frequently used items in the Mac OS X menubar and put the less used ones into Bartender. Then I have Bartender “Autohide”. When I need it I click on the “more” icon, it drops down and I select the item I want. Admittedly, I do not use as many menubar items as some people, but now that I am using Bartender I may be encouraged to beef up my menubar area a bit.

Bartender really does work well in Mavericks and they say on their website it is Yosemite ready. At $15 it is a little pricey, but if you are like a alot of Mac users you probably have more menubar items than you know what to do with!! As far as I am concerned it is an efficient way to manage the menubar and a real time saver.

Doug