- Menu bar apps live in the right corner of macOS’ menu bar.
- These apps provide quick access to their various functions and extend the capabilities of your Mac to boost your productivity.
- Everything from checking system status and managing your clipboard history to taking notes and managing to-dos, there are menu bar apps for almost any task you can imagine on Mac.
The menu bar in macOS is a system element that runs along the top edge of the screen. It consists of the Apple menu in the leftmost corner, the app menus in the middle, and the status menus on the top-right edge of the screen.
While the menu bar mostly contains quick access icons for numerous system settings and functions, it still has a lot of unused space. To make the most of it, many developers offer menu bar functionality on their apps, which gives you quick access to some of their features right on the desktop and saves you the hassle of opening apps every time you need to access these features.
If you use a Mac for work or entertainment, here’s a list of some of the best menu bar apps you should install and start using on your Mac to improve its usability and perform tasks on it efficiently.
30 Best Mac Menu Bar Apps You Should Download
TickTick is one of the best task management apps for Mac that helps you accomplish tasks and stay on top of your goals. It comes with the menu bar functionality, which places an icon in the menu bar that you can interact with to access all your due tasks, mark tasks as complete, and creates new tasks, among other things.
Price: Freemium (Pro starts at $27.99 per year)
Drafts is an Apple-exclusive note-taking app for Mac with many advanced features. It’s easy to use and offers support for multiple syntaxes, including Markdown. And as an added convenience, Drafts also gives you a menu bar icon that offers quick access to various Drafts features like quick capture, capture from the clipboard, quick search, etc., no matter which app you’re using.
Price: Freemium (Pro starts at $19.99 per year)
TomatoBar is a productivity app aimed at helping you stay focused while working or studying. It relies on the Pomodoro technique, which, in case you’re unaware, is a time-management technique that breaks down work/tasks into intervals followed by short breaks. That way, you can get more done without burning out. As such, TomotoBar offers all the essential features required to follow the Pomodoro technique, including the ability to configure work and rest intervals as well as other settings like sound, etc.
Itsycal is a tiny calendar that lives in your Mac’s menu bar. It gives you a complete overview of all the events in a month, and you can even create new events and delete the existing ones as required. Additionally, you can also sync Itsycal with your Mac Calendar to view all your upcoming events in one place.
Alternatively, you can also use other calendar apps like Fantastical, which also offer menu bar functionality.
CheatSheet for Mac is a fantastic Mac productivity tool. It displays a complete list of shortcuts supported by the active app, so you can use those shortcuts to accomplish actions more effectively on that app.
6. Menubar X
Menubar X is a web browser for your menu bar. It lets you pin your frequently visited websites on the internet to the menu bar. After which, you can simply tap on these apps to access their content, just like native apps. MenubarX offers various simulators, like iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle, that you can use to access these web apps.
Price: Freemium (Pro costs a one-time fee of $4.99 LTD)
7. Short Menu
Short Menu is a feature-rich URL shortener for Mac. If you need to share links frequently or track the number of clicks they receive, you need a URL shortener like Short Menu to simplify your workflow. Short Menu supports integration with bit.ly, Rebrandly, Google, Hive, and tiny.cc, etc., and it even offers advanced features to help you with other URL-related tasks.
Rectangle is a Mac window manager that simplifies resizing and moving windows around your Mac’s screen. It provides different snap areas where you can place your app windows using simple keyboard shortcuts. Alternatively, you can also click on Rectangle’s app icon in the menu bar and select a layout where you want to arrange your open apps, which will snap them in place.
Price: Freemium (Pro $9.99)
EasyFinder is a productivity utility that simplifies accessing various files, folders, and apps on your Mac. It works by giving you a container, accessible from the menu bar, where you can drag and drop items to access them later. You can even create multiple workspaces for work, personal, side projects, etc., and access items quickly using keyboard shortcuts.
10. Shortcut Bar
Shortcut Bar is among the most useful Mac menu bar apps. It lives in the menu bar and puts all your various files, folders, apps, text snippets, etc., at your fingertips. If there are any particular files, folders, apps, etc., on your Mac that you need to access frequently, you can add them to the Shortcut Bar to quickly access them anywhere.
Alchemy is an open-source image-to-PDF converter that lets you drag and drop images to convert them into different formats. It’s simple to use and converts files in no time. Plus, if required, there’s also an option to merge files into PDFs or GIFs.
Dropover is a menu bar app that simplifies moving files between different locations on Mac. It opens up to a window where you can drag and drop items (files, folders, documents, URLs, etc.) individually from different locations. After which, it stacks them together to make it easier for you to drag them out and drop them off at another location. Dropover works even on the web, so you can use it to move items between browsers and other apps too.
Price: Freemium (Pro costs $4.99)
13. CopyClip 2
CopyClip 2 is one of the best clipboard managers for Mac that stores all the text snippets you’ve copied/cut in the past to give you easy access to your clipboard history at a later time. Depending on your requirements, you can specify how many text clippings you want the app to remember and add apps to the blocklist to prevent CopyClop from recording copied/cut text from them.
Hot is a popular menu bar app that displays the CPU speed limit due to thermal issues on Mac. It works on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, but the features you get on both are different. On Intel Macs, Hot displays CPU temperature, CPU speed limit, scheduler limit, and the number of available CPUs, whereas users of Apple Silicon Macs only get CPU temperature and the system’s thermal pressure information.
Bluesnooze is a system utility that prevents your Mac from connecting to Bluetooth accessories while it’s sleeping. It automatically switches off your Mac’s Bluetooth as soon as you put your Mac to sleep. That way, if you’ve got a pair of earphones/headphones connected to your Mac and another device, it won’t intermittently connect to the Mac and disrupt your listening experience.
AudioSwitcher, as the name suggests, is an audio tool that lets you switch between different audio devices connected to your Mac. It stays in the menu bar and offers easy and direct access to all the available input and output devices. Besides switching devices, AudioSwitcher allows you to change volume and other device properties as well.
AirBuddy is a paid audio utility that brings iOS-like battery information for all connected Bluetooth accessories (AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch, Mouse, Keyboard, etc.) to your Mac. To use it, all you got to do is connect your Bluetooth accessory to your Mac, and AirBuddy shows its status in your Mac’s menu bar. From here, you can also change listening modes in the case of AirPods and even create automation using the Shortcuts app.
Amphetamine is a free keep-awake utility that lets you use your MacBook in the clamshell mode without connecting it to a power adapter. Most of its functions are accessible from the menu bar icon. This even includes the ability to start a new session and terminate it, along with several trigger options and settings. For instance, you can set a trigger such that when an app is run, Amphetamine automatically starts a new session, so you don’t have to do it manually.
AlDente is a charging utility for all those paranoid about overcharging their MacBook. It lets you set a charging limit for the battery—typically in the healthy charging range–beyond which it stops the battery from charging to extend its life. Besides helping you prevent overcharging, AlDente also lets you use your MacBook in clamshell mode, just like Amphetamine, and offers additional features like heat protection, calibration mode, etc.
Price: Freemium (Pro: $14 per year or $29 LTD)
eqMac2 is a system-wide audio equalizer for Mac. It lives in your Mac’s menu bar and gives you a 10-band equalizer to help you adjust different frequencies to your preference. Additionally, you can subscribe to eqMac2 Pro subscription to unlock some more features, like spatial audio, volume mixer, and expert equalizer, if you need them.
Price: Freemium (Pro: $3 per month)
21. Display Menu
Display Menu is a display utility that simplifies changing settings for the displays connected to your Mac. It does this by giving you a list of all the supported resolutions and refresh rates for different displays, which you can set based on your preference. Additionally, you can also toggle screen mirroring and enable additional features like retina resolution on supported displays.
BlurScreen is a screen blurring utility that lets you blur out sensitive information on your screen. So if you often need to record or share your screen, BlurScreen can prove to be an invaluable utility on your Mac. It’s pretty straightforward to use: all you need to do is select the part of the screen you want to hide out, and BlurScreen will blur it out instantly.
HappyNotch is a must-have menu bar app for MacBooks with notch displays. It allows you to transform the notch into a fully-accessible menu bar, giving you back screen estate lost due to the notch. Once configured, you can simply click on the notch to bring up the menu bar and access all its tiled apps and other options.
24. iStat Menus
iStat Menus is a paid system monitor app for Mac. It’s one of the most powerful and feature-rich Mac monitoring utilities that shows you stats for CPU, GPU, memory, network, disk activity, battery, and more. And the best part is you can access this information right from the menu bar. Plus, iStat Menus also allows you to customize the menu bar options according to your requirement, so you can choose which information appears in the menu bar.
F.lux is a popular app that helps you adjust your display’s color temperature based on a few set triggers, such as time of the day and location, to reduce eye strain and prevent blue light from disrupting your sleep patterns. It’s pretty easy to set up and works automatically in the background once configured. And you can change color effects or disable/enable service anytime, right from its menu bar icon.
Shottr is a Mac screenshot app that offers multiple capture modes for different needs, including delayed and scrolling screenshots. It lets you capture screenshots using keyboard shortcuts and also puts its different capture modes in the menu bar for those who aren’t comfortable using shortcuts.
27. Hidden Bar
Hidden Bar is easily the most important menu bar app for Mac. If you’re going to install and use the menu bar apps we’ve mentioned so far, you surely need this one too. It allows you to declutter your Mac’s menu bar by hiding the menu bar items. Basically, the idea behind the app is to hide the less-frequently used menu bar apps to keep your menu bar clutter-free and utilize its space efficiently.
Noizio is one of the best productivity apps for students and everyone else. It sits in your Mac menu bar and helps you drown out the noise and concentrate on the work at hand by playing ambient sounds and soothing music as per your mood. You can even mix and match different sounds, and they will blend perfectly. It also works on iPhones and iPads.
29. Bartender Bar
By hiding, rearranging, showing hidden items with a click, or using a keyboard shortcut, Bartender 4 allows you to organize your menu bar icons. You can choose which apps stay in the menu bar, which are hidden and revealed using a hotkey, or which are completely hidden. You can have menu bar icons appear automatically when you select Show for updates.
Save all your Mac apps for later with one click. Later is a Mac menu bar app for easily clearing and restoring your workspace. Turn off your computer, tidy up your desktop before screen sharing, schedule apps for later, and more. It lets you save your precious Macbook battery by closing the apps instead of leaving them all open. You can even use keyboard shortcuts to save and restore.
Make the Most of Your Mac’s Menu Bar
Menu bar apps can significantly improve the usability of your Mac and make it easier to perform tasks and check the status of different system settings and features. Listed above are some of the best Mac menu bar apps you can use to get things done more efficiently on your Mac.
While some of these menu bar apps are standalone task-specific apps, others have menu bar functionality as an added feature. For this reason, you may always want to check if the apps you download have menu bar functionality, as having it minimizes your interactions and simplifies your workflow.