What’s in your Menu Bar?


Having not seen the question posed in a few months, I think it’s time once again. What’s in your Menu Bar? I think there are enough of us out there with some little app or utility that we take for granted. Lets post em so everyone can find a new gem or two. I’ll start.

From left to right:
Synergy (iTunes control)
Desktop Manager (Virtual Desktop Manager)
GmailStatus (gmail, um, status)
Textpander (Typing aid/magic)
Slim Battery Monitor (Takes up less space)
Menu Meters (RAM and CPU)
Clock (customize the format in System PrefsInternational)

Alright, let’s see them people. My first suggestion would be to post to flickr – where you can annotate your screen shots – and tag them with ‘tabmenubar’. Then post a comment with a link to your flickr page. But do it however you like – even if it’s just a list in the comments. I just happen to like pictures…Shiny and colorful things hold my attention longer.



I’ve lost spotlight from my menubar and I’d like to get it back. Any ideas on how I can do that? I’ve tried a few remedies I’ve found on the net, but none have worked.

Dual 2 GHz G5
OS 10.4.5

Nick Santilli

Rick – you can either select the preference to not show it in the menubar, or you can hold APPLE (cmd) and click and drag the item out of the menubar

Lee Webb


Here’s what’s in my menubar:

YouControl iTunes
Date and time in this format Thu 10:22 Feb 23
Username (I don’t switch users but I just like the username there)
And of course Spotlight (although I too use QS)

John Man

I have on my menubar:

QuicKeys – http://www.startly.com – macros for OS X

Path Finder – http://www.cocoatech.com – Finder replacement

Adium – http://www.adiumx.com – instant messenger

Synergy – http://www.wincent.com – iTunes controller

You Control: Desktops – http://www.yousoftware.com – virtual desktop

You Control (clock module) – http://www.yousoftware.com – clock/date display

You Control (user switching module) – http://www.yousoftware.com – improved fast user switching interface


For the sake of completeness, I also have the following on my desktop:

Dock (left hand side; hidden) – out of the way as I never use the Dock (being a LaunchBar user – http://www.obdev.at/products/launchbar )

Dragthing tabs (bottom) – http://www.dragthing.com – a Dock on steroids

Trash can (bottom right) – provided by Path Finder (see above)

iClip (right; hidden) – inventive.us/iClip/ – multiple clipboards

Yojimbo drop dock (right) – http://www.barebones.com – info organiser

Lee Bennett

Adium menubar widget
YouControl item for following National Hurricane Center feeds
Menu Meters’ TCP monitor
the usual Apple Volume, Displays, and Int’l access
YouControl’s user switching replacement
YouControl’s clock/calendar replacement

(this is office. similar setup at home but lacking the NHC syndication icon and adding Apple’s Airport, Modem, and Bluetooth menu icons)


whoops, i forgot to mention to first do “cd /System/Library/CoreServices/” first…

sorry about that.



how to get rid of the spotlight icon:

in terminal, type “sudo mv Search.bundle Search_SAFE.bundle”

itll ask for the admin password, then go into Activity Monitor and force quit SystemUIServer. and ka-flam, the icon is gone, but you can still use it in mail, and other programs that use spotlight.

if you have problems, dont kill me, im just the messenger, im quite happy with spotlight for my searching needs.



1. iBiz timer – timer for invoicing & project mgmt app for freelancers
2. ChronoSync scheduler – automated backups to external drives
3. Slimbattery monitor
4. High Priority – task management integrated with iCal tasks
5. Audio volume
5. Day, date, & time
6. Winswitch – free, gives more granular control over fast user switching menubar item
7. ASM – Fast application switching between currently running apps a la OS 9 and before
8. Spotlight – wish I could get rid of it; I use Quicksilver instead

Nick Santilli

Chuck –
yes, there’s going to be some draw on the memory/cpu, but it’ll largely depend on what they’re doing (and how well they’re coded too)

Textpander for instance, monitors all your keystrokes (tho not in a big brother sort of way) watching for certain text combinations and replaces them according to your settings. It doesn’t seem to affect performance on my system though.

So as you may add items to the menubar, if you notice a performance hit, try removing it and see if that helps matters.

Mine is actually ‘cluttered’ for my liking, but I use each of those items enough, that they’ve earned their spaces.

Chuck Cheeze

I have a 20″ Intel iMac, my first Mac, which I am addicted to. Still learning about Macs, so here is my menubar:

Synergy (iTunes control)
Adium X

And here is my question: Does more menubar icons use more memory? I like having quick access to things up there, but I am picky about the productivity gains vs. memory loss. On my PCs I have always been super mindful of icons that get put in the tray.


Nick Santilli

Robert –
Go to System Preferences
Formats tab
Choose to customize DATES
Play with the Short/Medium/Long formats from the drop down
You can drag and drop the Elements into the main text field, as well as add your own characters for the formatting look you desire. (mine has the pipe | between the time and date)

hope that helps – I couldn’t for the life of me find where I first saw this tip, otherwise I would have linked to it.

Robert Nicholson

Just exactly how did you get that date time format? Apparently it’s not straight forward to get both date and time in the menu bar. I only get the time.

Sam Aaron

From left to right I have:

Slim Battery Monitor: Saves space (every little helps when you have a 12″ screen!
Adium Everyone’s favourite messenger client
Path Finder Cocoatech’s fantastic Finder app
Quicksilver Probably the most used app on my machine
iScrobbler for automatic last.fm updates.
Romeo Old and looks to be unmaintained, but does the job of connecting address book to my phone via bluetooth when it’s in range perfectly
MenuCalendarClock: Much more control over the display of the time (yey, full stops rather than colons), I just wish I could get lower case am and pm. Spotlight


Jeff Clark

17″ Intel iMac (one sexy machine, seriously)

iBiz *get this now if you freelance


I’ve got a 12″ powerbook, so menubar real-esate is tight. I like the simplicity anyways. From Left to right:
1. Blue Phone Elite: shows the battery and signal status of my bluetooth cellphone
2. SlimBatteryMonitor: More customizable than the apple one and takes up less space
3. airport
4. clock: in HH:MM format, no date, no day to save space and be simpler
5. Spotlight: I never use the menu, just the window and quicksliver wish I could get rid of it.

Scott Rose

Here’s a listing of what I’ve got in my menubar:

1. URLWell — great for earmarking websites you want to visit later.
2. iSeek — from Ambrosia Software, the most useful Internet Search tool ever. Set it with a keyboard shortcut and you’ve reached new levels of productivity!
3. Timbuktu Pro
4. GMail Status
5. iChat
6. QuickDay (part of Now Up-To-Date)
7. iSync
8. Volume
9. Date/Time
10. Spotlight

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