Macbook pro

How Well Do You Actually Know Your Mac? (Part 1)

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Even if you are a proficient Mac user, you still might forget about some pretty great things you can do with your MacBook or iMac.  I mean, it’s easy to take some of the features that Apple gives us for granted.  In this five-part series, we are going to remind you of some of the ways that Apple products are truly amazing.  In this first post, we are going to remind you how to make the most out of your Apple menu bar.  If you’re new to the Apple ecosystem, welcome.  And follow these steps to help get yourself oriented with the new platform.

mac menu bar items

How Rearrange Icons in the Menu Bar

There are a lot of menu bar icons that offer useful shortcuts to the app, and even some system functions.  But that takes up some real estate on your screen.  If you don’t manage the icons well, they will start to look kind of out of control.  Fortunately, you can re-organize them.

  1. Hold down the Command (⌘) key.
  2. Hover your mouse cursor over the icon you want to move.
  3. Holding down the left mouse button, drag the icon into your preferred position on the menu bar. Other icons will step aside to make space for it.
  4. Let go of the left mouse button.

mac menu bar items

How to Remove System Icons From the Menu Bar

How can you remove the icons linked to system controls?

  1. Hold down the Command (⌘) key.
  2. Hover your mouse cursor over the icon you want to remove.
  3. Holding down the left mouse button, drag the icon out of the menu bar and onto the desktop.
  4. Let go of the left mouse button.

If you don’t hear the “whoosh” sound after you remove it, then it was likely put there by a third-party app. If that’s the case, there is likely an option in the app’s settings where you can toggle it off, or uncheck the box.

mac menu bar items

How to Add System Icons to the Menu Bar

If you’ve removed a system icon from the menu bar and want to get it back, or if you’d like to add a new one, you can find options in the associated preference panes.  For example, to reinstate the AirPlay icon in the menu bar:

  1. Click the apple symbol in the far left of the menu bar and select System Preferences.
  2. Select the Display preference pane.
  3. At the bottom of the pane, check the box to “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available”.

If you’re looking for menu bar options related to Sound Volume, Bluetooth, Siri, Time Machine or Accessibility – they can be found in their respective preference panes.  If you’re looking for menu bar icons related to keyboard, battery, user account and date/time, follow these instructions as they are not as obvious to locate:

  • Keyboard -> Input Sources -> Show Input menu in menu bar.
  • Energy Saver -> Show battery status in menu bar.
  • Network -> Wi-Fi -> Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.
  • Users & Groups -> Login Options -> Show fast user switching menu as Full Name / Account Name / Icon.
  • Date & Time -> Clock -> Show date and time in menu bar.

 

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