Do you feel like your Mac’s menu bar seem to be coming a little too crowded? Almost every Mac user would agree that a cluttered menu bar would make it a bit less useful and unproductive. The menu bar found at the top of your Mac’s display serves as a convenient tray on which it provides you visibility of menus to your current apps on the left, with more static icons to the right. Along with that, various third-party apps — such as Dropbox and Skip Tunes, install icons along the menu bar for easy access. However, installing many different apps such as these would eventually make your menu bar look more and more cramped up.

If yours are the same, then this is the right moment to do some spring cleaning. Here are some six easy tips to help you re-organize and declutter your Mac OS X Yosemite’s menu bar.

Command-drag to remove and reorder

Your Mac system includes a number of icons on the right side of the menu bar, from the time and battery life remaining, to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi indicators. Just head to the System Preferences and drill down to the panel for each of these icons, and uncheck a box to show its icon on the menu bar. A faster way to remove these icons is to hold down the [Command] key and then drag them off the menu bar.

The Command-drag operation can also be used to move these icons to a different location on the menu bar if you want to switch the order in which they appear. Just be careful not to accidentally drag them off the menu bar, otherwise they’ll disappear and you need to go back to System Preferences, find the settings panel for the lost icon, and then check the box to show it again on the menu bar.

You can also do the Command-drag operation to reorder many third-party app icons on the menu bar. However, you cannot drag to reorder the Spotlight and Notification Center icons, as they remain next to one another in the right-hand corner.

Fast user switching icon options

To change how the fast user switching icon is displayed, click on it, then select Users & Groups Preferences at the bottom of the drop-down menu. Then, click on the lock icon found at the lower left hand corner of theUsers & Groups window to make changes, then enter your password. Next, click on Login Options found at the left panel, then select your choice from the drop-down menu next to the Show fast user switching menu as setting. If you don’t want to show this icon on the menu bar, simply uncheck its box.

Battery icon options

If you own a MacBook, then you probably use the battery icon on the menu bar to know when you need to plug it in to a wall outlet. You have an option to just display the battery icon, that is without the percentage. To do this, simply click on the battery icon, then select Show Percentage. If you prefer to do the opposite, select the same option again to show the percentage instead. And if you use a stationary MacBook that’s always plugged in, you can remove the battery icon by clicking on it, selecting Open Energy Saver Perferences, and then unchecking the box next to Show battery status in menu bar.

Date and time options

You have several options on how you would want the date and time options to be shown on the menu bar. To choose, click on the time and select Open Date & Time Preferences. If your menu bar happens to be a little bit crowded, you can choose to display the time as analog, displaying only a small but working clock icon while hiding the date. However, you may find it too small to be useful. You can also show it as a 12-hour digital clock without seconds or AM/PM indicators. There is also an option to show the date, as well as the day of the week.

Silence the volume icon

If you prefer to use the volume keys to adjust your Mac’s audio output, you can just remove the volume icon from the menu bar. To make the volume icons disappear, open System Preferences, then click Sound, and then uncheck the box for Show volume in menu bar.

Never go wrong with black

Dark Mode was introduced with Yosemite, which removes the bright colors of the menu bar, sub-menus, and the application dock and replaces them with plain black. To enable Dark Mode on your Mac, go to System Preferences, then go to General in the upper-left hand corner of the preferences pane. Now, check the box next to Use dark menu bar and Dock located below the Appearance option.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 9:23:16 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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