super OS X menubar items

frequently asked questions

What are menubar items?

Menubar items (also known as menu extras, status items, and menulets) are those little things on the top right of your menubar. Mine looks like this:


Mac OS X comes with a bunch of them in the /System/Library/CoreServices/ Menu Extras/ folder. There is an old tutorial about how to make your own items (Tapir can also help).

This is not a complete list of menubar items because I left out the bad ones.

How do you install them?

Download and install a menubar item like a regular application. Some items live in the /Users/[you]/Library/Bundles/ folder (those .menu files just need to be double-clicked) or in System Preferences.

How do you get rid of them?

If you don’t want a menubar item anymore and it doesn’t have a “Quit” option, try pressing the Command key (⌘) while dragging the item off the menubar. If that doesn’t work, log out and log back in and the item should go away. You can also open Activity Monitor in the /Applications/Utilities folder, find the application under “Process Name”, select it, and click “Quit Process”.

It keeps coming back!

If you log out and log in and the menubar item reappears, it has probably added itself to your Startup Items. In System Preferences, open the Accounts panel, click “Startup Items”, and delete the offending item. If you want to make other items come back, you can add them to this list too.

Who is this?

I’m Britta Gustafson and I like menubar items. I talk about other things at Jeweled Platypus. You can email suggestions to britta g at gmail dot com, but I won’t include Quicksilver or Growl — they’re applications with optional menubar items, not self-contained menubar item applications.

Items I know I should add to the list

For even more items, check out Mac Menu Bars (somebody else’s blog about this kind of thing).

Tools for managing menu bar items

You may find Bartender or NoMenuBar useful.

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