The Mac’s menu bar is like a digital multi-tool with its built-in features that let you do things like join Wi-Fi networks, change audio volume, and connect Bluetooth devices. It isn’t, however, limited to just the items Apple offers. There are loads of items you can add to your menu bar to make it even more useful. Here are several we can’t live without.
If your menu bar items are getting out of control, or you just want more organization options than Apple offers in macOS, you need Bartender. This app lets you organize menu bar items however you want, and you can keep them hidden until you need them so only the ones you use all the time are front and center. Bartender 4 costs US$15 and is available at the Bartender website.
Sure, you can set your Mac to stay awake with System Preferences, but not like you can with Amphetamine. It lets you set when and how long your Mac is awake, keeps your Mac from sleeping when specific apps are running, and lets you use triggers such as connecting external displays, which Wi-Fi network you’re on, if audio is playing, and more. You can use it to keep your display from sleeping or letting the screensaver activate based on triggers, too. Amphetamine is free on Apple’s Mac App Store.
When your Mac gets too hot it throttles the CPUs, impacting app performance. Hot lets you see in real time when that’s happening, view the CPU temperature, and more. Hot is a free download at the iMazing website.
BarTunes makes listening to songs and albums in Music a lot more convenient because it has the controls you need in an easy to use menu bar item. You can play and pause tracks, jump to the previous or next track, rate songs, see album art, and see the song, album and artist name all in one place. It’s free on Apple’s Mac App Store.
Keeping the windows organized on your Mac’s desktop is a never ending process, especially if you routinely connect different displays. Enter Stay from Cordless Dog. This handy app lets you set exactly where windows belong and snap them back in place at any time. You can automatically set unique window positions based on which display is connected, too. As TMO’s Dave Hamilton says, Stay is mandatory if you have multiple monitors. Stay costs $15 and is available at the Cordless Dog website.
Just because you have all those apps open doesn’t necessarily mean you need all those apps open. Marco Arment’s Quitter automatically hides or quits apps depending on how long they’ve been idle, and lets you set per-app how long before they hide or quit. This is really great if you’re often distracted by social media or messaging apps. Quitter is a free download at Marco Arment’s website.