Finding Menu Extras

Mac OS X has all kinds of useful items that can live in your menu bar if you only know where to look. The menu bar clock, AirPort, Volume and Bluetooth are some of the items most users are familiar with, but there are more. Most can be activated by settings in Preference Panes, but for others you need to dig a little deeper.

Mac OS X hides menu extras on your hard drive in System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras. To add one to your menu bar, just double click its file in the Menu Extras folder.

Menu extras are hidden in the System folder.

One of my favorites is This handy menu extra adds an Eject icon to your menu bar that lists every optical drive connected to your Mac. If you have multiple CD or DVD drives, it lets you select exactly which drive to open when you want to add or remove a disc.

The Eject menu lets you specify which optical drive to open.

To reposition an item in the menu bar, click and drag its icon to the left or right while holding down the Command key. If you donit need an icon in the menu bar any more, Command-drag it down and out of the menu bar. It will disappear in a puff of smoke. The original item is still in the Menu Extras folder, so you can reactivate it again later.

Keep in mind that mucking around in your System folder can lead to trouble - including a Mac that no longer boots - if you arenit careful. If you arenit 100 percent sure what something does, leave it alone.

[removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('E-mail me')i))[removed] if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.