El Capitan: Hide Your Menu Bar!

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So as you may know, we’ve long had the ability to hide and show the Dock automatically within System Preferences > Dock.

With that setting on, your Dock will disappear until you drag your cursor to its location, when it’ll pop back into view. For a lot of people, this is a handy way to reduce screen clutter without giving up any functionality.

Well, within El Capitan, we can now also hide and show the menu bar at the top of the screen. To turn this on, visit System Preferences > General and toggle on “Automatically hide and show the menu bar.” 

If you’d like, you could also try the other checkbox shown above—“Use dark menu bar and Dock.” This option came along with Yosemite, and some folks find it easier on their eyes. I personally think it’s a bit…er…ugly.

No offense or anything, Apple.

Anyhow, when you turn on “Automatically hide and show the menu bar,” it’ll move up and out of the way but will reappear whenever you move your cursor to the top of the screen. This is another way to reduce visual distractions and just get to work if you’re into that sort of thing.

After having that menu bar visible for so long, though, I’m getting all disoriented by how that looks. Where’s my battery indicator icon? Who am I? Where are my shoes?

I think I may need to turn my menu bar back on, guys. I’m not good with change.

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Disorienting is correct. There is nothing happening with that bit of real estate, apart from it appearing like a gaping wound at the top of my screen, or perhaps the leading edge of an abyss. If I push something up into this virtual maw, then the menu suddenly pops down, like some predatory spider striking its prey, and engulfs the head of whatever went up there.

With my 15” MBP screen, methinks the value proposition a wee bit abstruse.

Melissa Holt

I love your comments. They never fail to amuse me. grin


I just discovered this myself a few weeks ago.

Makes for a very tidy, sparse display, and sure shows off the wallpaper, but I like to have some things only a glance away, like the clock, sound volume, Wi-Fi strength, oh, and Little Snitch.

And it just doesn’t feel like a Mac without that little Apple in the upper left corner…


I’m a dock hider and now, thanks to Melissa, a menu bar hider. I like to use as much screen real estate as possible! Very cool.

The dark menu and dock is probably there for the color correction crowd who want to avoid errors due to simultaneous contrast

Eolake Stobblehouse


I am not exaggerating: I’ve been wishing and waiting for a totally clean screen (except for my carefully chosen wallpaper) since my first Mac twenty years ago!

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