62 Menu Bar Apps That Will Take Your Mac to the Next Level
Menu bar apps live in the top-right corner of your Mac’s screen and bring some amazing benefits to your computer. These smart utilities don’t get in the way like regular apps. Instead, they sit in the corner and swing into action only when your summon them.
You can unlock a massive range of new Mac features with menu apps, and there are countless available to try. So to save you some time wading through all the options yourself, here are the best Mac menu bar apps for various different tasks.
For GitHub apps, go to the Releases section on the linked GitHub page to download the app.
Window Managers and Switchers
This is a free alternative to the Magnet window management app, with built-in snap areas and keyboard shortcuts. With a quick drag, you can resize any app into half or a quarter of the screen. This type of arrangement eliminates app switching and enhances workspace efficiency.
Download: Rectangle (Free)
Although we have quite a few impressive window management apps for the Mac, BetterSnapTool is the best option for giving you feature-rich options at a low price. You can scale and resize windows or configure app-specific snapping sizes and custom snap areas.
Download: BetterSnapTool ($2.99)
This brings the Windows “Alt-Tab” window switcher to Mac. The app is configurable—you can choose to show windows from all desktop spaces, minimized apps, hidden apps, and full-screen apps.
Download: Alt-Tab (Free)
Switching application windows with a shortcut is great, but what about their tabs? With Witch, you can switch apps, windows, and tabs. For every switch action, you can tweak the sort order, orientation, and tab handling.
Download: Witch ($14)
Mission Control lets you create up to 16 desktop spaces. At times, you may forget which space you’re currently on, so Spaceman assigns a number to these spaces for identification. You can even name these spaces to organize separate spaces for your workflow.
Download: Spaceman (Free)
A simple screen-recording app to make 12fps GIFs. With the press of keyboard shortcut (Shift + Cmd + 9), you can start recording an area of the screen. Just press the keyboard shortcut again to stop it.
Download: Gifable ($1.99)
This is a screen recorder built with the electron framework. To begin, select an application window or set an aspect ratio. Then quickly record your screen and export it as GIF, MP4, WebM, or APNG with optional audio, highlight clicks, and trimming.
Download: Kap (Free)
A text recognition app to convert images or scanned documents into searchable PDFs. Select an area on the screen to scan, then paste your text anywhere. The app uses Apple’s Vision API, which means your files and the processing never leave your Mac. The Pro version unlocks more features for $13.99.
Download: OwlOCR (Free, premium version available)
A tool to capture, record, and share files without the need of multiple apps. You can annotate screenshots, record your screen as MP4 or GIF, and share your files. The subscription version offers an increased file upload limit, integrations like S3, DigitalOcean, WebDav, or Evernote, and more storage.
Download: Monosnap (Free, subscription available)
A screen annotation app that is useful for delivering presentations and online classes. The app lets you annotate or doodle on the screen with the built-in auto eraser. You can draw on a whiteboard and configure your cursor highlight color, opacity, size, and more.
Download: Presentify ($5.99)
A must-have tool for professionals who work with text. This is a powerful text transformation utility that offers hundreds of cleaners to address your text issues. For example, to remove extra spaces, forwarding characters, extra returns, smart quotes, and more.
Download: TextSoap ($50)
A clipboard manager to save, search, and filter your clipboard history by app, item type, and collections. The data syncs over iCloud with an option to exclude particular apps and tweak your privacy settings.
Download: PastePal (Free, premium version available)
Create quick reminders for short-term daily tasks. Drag and drop the menu bar icon onto your screen to start creating a reminder. The reminders even sync with the Apple Reminders app.
Download: Gestimer ($3.99)
A feature-rich text expander app with features to insert images, format text, and auto-correct text in any application. You can sync data across cloud services. This is the only app of this kind that works in virtual machines. The newest version is available for $4.99 per year.
Download: aText (Subscription required, free trial available)
A handy translator service that uses machine learning to deliver accurate translation. The menu bar lets you translate text or files in any app with the press of a hotkey. The subscription version offers unlimited text translation and up to five documents from $6.99/month.
Download: DeepL (Free, subscription available)
This menu bar app highlights the front-most app window and masks the background windows so that you can focus on your current task. You can set the hazing intensity and speed to your liking.
Download: HazeOver ($4.99)
TomatoBar is a Pomodro timer with configurable work and rest intervals, optional sounds, actionable notifications, and a global hotkey. If you need an accompanying to-do list with weekly charts to track your progress, then check out Be Focused.
Download: TomatoBar (Free)
Wish you could quit applications after a certain interval instead of hiding them? Quitter can take care of that for you. For instance, you can quit social apps or news readers that you haven’t used in a while to minimize distractions.
Download: Quitter (Free)
A simple time-awareness tool to show how long you have been using your Mac. The app doesn’t force you to take a break and detects your mouse, keyboard presses for any activity.
Download: Pandan (Free)
Moving data on your Mac is easy when you use a drag-and-drop solution. Dropzone enhances the “drop zone” process to copy, move, zip, upload to cloud services, and more with a single gesture. If your desktop is cluttered, Dropzone will help you clean it up effortlessly.
Download: Dropzone ($35)
21. Workspaces 2 ($19.99)
With workspaces, you can summon everything you need for a particular project with the click of a button. You can bundle the resources linked with a project (files, links, emails, apps, and more) into one set. At the same time, you can see and open workspaces from the menu bar.
Download: Workspaces 2 ($19.99)
This handy app gives you quick access to apps, folders, documents, and text snippets from the menu bar. It is useful for mouse users and makes the Dock redundant, freeing up more of your workspace.
Download: Xmenu (Free)
A simple app and website blocker to keep your focus on task and minimize distractions. You can plan out sessions for tasks that need deep focus. Create a block list and manage your session directly from the menu bar. The app is available for every platform and costs $40/year.
Download: Freedom (Subscription required, free trial available)
24. Time Out
Taking short breaks is as important for productivity as beating procrastination. Time Out lets you configure time intervals for work and play. When the break starts, the screen slowly dims, and a break theme appears. An optional button also appears if you want to postpone or skip the break.
Download: Time Out (Free, subscription available)
25. Tim Time Tracker
A simple time tracker that keeps track of projects with beautiful charts. It lets you filter time by day, week, or month and shows your data in various time and display formats. You can export your data in CSV or JSON and integrate it with Shortcuts or AppleScript.
Download: Tim Time Tracker ($6.99)
26. Hand Mirror
This is a simple app that gives you a one-click camera access to check yourself, your surroundings, and the view of the camera before you jump on a video call for a meeting.
Download: Hand Mirror (Free)
27. Mia for Gmail
This app puts your Gmail inbox in the menu bar. You don’t have to switch to a desktop client or webmail to read, compose, delete, label, or move messages. The in-app purchase, at $8.99, unlocks multiple accounts and search features.
Download: Mia for Gmail (Free, premium version available)
A feature-rich app with a calendar, calendar events, and world clock combined into a beautiful interface. The built-in keyboard navigation, integration with Google Calendar, Outlook 365, Exchange, and support of upcoming events makes it a better alternative to the built-in Mac Calendar app.
Download: Dato ($6.99)
29. Meeting Bar
A must-have app for people regularly engaged in meetings. It shows you calendar events and lets you create or join events in one click. It integrates with all the most popular calendar services and works with over 20 meeting apps, like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Amazon Chime, Cisco Webex, and more.
Download: Meeting Bar (Free, subscription available)
A comprehensive calendar app that uses natural language to set up your events and reminders. It can group different calendars together and activate a particular type of event based on your location and time. You can even see upcoming meetings, join conferences, and adjust calls according to time zones.
Download: Fantastical (Subscription required, free trial available)
This is like the Contacts app on steroids. It uses the same natural language parsing we saw in Fantastical to create and edit contacts. If you have lots of contacts, it’ll show a visual overview of your contact relationships in an elegant chart. You can even transfer contacts directly from a business card into the app.
Download: Cardhop (Subscription required, free trial available)
Audio and Video
A sleek and hi-res audio player that you can manage through the menu bar. Install the Vox extension for media controls to control music with the media buttons on your keyboard. With this extension, you can also set the app to open when you press the Play/Pause key.
Download: Vox (Free, premium version available)
33. Mic Drop
Want to quickly turn off the microphone while you’re in a video call? This app might be useful. It works with every meeting service and supports push-to-talk and push-to-mute on demand. If there is an incompatible audio device, it’ll warn you beforehand.
Download: Mic Drop ($4.99)
At times, you may forget to click the record button when you’re in a call having a brainstorming session with a colleague. BackTrack record all those conversations and overwrites a 60-minute window of audio throughout the day, meaning you can always rewind to listen back and save the last hour.
Download: BackTrack ($1.99)
A lyrics app that shows lyrics on your desktop and menu bar with customizable fonts, colors, and positioning. It works with Apple Music, Spotify, Vox, and supported sources includes NetEase, QQ Music, TTPod, Gecimi, and more.
Download: LyricsX (Free)
An app designed for headphone users who listen to music as a way to keep focused but don’t want to remove them each time every time they need to hear what is happening around them. If Silenz detects a conversation or phone rings, it’ll either pause or adjust the volume of the music player automatically.
Download: Silenz ($12.99)
AirPods work seamlessly with the iPhone, but what about Macs? It’s difficult to tell because you’ll have to check the Bluetooth menu bar or fiddle with settings. This app connects AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones to your Mac with a single click.
Download: ToothFairy ($5.99)
A handy app to stream video from your Mac to a Smart TV, Chromecast, Roku TV, or Apple TV without the need of any cables, configuration, or hardware. It supports many file formats, subtitles, and even external audio tracks. The free version offers 20 minutes of streaming; upgrade to Pro ($12.99/yr) for the full version.
Download: JustStream (Free, subscription available)
39. Sound Control
This lets you control the audio of each app independently, with options like per-app volume, equalizer, balance, and audio routing. The menu bar shows the current volume setting and allows you to set hotkeys to control the volume for foreground and background apps.
Download: Sound Control ($25)
A free alternative to iStats to monitor Mac system statistics like the battery level, CPU, disk, fan, memory, network, and sensors (temperature, voltage, power). This app allows you to keep track on your Mac’s health from the menu bar.
Download: Stats (Free)
This menu bar app automatically unmounts external volumes when your put your Mac to sleep and mounts them again after it wakes up. You can configure when and what volumes get unmounted to prevent disk corruption.
Download: Ejectify ($3)
This is a powerful utility to prevent your Mac from sleeping. You can set a time period or triggers. These include parameters like when a particular app is running, you’re connected to a certain network, or your battery is at a set percentage.
Download: Amphetamine (Free)
43. coconutBattery 3
The app tells you everything you need to know about your MacBook’s battery, which can help you improve your Macbook battery life. It includes current charge, charge capacity, cycle count, and changes that occur in the battery over time. The Plus version ($12) offers iOS battery diagnostics and custom printing templates for record purposes as well.
Download: coconutBattery 3 (Free)
44. CleanMyDrive 2
This is a disk manager utility to clean hidden junk from external disks, like OS X service files (.DS_Store, .Spotlight-V100, .fseventsd), resource forks, and Windows service files (Thumbs.db, $RECYCLE.BIN). Thus, it allows you to prevent corrupting your external drive compatibility with other devices.
Download: CleanMyDrive 2 (Free)
The app lets you block unnecessary web traffic on your Mac to save data when you’re using a mobile hotspot. In addition, it’ll show you the domains where your apps send data to.
Download: TripMode ($15)
This is a must-have menu bar app for automating various tasks on your Mac. It lets you organize files based on various parameters, allowing you to archive, tag, and even upload files. The unique pattern-matching feature allows you to create workflows to process PDFs and Word documents in your own way.
Download: Hazel ($42)
47. Mountain Duck
This app mounts server (S3, Google Cloud, Backblaze B2) and cloud storage (Dropbox, OneDrive) as disks in Finder to allow you to open remote files with any application, treating them like files on a local disk. The built-in menu bar app lets you access files on any remote server and recent files.
Download: Mountain Duck ($39)
48. Hidden Bar
This is a free alternative to Bartender to hide menu bar items. Hold Cmd and drag items between sections to configure the app. Sections are divided into Shown, Hidden, and Always Hidden groups. To get advanced functionality, like Triggers and custom menu bar layouts, try out Bartender.
Download: Hidden Bar (Free)
This makes switching screen resolution effortless. You’ll see a list of all your displays with nested menus showing the resolutions available to each of them. QuickRes is another menu bar of this kind, but it has advanced features like custom profiles and Touch Bar support.
Download: Resolutionator ($3)
xbar is an alternative to the now defunct BitBar that lets you display the output from any script or program in your menu bar. For example, show outdated homebrew packages, manage launch agents, track currency rates, and much more.
Download: xbar (Free)
This menu bar app expands the capabilities of the built-in Night Shift feature in macOS with toggles for specific apps, websites, and custom time periods. This can help reduce eye strain while using your Mac for long periods.
Download: Shifty (Free)
Popclip is a useful utility that streamlines text edit functions. The app works by suggesting a customizable row of action buttons for when you select text with your mouse. For example, copy and paste, dictionary lookup, website search, opening links in another browser, and more.
Download: Popclip ($14.99)
A menu bar app that provides you a series to toggles to simplify your day-to-day work with a Mac. You can toggle hidden Desktop icons, dark mode, hiding the notch, sleep, clearing the clipboard, and more.
Download: OnlySwitch (Free)
This app gives you an overview of all your nearby connected devices, including the battery status of Bluetooth devices, your Apple Watch, AirPods, iPhone, and nearby MacBooks.
Download: AirBuddy ($12)
55. Short Menu
A useful app for converting a long URL into a short link via a service of your choice. It includes bit.ly, tiny.cc, Google, Droplr, CloudApp, and more services. After shortening, the link gets saved to iCloud for record purposes.
Download: Short Menu ($5.99)
This one’s handy if you use multiple browsers and email clients. When you click on a website link, Bumpr ask you to pick the browser with which you want to open the link. Likewise, you can choose from different email clients when you click on a mailto: link.
Download: Bumpr ($2.99)
Keep track of your friends and colleagues in different time zones with this awesome menu bar app. You can search from thousands of cities and time zones, add notes, and even create reminders for different times.
Download: Clocker (Free)
58. Micro Snitch
If your job is to jump on a call or video call, it’s possible that another app could record your audio or video without your knowledge. This app monitors and reports microphone or camera activity to figure out if someone’s spying on you. Or you can try out the free OverSight app if you’re feeling more technical.
Download: Micro Snitch ($5)
59. Orion Sentry
How often do you fear that your MacBook may get stolen? Many of us do. So this anti-theft menu bar app might be of great help. It has a built-in charger-disconnect alarm and uses a motion sensor to detect movement. You can even set it to capture a photo of anyone who opens the MacBook lid.
Download: Orion Sentry ($4.99)
As the name suggests, this lets you protect specific applications with a password. It supports Touch ID, Bluetooth (unlock with a nearby device), and network options (unlock when you’re connected to a network).
Download: AppLocker ($9.99)
Unite turns any website into a Mac app. Behind the scenes, the app uses WebKit’s backend browser to create site-specific apps. For example, you can turn Gmail into a Mac desktop app or run website like Twitter in your menu bar. With the free version, you can create up to three apps.
Download: Unite ($24.99)
This app gives you total control over weather reports, gathering simultaneous reports from various data sources like AccuWeather, OpenWeatherMap, WeatherUnderground, and more. To begin, type in the city name, optional name, and API key of the supported weather source.
Download: Meteorologist (Free)
A Beginner’s Guide to the macOS Menu Bar
After reading this list, you must have realized how much can be done through the menu bar on your Mac. This is because macOS features a single, global menu bar that switches context according to the active application. To learn more, here’s our guide to configuring appearance and behavior of the menu bar according to your needs.
A Beginner’s Guide to the macOS Menu Bar
About The Author
(183 Articles Published)
With his M.Optom Degree in Eye Care Speciality, Rahul worked as a lecturer for many years in the college. Writing and teaching others is always his passion. He now writes about technology and make it digestible for readers who don’t understand it well.
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May 15, 2022 at 03:22AM