Menu Bar Frozen

On rare occasions, I encounter a frozen menu bar on my Mac. Perhaps you too have encountered a scenario where the beach ball appears when hovering over the menu bar. A lot of time, this can be resolved by killing the single app that’s causing problems. In other situations, you may need to completely kill and restart the menu bar to do the job.

The menu bar, more specifically the menu bar extras located on the right side of the screen, is controlled by the SystemUIServer process on macOS. Therefore, killing SystemUIServer will result in the menu bar restarting.

Restart the Menu Bar using Activity Monitor

Since there’s no way to restart the menu bar from the menu bar interface itself, you can use one of the following two methods to kill SystemUIServer and give it a friendly push.

Step 1: open Activity Monitor from /Applications/Utilities

Step 2: while on the Memory tab, search for SystemUIServer

Step 3: highlight the SystemUIServer process, click the ‘x’ button in the upper left-hand corner, and click Force Quit

Activity Monitor Kill SystemUIServer

Your menu bar should then quick and restart.

Restart the Menu Bar using Terminal

You can also kill and restart the menu bar from the Terminal.

Step 1: open Terminal

Step 2: type the following command and press Return on the keyboard

killall -KILL SystemUIServer

Although it should be rare, in times of need, this command is good to have in your back pocket. It will thus allow you to get back to work without an overly long interruption (restarting your Mac).

Have you ever encountered problems with the menu bar freezing on your Mac? Sound off down below in the comments with your experiences.

  • Midyro

    Can you not solve this problem by using Force Quit (alt+cmd+esc)

    • SystemUIServer isn’t available within the FQA menu…

  • Just needed to do this when Übersicht crashed the menu bar. Thanks for the tip!

  • Egor Pravilov

    Why does that happen at all? I don’t have any apps that seem to be hanged, but this beach ball happens every morning. The solutions is pretty obvious, but I need to resolve it, and not in palliative mode 😉

  • intrr

    My menubar just started to freeze on “TeamViewer”. i.e. I connect to the Mac using TeamViewer, and then all applications have the “TeamViewer” menubar, which btw doesn’t react to anything. No other way out than to actually quit TeamViewer, which kind of defeats the purpose of… using… TeamViewer 😉