How to show your Mac’s top menu bar even when apps are in full screen

Do you miss the top menu bar when you open a Mac app in full screen? In this tutorial, we show you how to have the menu bar stay on the screen even when you enter full-screen mode.

Show menu bar in full screen mode on Mac

Full screen apps and menu bar

When you click the green button from the top left of an app’s window, it expands to take the entire screen. Another way to enter and exit full-screen mode on Mac is by using the keyboard shortcut: Control + Command + F.

As you might have noticed, when an app is in full screen, the menu bar disappears from the top so that you can take advantage of the whole screen.

However, the menu bar has handy options that let you perform various actions related to that app. Thus you might want them to always appear on the screen for quicker access. This becomes indispensable if you don’t know the corresponding keyboard shortcuts for the actions mentioned in the menu bar.

Mac Menu Bar left side showing various actions

Plus, the right side of the menu bar has handy icons like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Control Center, MacBook’s battery indicator, date and time, and third-party app buttons. Often, it helps to have them on the screen to change the audio output, glance at the battery level, note the date and time, etc.

Right side of MacBook's menu bar showing battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, date, time, and more

Thankfully, macOS gives you a choice to customize the menu bar’s visibility.

Make Mac’s menu bar permanently visible even in full screen

Follow these steps to show Mac’s menu bar even when an app opens in full screen:

  1. Click  and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Dock & Menu Bar.
  3. Make sure Dock & Menu Bar is selected in the left sidebar.
  4. Scroll down and uncheck the box for Automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen.
Automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen on Mac

From now on, you’ll continue to see the top menu bar when you click the green button or press Control + Command + F to enter full screen. You can use it for various actions.

If any day you wish to revert this change and hide the menu bar in full-screen mode, follow the same steps and check the box for Automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen.

Besides that, another setting under Menu Bar preferences is called Automatically hide and show the menu bar on desktop. When you check this, the menu bar is hidden most of the time and appears on the screen only when you take your Mac’s pointer to the top of the screen. For most users, I recommend keeping this box unchecked so that the menu bar always stays on the screen.

Menu bar tips: