Menu Bar

How to automatically hide (and show) the menu bar on Mac

Two MacBook screenshots with one showing the top Menu bar visible on the screen while the other shows it hidden

One of the more under-the-radar features of macOS is the ability to automatically hide the top menu bar. Just like the Dock, which has long had the ability to auto-hide, the menu bar can be hidden until needed.

Auto-hiding the menu bar brings the obvious benefit of having more screen real estate and less distraction. With both the Dock and menu bar set to auto-hide, you can experience a shockingly clean interface as you go about your work.

In this short tutorial, we'll help you set your Mac to automatically hide the top menu bar.

How to access the Mac emojis and symbols keyboard from the menu bar

Emojis on Mac

The emojis and symbols “keyboard,” officially named the Character Viewer on Mac, is a handy tool. With it, you can easily add emojis, symbols, characters, and icons to your notes, documents, and emails.

While you can access the Character Viewer a few different ways, one of the simplest is from the menu bar. This way, you don’t have to try and remember another keyboard shortcut or hope the app you’re using offers a menu option.

The setting for this is a bit hidden and not within your menu bar settings. So here, we’ll show you how to enable and access the emojis and symbols keyboard from your menu bar on Mac.

Miss the Calculator widget on Mac? Check out these alternatives

With macOS Big Sur and later, you can no longer enjoy quick access to interactive widgets in the Notification Center. Sure, you can still see widgets for things like the weather and a world clock, but you can’t perform calculations in a few clicks like before.

You can use Spotlight Search for simple equations in a hurry, but if you need a little more, you have to open the Calculator app. Since a calculator is one of those utilities you don’t want to have to hunt for, we’ll show you some alternatives to replace your missing widget.

Here you’ll find calculator apps for your menu bar along with shortcuts to open your existing Mac Calculator app from the Dock and using your keyboard. Review the options and see which one is the best fit for your needs.

How to navigate the menu bar and menus with VoiceOver on Mac

VoiceOver Mac menu bar

If you’re just starting to use VoiceOver on your Mac, then navigating the menu bar and the menus within it is one of those things you’ll need to become familiar with pretty quickly. While it’s not particularly difficult, it’s like many other VoiceOver gestures and commands, you simply need to get the hang of it.

To help you navigate the menu bar and the menus with VoiceOver on your Mac effectively, we’ll show what you need to know.

How to customize the Dock and menu bar of your Mac

Customize Dock and menu bar on your Mac

macOS lets you customize the Dock and menu bar effortlessly. Starting with macOS Big Sur and carried forward by its successor macOS Monterey, the System Preferences saw some revamp. You can figure out most of these changes on your own. But there are a few things you should know to get started.

So here, we’ll show you how to customize the Dock and menu bar on Mac.

New to Mac? Learn the basics of your menu bar

MacBook desktop - learn the menu bar

One of the key tools you have on your Mac is the menu bar. This handy dandy toolbar sits across the top of your screen and gives you access to everything you need on your Mac.

For those new to macOS, the menu bar can be a little tough to understand in some situations. Plus, you have ways to customize it exactly as you’d like it, as long as you know how.

If you’re a new Mac user, we want to help make your macOS experience as productive and efficient as it can be. So, here are the basics of the menu bar that you need to know along with some tips to help you use it more effectively.