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Bartender for OS X cures menu bar clutter

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Bartender for OS X allows you to pick and choose which menu bar icons to keep, and which to put away.

Bartender About
Bartender About

If you use a wide variety of software on a Mac, your menu bar is probably cluttered with residual application icons. Luckily, Surtees Studios recently released a little utility called Bartender which allows you to hide unwanted menu icons in a collapsable sub-menu bar. This behavior is reminiscent of the Windows system tray, but lacks the ability to automatically hide icons that are inactive like its Windows counterpart.


Bartender is simple in principle and execution — a gear icon in the far right invokes the preference pane that allows you choose which menu bar, if any, an application icon should be included in. The utility is compatible with almost every program that has a menu icon, unlike its main competitor, Broomstick, which requires the developer to manually add individual apps. There were a few applications that didn't appear correctly in the submenu bar, but hopefully that will change before the final release. Despite its public beta standing, which will end in June when the utility goes commercial, Bartender seems stable, effective, and quick.