Customise the menu bar in OS X

Computer monitorAt the right-hand side of the menu bar on the Mac are a group of useful items like the battery/power indicator, the date, the Wi-Fi indicator, your account name and so on. Have you ever wondered where they come from? It is actually quite interesting and there are additional items that can be placed on the menu bar that are normally hidden.

To find out where the menu bar items come from, open a Finder window and go to the Library. No, not the hidden Library in your home folder and not the Library in the root of the Mac’s disk drive. Go to the Mac’s disk, open System, then Library. (There are lots of Library folders in OS X.). Open CoreServices, and finally, open Menu Extras.

The /System/Library/CoreServices/MenuExtras folder contains lots of files and you can probably guess their function:

Menu Extras in OS X

The filenames are obvious and you will see that several of these items are already on the menu bar. The ones that aren’t are easily added. Just double click the file. Add the item if you want a way of ejecting CD/DVDs from the menu bar. If you use VPNs, then add If you use Fax, then add

Menu extras for OS X

Using menu bar items is straightforward. Just click them with the mouse to display a menu. Holding down Option may display different menu items and is always a useful trick to acces hidden functions.

Removing menu bar items is easy if you know the trick. Just hold down the Command key and then click and drag the menu bar item off and drop it on the desktop. It disappears in a cloud of smoke.

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