New Mac User? Learn The Basics Of Your Menu Bar

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

For those who are new to macOS, the menu bar can be difficult to understand in some situations.

For 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.

Mac Menu Bar Basics:

You can browse the article to learn about the menu bar from top to bottom or skip to one of the following sections.

  • Menu bar layout
    • Apple menu
    • App menu
    • Status indicators
    • Search, Siri, and Notification Center
  • Adding icons and buttons
  • Removing and rearranging icons
  • More customization options

Menu Bar Layout

Your Mac menu bar is set up for quick access to your system settings, app menus, and status indicators; from left to right.

Apple Menu


The Apple icon appears to the left on your menu bar and remains there unlike the apps you have open. Whenever you want to get information about your Mac, just open the System Preferences, log out, or shut down your Mac, simply click that Apple icon.

App Menu


To the right of the Apple menu, you have your app menu. When your app is open and currently active, you will see its menu options here. It starts with the app’s name in bold on the left and all options for that app to the right.

Status Indicators

Status indicators

Over to the right side of the menu bar, you’ll see your status indicators. It includes volume control, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, battery level, and the date and time. These types of items can be added, rearranged and removed to suit your preference.

Search, Siri, and Notification Center


Here you’ll see buttons for Spotlight Search, Siri, and the Notification Center. These are the tools for daily use. While the buttons in your menu bar make it easy to access each of three with a click.

Adding Icons and Buttons

Controls built into your Mac such as the time, date, volume, and Wi-Fi can be added to the menu bar from their settings in Apple icon > System Preferences.

Here are a few examples of system controls to get you started:

  • Date and time: 

System Preferences > Date and Time > enable Show date and time in the menu bar.

  • Battery: 

System Preferences > Energy Saver > enable Show battery status in the menu bar.

  • Volume: 

System Preferences > Sound > enable Show volume in the menu bar.

  • Wi-Fi: 

System Preferences > Network > enable Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.

  • Bluetooth:

System Preferences > Bluetooth > enable Show Bluetooth in the menu bar.

Many apps that you download from the App Store will offer this as well. Depending on the app, access the settings and look for the menu bar option.

Removing & Rearranging icons

You can remove icons from the right side of the menu bar. For instance, you might never use the Siri button and want to free up that space for something different.

You can use the above-mentioned steps to disable the “Show in menu bar” option for the particular control.

For an alternative way to quickly remove an icon from the menu bar:

  • Hold down your Command key
  • Click the icon
  • Drag it out of the menu bar
  • Release

In addition to adding and removing icons, you can rearrange them how you want them. As an example, you may prefer to have your clock on the other side of your volume control.

To rearrange an icon, hold your Command key, click the icon, drag it to its new spot, and release.


For those new to Mac, learning these basics of using the menu bar is another key element to making the most out of your Mac.

Are there other things that you’d like help with as a new macOS user? If so, drop a comment below! waiting for your valueable feedback!

Also Read: Satechi Gorgeous New Mac Mini Stand

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