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Auto-Hide Mac OS X Menu Bar

Is there a way to auto-hide the menu bar in Mac OS X? Like how you can hide the task bar in Windows? Do you guys do it currently or want to do it currently?

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 20 Nov 2008 18:54:15 +0000

Do you mean the application dock? If so, go to Apple symbol --> System Preferences --> Dock

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 01:37:38 +0000

Thanks. I have already figured out the dock. But I'm talking about the thin strip of menu bar at the very top.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 01:49:35 +0000

you might have to do it on a per app basis.
Auto-hide the dock and menubar on a per-app basis

a little 'find' magic...
How to NOT autohide the menubar on Leopard

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 04:37:11 +0000

Thanks. I found all those links already. The lack of auto-hide feature has been bugging me since I started using Mac OS X. So I had already done a lot of research into it. But there was so far no win-win situation. And I was wondering if perhaps you Mac veterans might know a trick or two.

Several days ago, I've started writing a Mac OS X application, called MagicMenu, that would not only make the menu bar disappear per application basis, but it would be able to do it for all applications as well.

Then I read the same article that you provided, just yesterday. It turns out that changing the Info.plist file is the same as modifying the application. It screws up the application's security signature in Leopard. Personal, I wouldn't care. I fuss over the auto-hide feature way more than the Keychain password thingy in Mac OS X. (For me, with a bunch of computers, it's too inconvenient to rely on one computer to keep my passwords.) But since I'm developing an application for the masses, and myself, quite a few people might care about that.

So I guess there isn't a global setting, which I might have missed, that could be set somewhere in Mac OS X, huh?

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 05:07:20 +0000

Yes, I too want to be able to see my desktop unencumbered by the menu bar!

Maybe if someone starts a petition to Apple they might make this happen.

I think lots of people would be interested.

It would complement Apple's minimalist style very well.

Mon, 15 Dec 2008 02:18:39 +0000

Ok, I've just released the first version of MagicMenu, a set of free utilities to auto-hide the Mac OS X top menu bar. You can download a copy here: MagicMenu

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 27 Dec 2008 09:18:47 +0000

@magic menu: doesn't work as this is a classic application and not supported on my copy of 10.5.6

joey deacon
Sun, 04 Jan 2009 14:02:59 +0000

It's AppleScript and was developed on 10.5.4. I'll have to find someone with 10.5.6 to try it.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 05 Jan 2009 06:40:42 +0000

Ok, joey. I fixed the problem. You can download the new MagicMenu archive and it should work. For details on what failed, see this thread: . . .

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 06 Jan 2009 02:09:48 +0000

It works perfectly on Leopard; Thank you Chieh Cheng!

Alexandre Gravier
Thu, 19 Mar 2009 01:47:08 +0000

thank you CCC!!!!
A quick and simple solution that was what I was looking for!

Sun, 09 Aug 2009 16:07:21 +0000

I tried you apps and it work for applications .app but what about application running under java?

I'm running a few apps under java but I couldn't get it to work...

Sat, 05 Sep 2009 17:16:23 +0000

Great, just what I was looking for , works perfect.

Alex Silver
Sat, 14 Nov 2009 19:05:26 +0000

wil this work for snow leapard ??

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 02:27:15 +0000

This is a fantastic solution. Thank you so much.

The only issue is, if I need to actually use an application's menu bar, it only drops down the Finder one. Is there a way around this?

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 04:27:44 +0000

Your application has to be active. So basically, you have some how inactivated your application whenever you tried to pull down the top menu bar. It's likely you clicked on the desktop or some other finder area.

For example, if you are editing a text file in TextEdit, while your document is active (the caret is blinking in the text document), you move the mouse up to the top menu bar, it will bring down the top menu bar for the TextEdit application. On the other hand, if you clicked on the desktop, which inactivates TextEdit and activates Finder, then move the mouse up to the top, it will bring down Finder's top menu bar.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 06 Jan 2010 05:21:23 +0000

I'm running Snow Leopard and my wife's account doesn't show the menu strip or the app dock. It is just the desktop background picture and her icons. My one year old daughter was playing with the keyboard and somehow hid everything! We don't know how she did it, but I want to hide the menu strip on my account as well. I'll continue the search...

Sun, 24 Jan 2010 16:07:49 +0000

First off, thanks for this great tool!
Unfortunately and rather recently, it has been a bit glitchy. Sometimes the menubar just re-appears and no amount of toggling seems to do it away. I only use the finder one. After a while, if I get lucky, the toggling works, but most recently, the menubar has been stuck at the top despite repeated toggling attempts. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 05:14:58 +0000

Have you rebooted or logged off after turning MagicMenu for the Finder to on? For the Finder, you must reboot or log off and then log back on for auto-hide to take effect.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:11:18 +0000

Another app you may want to check out is Menu Eclipse at I personally used it and it works great on Snow Leopard.

Henry Yue
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 12:21:12 +0000

Does the Xmenu utility work on snow loepard 10.6?

Wed, 25 Aug 2010 19:23:21 +0000

Yes. We have confirmation that MagicMenu does work with Snow Leopard 10.6.2. See this thread: MagicMenu and Word 2008

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 05:28:21 +0000

The link for xybemic from above is not working!
I looked around and I found the "MENU ECLIPSE 2" this app dims your Mac menu bar from 0 to 100%.
It's great and it's way better than having the manu bar to hide.
Check it out:

Daniel P.
Mon, 04 Oct 2010 03:07:51 +0000

Works perfectly on my HDTV mac mini setup. Thanks!

Fri, 24 Dec 2010 09:37:58 +0000

Does not work on OS X 10.7 Lion because its a Classic application.

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 01:31:12 +0000

Try using Nocturne instead, it's free and works better than MenuEclipse.

Instead of using it to focus on the entire screen just use it to 'Dim the menubar' and tweak the transparency all the way up which will fade the menu bar in and out like it is hiding.

Download here:

Directions here:

Attached Image:


Wed, 25 May 2011 22:41:05 +0000

While Nocturn is cool, it does not fade the menu bar to background image, but to background color or black/white.

Thu, 26 May 2011 09:39:02 +0000

And sounds like Nocturn doesn't actually get rid of the menu bar, meaning you can use the space that the menu bar takes up. But, nevertheless, it's another option to ease the annoying menu bar pain. ;-)

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 26 May 2011 18:35:18 +0000

This may seem extreme, but Windows 7 in Bootcamp works great, and you definitely don't have to deal with the menu bar taking up space. I'm amazed that there isn't even a way to shrink the menu bar to, say, half its preset size.

Tim Curro
Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:29:41 +0000

Hey, try this terminal hack- it allows a user to quit finder then the menu bar disappears - defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool YES

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 22:24:43 +0000

Nocture is great, i highly recommend it. solves the problem perfectly.

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 13:13:43 +0300

Wow !! Nocturne works perfectly . . . all my Macs will get this utility installed right NOW
Thanks for the post . . never even heard of this before !!

Don Holt
Sun, 01 Apr 2012 05:06:14 +0400

Nocturne does NOT do what this thread is discussing; it just changes it colors. I think it's a spam attempt.

Keith Barrett
Sat, 19 May 2012 16:40:30 +0400

I found magicmenu to work the best however, it is mildly incompatible with another application I use called ADock

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 04:40:48 +0400

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