Alternatives to MacOS Bartender

Wednesday, 5 June 2024

This morning MacRumors posted a PSA that Bartender was under new ownership. The company behind Bartender, a very handy utility app allowing users to hide icons in the MacOS menu bar, had silently been sold. The price had been hiked, and it is not clear if the new owners plan to announce themselves… The article ends “The new owner’s intentions are not clear, but as Reddit users have pointed out, the situation raises some red flags.”

With that in mind, here are a couple of alternatives that might be worth exploring:


Before I switched to Bartender, I was using Vanilla. There is a free version and a pro version.

For free, you get the ability to bundle the menu bar icons you don’t want to see into a drawer in the menu bar, just like Bartender.

The pro version costs $10; it’s a one-time purchase that can be used on up to 10 devices. There are a couple of key features, such as the ability to completely hide icons and use keyboard shortcuts. Plus, you get the warm feeling of supporting the developer.

More details at


I discovered Ice today. It is free and open-source. It has the basic functionality of hiding and completely removing menu bar options, as well as keyboard shortcuts.

My initial feeling was that there are areas that are slightly unpolished (getting the completely hidden apps working nicely wasn’t as easy as I expected). However, the latest commit on the codebase was a couple of days ago, so I’m going to assume that things are only going to get better.

More details at

Hidden Bar

Another option I discovered is Hidden Bar, which is free and open-source. However, based on the commits to the codebase, it hasn’t been updated in two years, so I’m not sure if it is still in active development.

More details at

Post changelog

Back to all posts