Free alternative to Bartender: Hidden Bar does everything I need

ldstephens
2 min readJun 8, 2024

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With the recent surprise acquisition of the popular Mac utility Bartender by an unfamiliar developer, many users are looking for alternatives.

I wrote about my switch to Hidden Bar back in October 2023 instead of updating to version 5.

Bartender to Hidden Bar: A Simpler Solution for macOS Sonoma

Hey, friends! I’ve been a long-time user of Mac Bartender, an application for macOS that helps you organize and customize your menu bar, simplifying the management of icons and notifications for a cleaner and more efficient desktop experience.

With macOS Sonoma, upgrading from Bartender version 4 to the new version 5 is necessary. While I don’t mind paying for the upgrade, each iteration of Bartender adds features that I don’t find necessary, and the same holds true for version 5. So, as I said, I don’t mind the upgrade cost, but the app now offers more features than I actually need. That’s why I’m giving Hidden Bar from Superbits, a simpler solution, a try. In the end, it provides the basic features I need and nothing more.

Hidden Bar is a straightforward and effective menubar manager that performs all the essential functions of Bartender. Here’s how it works:

  • Visible: Items you want to see all the time.
  • Hidden by default: Items you use occasionally.
  • Permanently hidden: Items you never want to see.

You can easily organize your menubar by dragging items to the desired section while holding down the CMD key. Tap the expand icon or set a custom keyboard shortcut to reveal hidden items. It also includes the option to start the app at login.

Given the recent changes with Bartender, Hidden Bar is a reliable, cost-free alternative. Try it out and see if it’s the right fit for you!

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ldstephens

I'm ldstephens, a tech blogger since 2015, sharing my insights on Apple and general tech news. Subscribe: https://ldstephens.medium.com/subscribe