Windows users have the ability to hide the Taskbar, but the menu bar on macOS is a constant presence. This isn’t necessarily bad because the menu bar doesn’t really take up that much room. If you want to hide it, however, you now can.

The menu bar is quite versatile. You can add new controls to it, access further options using the “Option” key, and even move menu bar icons around by holding down the “Command” key.

This feature was added in Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which added quite a few great new features. One of these new features, which hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage is the ability to hide and show the menu bar, a mainstay not just in OS X, but Macs in general dating back to the earliest versions of the Mac System.

Windows users have been able to auto-hide the taskbar since Windows 95, Mac users have not.

The thing is though, the menu bar always remains no matter what you’re doing on your Mac (unless you’re viewing a video full screen or playing a game). While it doesn’t necessarily take up a ton of vertical space, it would be nice if you could have it all, which you now can.

In order to automatically hide and show the menu bar, you will first need to open your Mac’s System Preferences and click on the “General” settings. Not a whole lot has changed since Yosemite, but there is the addition of a new feature right below the dark menu bar option.

This new option “Automatically hide and show the menu bar”, when checked, will do just as it says.

The new option, which is found under the dark menu option, is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.

So, check the box and you’ll see that the menu bar immediately retreats into the top of the screen.

The top of our screen on our Mac, sans the menu bar.

In order to get it back, you simply need to move your pointer to the top screen edge and it will magically reappear. Move you mouse pointer away and the menu bar will again disappear. If you don’t like this feature, then simply go back into the General settings and uncheck the box.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have anything you would like to add, such as a comment or a question, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.


Profile Photo for Matt Klein Matt Klein
Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
Read Full Bio »