Rearrange the Status Items in the Mac Menu Bar

Aug 11, 2009 - 6 Comments

mac os x menubar You can easily rearrange the status items in your Mac OS X Menu bar, simply hold Command and drag the icons to the desired location within the menubar. You can move just about anything, except for Spotlight and some third party apps, which will stay stubbornly in place.

This is a good alternative to just simply removing items, and is a nice minor customization for those of us who like to keep things as personalized as possible. Align all similar items by groups and functions, arrange by shape or color, get creative.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Customize, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Dave M. says:

    Actually, the only ones that move are ones developed by Apple. My menubar is populated with about 30 items from various applications. Only the Apple items are able to move about with the Command key.

    I’m assuming that this is because the 3rd party developers don’t feel the need to put in that functionality or it’s an undocumented call that only Apple has access to.

  2. @Dave: You are right. I cannot use this hint to rearrange 3rd party app.
    Anyway, thanks for the post.

  3. Cory says:

    @Dave: It looks like 3rd party developers have access to this functionality, but not all use it.

    For example, I can’t move Dropbox, Canon IJ Network Scan Utility, nor Billings timers in the menu bar (which stinks because it’s all the way to the left – so I only see it when using apps with narrow menu options like Finder).

    I can move iStat Menus items though. I’m not affiliated with them in anyway, but they’re awesome – highly recommended. Plus it’s nice that they’ve gone the extra mile allowing them to be rearranged.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. go says:

    many thanks…

  5. Zach says:


    This seems to be broken in Lion and Mountain Lion…is there a workaround for this? I would love to be able to rearrange them the way I like, escpecially for the system apps like BatteryTime.

    • mele says:

      It still works at 10.8. Just push command key and move icons, remember that you can only move apple-icons like wifi, volume, battery etc.

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