Bartender app alternatives [manage menu bar]

Hi MPUers,

I am looking for alternatives to Bartender since my menu bar is getting out of control. I do have BetterTouchTool, which hides the menu bar icon, but when I unhide them, I still can’t view all of them (since the active application’s menu takes precedence for the menu space)

I am looking for a multi-level feature that can display menu bar icons on a separate level (something that Bartender does). Open to paid apps, but prefer open-source apps. I know Vanilla and Dozer, but I don’t think they provide multi-level features, IIRC. I used them a while ago.

PS: Bartender requires screen sharing permission now, and I am not really comfortable with it.

The only place to look for anything not needing additional permissions is the App Store, but doubt any app can come by needing permissions to do anything not standard in the OS.

Search AppStore for “Hidden Bar”, which has very similar functionality to Bartender.

Last I checked, Hidden Bar didn’t have the ability to show icons on a separate level. Which is one of @andy4222’s requirements.

likely impossible without asking for screen recording permissions

I’m curious what @andy4222 observes is “out of control” – I assume too many menubar apps – that Bartender cannot handle. In other words, what additional features do you need that Bartender does not have?

FWIW, I’ve used Bartender for years and have never had a concern with its operations. It doesn’t request “screen sharing permission”, it requests “Screen Recording” permission – which is common in any app that needs to be aware of what is on the screen in order to operate. The developer explained the reason back when Catalina was released.

Personally, I am very comfortable with Bartender and feel it fills a major gap that Apple left in macOS.


Yeah, too many menu bar items

Bartender has everything, but I am primarily looking for the multi-level feature. I’m just not comfortable providing “Screen Recording” permission to any app.

I am not aware of the API macOS provides, but thinking logically, not sure why is it necessary to record the screen to get the location of the item, images, and other things. Aren’t the menu bar icon already on the file system?

BetterTouchTool right now is able to hide icons on the left of it and display custom icons on the menu bar without screen recording permission. Hope they get the multi-level thing out.

PS: Here’s my menu bar. Some of them are already hidden because of the active app’s menu

This may help. It won’t change your mind but at least you’ll understand the “why.” Bartender is an essential app for me.