Hiding the Menubar

Such a great little feature in El Capitan.

One new feature in El Capitan is the ability to auto-hide the menubar. Like with the Dock auto-hiding, the menubar only appears when you move your mouse to where the menubar should be. When I found the option during the beta period, I immediately turned it on and have not looked back. It’s one of the best new features of OS X.

Why would you want this?

Well for starters: on a small screen it gives you some extra height to the display. It also makes your desktop look really clean — for example when I don’t have an app window open, all I see is the wallpaper.

That’s my actual desktop with no open app windows. I love how plain it is.

It’s pretty neat. Also you don’t have an anxiety from menubar applications — without running something like Bartender. In fact, this has eliminated my need for Bartender.

I really love this.

There are issues though. Some apps simply don’t work right. BitTorrent Sync’s icon is all messed up. You can not drag and drop anything into the menubar. (I rely on ‘upload clipboard’ with Droplr or Dropshare.)

Beyond the aesthetics, there is another reason why I really love hiding the menubar: it’s the single most distracting part of OS X. Even just having the clock up there is distracting when you are in the zone and I had long removed the clock.

Hiding the menubar makes looking at the menubar a conscious decision and therefore I can add the clock back in. I have to not only look at the menubar, but move my mouse to the menubar to see anything. And that is great for productivity, because it is more challenging than just glancing.

My focus has gone through the roof. I do lose track of time really easily now, but I’d rather lose track of time, and rely on reminders, than be distracted by all the little things I could add to the menubar.

It’s easy to turn on and off, so I highly recommend you give it a try for a week.

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