How to Hide Virtually Anything on Your Mac

macOS has a very interactive interface that may take some getting used to initially but works very well. However, depending on how you prefer to work, some of its features may not play well with your personal workflow. Some prove to be distracting, while some don’t work the way you want them to. Then there are those you don’t want, need or use.

If you want to remove a feature from the system, you can try removing or disabling it via Terminal or using a whole other set of methods. But usually the feature is very easy to hide. Today we’ll take a look at all the main visual cues you can choose to hide on your Mac.


Some people may find the macOS Dock intrusive and distracting to their workflow. If this is the case, you can choose to hide your Dock until you move the cursor to the bottom edge of the screen. Automatically chooses to hide and show the Dock under System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar. Also, check the box for Minimize windows to application icons to prevent individual app windows from cluttering the Dock.

You can also control your Mac’s Dock hiding with the shortcut (Option+Cmd+D). Activate it by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Launchpad & Dock and selecting Turn Dock Hiding On/Off.

menu bar

You can also choose to hide the menu bar, similar to hiding the Dock. Automatically hide and show the menu bar based on your preferences in the On Desktop/Full Screen options under System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar. This will keep the menu bar out of your way. When you want to access the menu bar, move your cursor to the top edge of the screen.

menu bar icon

If you don’t want to hide the entire menu bar but want to clutter it up, you can choose to hide individual system icons, such as battery status and Bluetooth.

To do this, go to the corresponding System Preferences pane and uncheck the Show [icons] in menu bar option. For example, if you want to disable Bluetooth from the menu bar, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and uncheck Show Bluetooth in menu bar.

There’s even a faster way to clean up your menu bar! Hold down the Cmd key and drag unnecessary system icons from the menu bar and release them when you see an X sign next to the cursor. This will remove them from the menu bar. This method also works for the display of the date and time, as well as the fast user switching menu item in the status bar.

You can also hide the user switching menu from System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options. You have to uncheck the Show fast user switching menu as checkbox.

There are certain icons — you can’t move the Spotlight icon, the Notification Center one, or third-party app icons. You’ll need an app to make them disappear. Vanilla (free) is the simplest option. Try Bartender ($15) for more control over hide options.

open apps

The easiest way to make open windows disappear is to press Cmd+H to make the active application disappear. It won’t even show up in Mission Control.

You can also hide a Mac app from the app-specific menu that’s available in the top menu bar between the Apple icon and the File options. Click on the name of the app and choose Hide [App Name] from the menu. You can also choose Hide others if you want all apps except the current one to disappear.

Minimizing an app is different from hiding an app, because while hiding an app, minimizing one window at a time works for all of its windows.

Also, you can bring back hidden apps via the app switcher by pressing Cmd+Tab. However, you cannot revive minimized apps in this way. To restore an app, you need to click on the respective app icon in the Dock. It’s always the oldest app window visible, regardless of the order in which you minimized the windows.

Customize App Toolbar

Of all macOS applications, the fastest way to customize the toolbar is by using the View menu. By toolbar we mean tab bar, sidebar, title bar etc.

Some toolbars are also application specific. For example, the Path Bar in Finder, the Reading List Sidebar and Favorites Bar in Safari, the Folders Sidebar in Notes. As you switch between apps, the View menu updates to match the active app.

If you’re looking for a quick shortcut, check out the keyboard shortcuts listed next to the various options in the View menu and remember the toolbars you toggle most often. You can also create custom shortcuts if you can never remember the default ones.

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