Menu items behind the MacBook Pro notch

The notch doesn’t bother me at all on my new MBP M1 Pro. I never notice it, except when the camera is on, and then I wonder why the camera light is off center. I need to read up on that.

But I just noticed that there are two menu items hidden behind the notch.

I only noticed because I also have an external monitor.

Here are the menu items on the external monitor.


Here they are on the computer screen.

(The notch itself doesn’t screen capture.)

The Boom 3D and OneDrive menu items are hidden by the notch. How are we supposed to get to them on the main computer screen?

Check out Bartender. As one who has always had too many menu bar icons to fit the bar of a laptop, I found it to be a lifesaver.


It looks interesting, and I may go that way. But there’s no standard way of clicking somehow and opening up the menu items in a drop down menu for example?


I see if I use the default scaling the menu items currently all fit. I had made them scaled one level to show the text a bit larger, and that’s why they don’t fit. Maybe I’ll try the default scaling a bit and see how hard it is to read the tinier letters, and take advantage of more space.

I’m not sure what you mean. If you tap the Bartender icon in the menu bar, you will open the dropdown. If you option-click it, you’ll get the Bartender menu and be able to play with preferences to move icons around. Via the Bartender preferences, you cal also have the dropdown menu open if you tap in any open area of the menu bar or even if you just move the cursor to an empty area.

Another thing you can do is use the Dock & Menu Bar System Preference to remove many system icons off the menu bar and have the function only available from the Control Center.

I’ve attached screenshots showing my dropdown Bartender menu bar and one showing my Control Center.

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I just meant was there a way to click something in standard MacOS and see the full menu. But maybe not. Did adding items to the control panel also require Bartender?

No, In Big Sur (or maybe Catalina), Apple added the Control Center to the Mac and snuck the controls for it into the exiting Dock & Menu Bar System Preference.

Not quite sure what you mean, but I’ll hunt around. Are you saying you can move menu bar items into the Control Center somehow?

Many system features (e.g. the volume setting) exist on both the control center and as a menu-bar icon. For these features, you can disable the menu-bar icon to get it out of the way and just use the control center when you need to access the feature.

You can use the Dock & Menu Bar preference panel in order to select which features are on the menu-bar (and sometimes to make them conditionally present) and which are in the control center (some of which are always present there):

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Thanks, I’ll try to remove some from the menu bar. Some that are in the menu bar don’t seem to be in the control center though.

But you may be able to add them to the control center, so take a look.

Of course, if it’s a control you want to use and it’s not available for the control center, then there’s nothing wrong with leaving it in the menu bar. Ultimately, the goal is to come up with a mix that you find comfortable for how you work.

The set of items that can be in the Control Center is a subset of Apple menu bar items. Every control center item can also appear in the menu bar, and, even if an item appears in the control center, it can also appear in the menu bar. Some items can be turned off so that they can only be accessed via System Preferences or the appropriate app. Also, at least one item, the Clock, must appear in the menu bar, although via the options it can be shrunk down to a large dot by selecting the analog presentation.

The best thing to do is look at each item in the list and pick the options you think are appropriate. Play around a bit until you find an acceptable arrangement.

It’s shame I can’t get rid of parts of Control Center I want in the menu bar anyway. Some stuff I don’t just want to control, I want to monitor it. So that stuff needs to be in menu bar where I can see it at all times, not hidden away in Control Center. Come to think of it, shame Apple doesn’t let me get rid of the entire Control Center. Less clutter in my menu bar.

Well, I can see why Bartender was created. :slight_smile:

Still, it seems weird that Apple wouldn’t provide an easy way to access menu items hidden behind the notch. Like a simple control-click on the menu to display it as a drop down.

I suspect there aren’t any menu items hidden behind the notch. The longstanding behaviour on MacOS is that the menubar extras on the right are ‘optional’. They appear if there’s space, but if an application has so many menus that there isn’t enough room for application menus + menubar extras, then menubar extras start getting dropped. See for instance (on my 2013 MacBook Air without a notch!):

In Safari I get all my visible menubar extras (I use Bartender, so I have more hidden behind the ). In GraphicConverter, I lose the six leftmost menubar extras, as GraphicConverter’s menus end at the Help menu. There’s no way to access these ‘lost’ menubar extras.

What I suspect is happening is that on the new MacBook Pros, MacOS treats the notch as a ‘hard border’ for menubar extras, as if the application’s menus always extend at least to the right side of the notch. Once the menubar extras get there, anything that would go further left is lost/dropped. So they’re not hidden behind the notch, they’re not there at all.

They show up on my external monitor at the same time though.

I don’t have one of these machines, but, as I understand it, you can actually move the mouse pointer in the area of the notch and click where the menu icon should be and it will activate it.

See MacBook Pro notch problem with status bar items seen in video- 9to5Mac for example.

That doesn’t necessarily mean anything – I’m not sure how the menu at is handled if you have two monitors, one big and one small. But I imagine the big one would show all the menubar extras even if the small monitor had to drop some.

Ah, I hadn’t seen that. I was under the impression that @doug2 had already tried doing this which is why I thought maybe the notch was a hard boundary. I did know that application menus wrap around the notch, but thought maybe the extras were cut off.

Yes, I had tried that, but there was no response. I don’t think the notch is an active place for the cursor.

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The video @ddmiller linked to indicates that it is. But in that video it was iStat menus that was active behind the notch. I wonder if it’s because they use custom code to draw in the menu. Either way the cursor definitely ‘exists’ when it’s behind the notch.

My money is still on standard menubar extras not being there as the system won’t draw any that would require going past the notch. I don’t think it’s a case of the clicks not registering. Your screenshots seem to confirm this as they don’t appear on the one from your built in screen. The fact they appear on the external monitor is because it’s treated as a larger monitor that does have space for all your extras.

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