How to Keep the Menu Bar on Mac in Fullscreen Mode

When you put an app in full-screen mode by clicking the green light icon in the upper-left corner of the window, macOS automatically hides the menu bar. This intentional behavior is intended to provide an immersive visual experience by moving items away from the menu bar. Additionally, it also seems like a neat implementation on the new 14/16-inch MacBook Pro to ensure that the notch becomes invisible due to the black full-screen mode bar. But…

When you put an app in full-screen mode by clicking the green light icon in the upper-left corner of the window, macOS automatically hides the menu bar. This intentional behavior is intended to provide an immersive visual experience by moving items away from the menu bar. Additionally, it also seems like a neat implementation on the new 14/16-inch MacBook Pro to ensure that the notch becomes invisible due to the black full-screen mode bar. But what if you find this feature a hindrance to your workflow? Well, here is how to keep the menu bar visible in fullscreen mode on Mac.

Since Apple put the option to hide/show the Mac menu bar in fullscreen mode in the “Dock & Menu Bar” preferences, it’s easy to get lost. When enabled, it allows you to make the menu bar visible throughout the system. In addition to system-wide tuning, a basic tuning per application would have been ideal. Let’s hope Apple succeeds in the upcoming macOS 13.

1. To begin, click on the Apple menu located in the upper left corner of the screen.

2. Now select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

3. Next, click on “Dock & Menu Bar”.

4. Finally, uncheck the box to the left of “Automatically hide and show the menu bar in fullscreen” and exit System Preferences.

So! The change will take effect immediately. Going forward, the menu bar will remain visible in full-screen mode on your macOS device. If you ever want to hide it again, go back to the same setting and then check the box at the end.

To note:

  • In some cases, the menu bar will remain hidden in full screen mode even after unchecking the Automatically hide and showing the menu bar in full screen box. In this case, you may need to restart your Mac to implement the change. Simply click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and choose Restart from the drop-down menu.

You can hide or show the Mac menu bar in full screen mode. It’s always better to have the flexibility to handle a feature that may not be of interest to everyone. It’s reminiscent of the battery icon without the percentage indicator that Apple removed in macOS Big Sur and later. While many would be fine with the battery icon, people like me prefer having the battery percentage indicator to easily track battery life. From a user perspective, this isn’t a big design change. The macOS default behavior for hiding the menu bar when an app is in full screen mode is pretty much on the same line. By the way, do you have any questions or comments to share? Don’t forget to send your thoughts through.

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