macOS Big Sur: How to customize the Dock and menu bar?


If you’ve already installed macOS Big Sur (in-depth review), you are probably still enjoying the new look and improved features. But beyond the redesign, macOS needs to be as efficient as possible. At the very least, this would require a convenient use of the Dock and menu bar.

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Fortunately, with the release of macOS Big Sur, these elements haven’t changed much, and most of the features work as before. But there are a few new things that you should know about. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to customize the Dock and Menu Bar on a Mac running Big Sur or later.

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Rename Dock in System Preferences

Section “System Preferences” called Dock now bears the name Menu Bar and Dock… Therefore, from now on, all the tools corresponding to the title of the section are collected in one convenient place.

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Renewed Dock and Menu Bar appearance

Open the app “System settings” using the icon in the Dock or the Apple icon in the menu bar and select the section Menu Bar and Dock

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Menu Bar and Dock Settings

Along with customization options, Apple has made several changes to the look of each instrument. The dock panel has become even more translucent. And the menu bar has become a little wider and also more transparent. In addition, you will see the words in the menu bar darken or lighter to match the desktop background.

And context menus for icons in the Dock and drop-down menus for items in the menu bar are also slightly updated.

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Customizing the Dock

Make sure section is selected in the left column Menu Bar and Dock

Menu Bar and Dock Settings

Using the slider at the top of the preferences window, you can adjust the size of the Dock-panel, there you can also choose its position on the screen, an animation option for minimizing windows, and configure other parameters: automatic minimization and display of the Dock.

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App shortcuts in the Dock

If you’d rather place your own shortcuts for settings or applications in the Dock, then that’s still possible. And if you click on the divider in the Dock, you can drag and drop the entire panel. You can also right-click the divider to perform actions such as turning on the collapse effect and repositioning. You will also see an option in the context menu that will take you directly to the settings in System settings Menu bar and Dockdescribed above.

Dock panel in macOS

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Customizing the menu bar

In the same area System settings Menu bar and Dock at the bottom, under the settings of the Dock itself, you will see an option to automatically minimize and show the menu bar. Remember that this setting is now located here.

Menu Bar and Dock Settings

To customize items that appear only in the menu bar, scroll down the left side of the preferences window. In chapter “Menu bar only” choose Clock, Spotlight, Siri, or Time Machine. Currently, the last three items give you the option to display these items in the menu bar by checking the box. The watch offers several additional features, which you can see in the panel on the right.

In the case of the Clock, you can also display the date, customize its display options, select the desired type of clock and enable a convenient function “Say the time”

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The rest of the items on the left sidebar can also be added to the menu bar if desired. Just select one of them and check the box Show in Menu Bar… This is perfect for the functions you use on a daily basis.

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Menu bar shortcuts

Do you prefer to place your own shortcuts in the menu bar to better organize your work? It’s still available, and you can still easily remove unused items from the menu bar. While holding down the key ⌘Cmd, drag the icon from the menu bar and release.

How do I add favorites from Control Center to the menu bar?

But that is not all! Now that Apple has introduced Command centre on a Mac with the same look and feel as Command centre on iOS, you can use it to place icons on the menu bar.

Discover Command centreusing a new noticeable icon in the menu bar.

How to customize Control Center in macOS Big Sur

Select and drag an item from it to the desired location on the menu bar and release. Everything is very simple!

How do I add favorites from Control Center to the menu bar?

As with previous versions of macOS, hold down the ⌘Cmd to drag icons in the menu bar to rearrange their position.

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