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How to auto hide the menu bar and Dock on macOS

macOS lets you work in full screen not matter which app you’re working in. Full screen app support on macOS is ahead of the curve; a full screen app acts like a desktop space, and you can pin two apps side by side in full screen mode. In full screen, you get a distraction free work space but if you want something a little similar on the desktop, you can hide the menu bar and Dock.

macOS has an option to auto hide the menu bar and the Dock if it isn’t being used. Both UI elements appear only when you move your mouse to the top or bottom of the screen. Here’s how to set the menu bar and the Dock to hide itself automatically.

Auto hide menu bar and Dock

The controls for hiding the menu bar and the Dock are under System Preferences. The settings are not under the same preference though but that means you can choose to hide either or both the menu bar and Dock.

For the menu bar, go to the General preference. Look for and enable the ‘Automatically hide and show the menu bar’ option. The menu bar will disappear immediately and appear only when you move the mouse to the top.

To hide the Dock, you need to go to the Dock preferences. Look for and enable the ‘Automatically hide and show the Dock’ option and like the menu bar, it too will disappear. Move your mouse to the bottom of the screen (or wherever you’ve positioned the Dock) and it will reappear.

The end result gives you a pretty clean desktop to work with but it doesn’t block you from accessing anything. The Dock will reappear when you need to launch an app or unhide one. The menu bar will appear when you need to access an app on it, or if you need to tell time.

From how the menu bar and the Dock are hidden, it’s obvious that the two aren’t connected. If you find the Dock distracting or you could do without it, you can hide that but keep the menu bar visible. If you find the menu bar distracting but need the Dock to be visible at all times, you can choose to hide the menu bar, and keep the Dock visible.

macOS doesn’t offer a lot of customization options for the Dock or the menu bar. You can disable transparency for them both, or you can change the size of the Dock but that’s about it.


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