Bartender 4 brings macOS Big Sur, M1 support plus some great new features

Bartender Bar Screenshot
Bartender Bar Screenshot (Image credit: Surtees Studios)

What you need to know

  • Bartender 4 is now available for download with macOS Big Sur and Apple silicon support.
  • The update includes new features and improvements.

Bartender 4, the update to the popular app that helps users tidy their Mac's menu bar, is now available for download. The update includes support for macOS Big Sur and Apple silicon for the first time and brings some new features to the app, too.

The addition of macOS Big Sur support is a big one given the fact Bartender 3 didn't work correctly with the updated Mac software. That's a big enough reason to upgrade to Bartender 4 on its own, but the new features are an easy sell, too.

Not least, improvements to the way macOS Big Sur handles spacing.

macOS Big Sur increased the menu bar item spacing, which looks nice; however, it reduces the usable space. Bartender makes this configurable, with spacing the same as in previous macOS versions or even no spacing so that you can fit in all your menu bar apps.Bartender 4 also introduced menu bar spacers. These allow you to add spacers between groups of menu bar items that can either be just a configurable space, text, or even emoji, great for grouping menu bar items into similar groups.

Search has also been improved, giving Bartender a Spotlight-like interface that now makes it easier than ever to find what you're looking for all from your keyboard.

Bartenders' search ability has dramatically improved. It now has a Spotlight-like interface with fuzzy search to very quickly find, show and activate any of your menu bar items, all from your keyboard. Speaking of keyboards, Bartender now also lets you assign hotkeys to any menu bar item. When this hotkey is activated, the menu bar item shows and activates. So you can have super convenient hotkeys for any menu bar item, even if it's not ordinarily available.

All of this makes Bartender 4 a must-have for Mac power users. You can download it from the Bartender website now, priced at $15 after a four-week trial. There\s also a hefty 50% discount on offer for anyone who bought the previous release, too.

Bartender is particularly useful for hiding items on small screens, like that used by the MacBook Air. That small screen doesn't stop the MacBook Air from being the best Mac for most people, but Bartender definitely helps out.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.