Hold down the Opti key to unlock the hidden Mac menu bar

The opti key (sometimes marked with ⌥ your Mac keyboard) gives you additial optis whether you use the keyboard or the mouse. Hold it down while dragging a file, for example, and it will make a duplicate of that file, instead of just moving it. The Opti key works everywhere – also in the menus. Today we’re going to see what happens when you click the Optis butt the status menu ics the right side of your Mac toolbar. Bluetooth widgets, volume, Wi-Fi, Time Machine and Message center to be precise.

Clicking these ics gives you much more ctrol over some basic functiality of your Mac. You will be surprised about what you can do up there.

Hidden Mac menu bar optis

To use these tips, hold down the Opti key while clicking e of the status menu ics. When you do this, another menu appears (or at least an extended versi of the standard menu). You will see additial optis in these new menus.

The excepti here is the message center ic, which immediately performs an acti when you click Opti. We will start with that and then discuss the hidden functis of other Mac status menus e by e.

Notificati center

If you click the Notificati Center ic (the right-most ic in the Mac menu bar), your notificatis will be placed in Do Not Disturb mode. It is exactly the same as opening the Notificati Center and switching the Do Not Disturb butt to Certainly. The ic will turn gray until tomorrow when the weather becomes normal.


Normally click the ic in the Bluetooth menu bar and you will see a list of paired devices that you can click to cnect or discnect. However, if you click the Optis butt the Bluetooth ic, you will get a detailed overview. You see the correct name and address for your Mac’s Bluetooth radio, as well as optis for browsing and sending files to devices, and more.


Opti-click the volume ic to route the audio to your Mac.
A normal click the volume ic shows you the available output devices your Mac, so you can see where you want to play your audio. Hold down Opti and click the volume ic. You will also see a list of available input devices, including AirPlay devices. It is a quick way to switch inputs and outputs for main system audio.


Opti-click the Wi-Fi status menu to see many additial optis.
Wi-Fi offers the largest menu just because it displays a list of all available networks in your immediate area. For extras, click the Wi-Fi menu opti to view additial details about your current Wi-Fi network, from the name and channel to signal strength and noise. You can also click new menu items to activate various logging and diagnostic tools, which can be useful when troubleshooting Wi-Fi problems.

Time machine

Time Machine also offers practical optis.
The ly change when you hold down the Opti key and click the Time Machine menu is that you can scroll through backup discs other than the default disc. This is useful if you are backing up to multiple Time Machine volumes or if you have cnected an old backup.

Third-party Mac menu bar ics

It is worthwhile to just click Opti and click all items the menu bar of your Mac. Some status menus for third-party applicatis no lger offer anything, but others add a lot. Dropbox, for example, displays a completely different status menu, replacing that horrible standard window that normally appears.

Have fun exploring.

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