Hide the Spotlight Menu Icon in Mac OS X

Posted in OSX -

In the past I've looked at how to disable Spotlight indexing on Mac OSX, but that still leaves the (now unnecessary) Spotlight icon in the menu icon area. This post shows how to hide the Spotlight icon from the menu area on Mac OSX.

Hide the Spotlight icon

The nice thing is that hiding the icon doesn't stop Spotlight from working so you can use this technique to reduce menu bar clutter. If you have disabled Spotlight then it means you can remove this now uncessary icon.

Open up Terminal (it's under Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and run the following command:

sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search

You will be prompted for your password; this is the same as the password you use to log into your Mac. Note that you do need to be an administator of your Mac to be able to do this. If you aren't, then it won't work.

Now run this command to refresh the menu bar:

killall SystemUIServer

The icon will now be gone.

Show the Spotlight icon

Should you need to restore the icon, run the following commands in Terminal:

sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search
killall SystemUIServer

Now the icon will be back again.

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