Hide the Dock and Menu Bar To Get More Screen Space

You can customize the Dock and Menu Bar to automatically hide unless you need them. This allows you to use every pixel of your screen for apps. You can also take most apps into full screen mode which will get rid of the menu bar and Dock for just that one app.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Hide the Dock and Menu Bar To Get More Screen Space.

Now if you've got limited screen space on your Mac, like say you're using a MacBook, and you really need to use every pixel on the screen for things, like for instance if you're adding a text document, you want to maybe get rid of some of the regular elements. At least have them hide.

You can hide the menu bar and the dock and have them appear only when you need them to give you more screen space. So let's take a look at the dock first of all. So to get to Preferences in the dock you can go to System Preferences, and then Dock, or you can Control click on the line divider here. Control clicking will give you access to Preferences and also quick access to things like Turn Hiding On. You may already have this turned on. This means the dock kind of slides away and disappears unless you bring the cursor down at the bottom. This means I can actually expand window size here and have Pages go all the way to the bottom of the screen. Then I move the cursor down to the bottom and the dock appears over it.

I can, in addition to that, go into Preferences and I can change the size of the dock. So I can go all the way to the smallest. You can see how small those little icons get. So if I don't want to make the dock disappear completely I can have it set so that the Hiding is turned off, the dock is always there, but it takes up as little space as possible. Or maybe some medium between here. So for instance maybe something like this may be a little bit better where I can actually see the icons. So it all depends on how much space you want to get back at the bottom. I prefer to have the icons be a fairly decent size but Hiding turned on so it goes away and I have that extra space there.

Now for the Menu Bar you go into System Preferences and you go to General. There's the ability to Automatically Hide and Show the Menu Bar. It acts in a similar way. You see the Menu Bar goes away unless I move my cursor to the top of the screen. So now I can expand the Pages window to take up to the top of the screen and the Menu Bar will jump down over it. I have a split second if I want to grab the top of the Pages window there and drag it down. So that's a handy way to get that back as well.

Now, of course, you can ignore both of those and simply go with the full screen option for any app. So I'm going to turn Hiding off so now the dock is going to take up this space. The Menu Bar is taking up all that space. But if I click the green button here I go full screen with the app. I get rid of the Menu Bar and the dock. They actually behave in a similar way to before. As a matter of fact I get more space back because often some elements at the top of the screen of different apps disappear as well.

So you can do that. This separates the app also from the main desktop. So I can actually Control left arrow back to the main desktop and Control right arrow back to Pages. Of simply click on Pages in the dock and it will jump to it. So that's another way to go about doing it. Not to mess with the Menu Bar or the dock at all but when you need extra space simply go full screen instead of getting rid of the Menu Bar and dock. So it all depends on how you want to work. Highly customizable but there is a way to actually get the space at the top and the bottom of the screen back if you really need it on a small screen Mac.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Hide the Dock and Menu Bar To Get More Screen Space”

    1 year ago

    As always, your presentation is short, to the point and helpful. Thank you

    1 year ago

    I have always been a Mac user, and since I began using my MacBook (as opposed to a 27″ desktop Mac) I have placed the dock on the side. It seems like a more efficient way to use the limited real estate. Documents rarely need all the space on the side.

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