What are Triggers in Bartender 5 and how do they improve MacOS Sonoma?



Bartender has become a permanent fixture in MacOS for me. The primary reason why I’ve added it to MacOS is to keep my Menu Bar free from an onslaught of icons that I have to occasionally interact with. 

With those icons hidden from sight, there’s one small issue — the battery percentage indicator is hidden from me. Because of that situation, I’m unaware of how much battery I have left. Fortunately, the developer of Bartender thought of such a situation and added Triggers. Triggers are exactly what they sound like — actions that are triggered when a certain event happens. You can add Triggers for apps, battery, location, time, a script, or a Wi-Fi connection.

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Let’s stick with my scenario. Say, for instance, you want to be able to see the battery percentage indicator when your battery hits 50%. When that condition occurs, Bartender will automatically show the battery indicator until the battery is charged above 50%. It’s a simple action that can prevent you from running out of juice, while still keeping your Menu Bar nice and clean, as Bartender will only reveal the battery percentage indicator and not the other icons in the Menu Bar.

Let me show you how to add that particular Trigger to Bartender.

How to add your first Trigger to Bartender

What you’ll need: To make this tactic work, you’ll need Bartender installed on MacOS. I’ll demonstrate the process with Bartender 5 on an Apple Silicon-based MacBook Pro running MacOS Sonoma. 

Also: How to declutter and personalize your MacOS Sonoma Menu Bar

You can use the trial version of Bartender, as it is not feature-locked.

The first thing you must do is open Bartender from the Launchpad. With the app open, click the Triggers tab in the sidebar and then click Add Trigger.

The Bartender 5 Triggers tab.

There are plenty of other features you can configure in Bartender 5.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

In the resulting popup, give your Trigger a name (such as Battery 50%) and select Default for the Preset.

The Trigger basic configuration pop-up.

Make sure to give your Trigger a descriptive name.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Click Select menu bar items, and click the checkbox for Battery. After making the selection, click Done.

The Bartender Menu Bar items selector.

You can select as many Menu Bar items as you like, but you’ll probably want to limit this selection to the Battery entry.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Click Add Trigger Condition…