Access Your Preference Panes From the Mac Menu Bar With MenuPrefs

Angela Randall 16-06-2011

access preference paneAre you always on the look-out for cool hacks and nifty tricks to make your life easier? Do you get sick of wading through pages of things you don’t need just to access the things you do need? Does Apple’s System Preferences generally just annoy you?


Well, there’s a way out. The coders at iThink Software also got annoyed with Apple Preferences and decided to write MenuPrefs in order to make it more manageable. Now, instead of click after click, you can now access all of your favourite Apple Preference Panes via the Menu Bar. Finally, there’s now a quick way to access your sound preferences, turn Growl on and off and change your energy saving settings. It’s all just there.

What Does MenuPrefs Do?

MenuPrefs is a simple application which runs in the Menu Bar system wide, allowing access to your Apple System Preferences. Users can choose which preference panes to list in MenuPrefs and re-arrange the order of the list. This means that sysadmins can limit the preferences list to just what’s available for users to change. Other users might limit it to just their most regularly-used preferences.

Get MenuPrefs

MenuPrefs is free and available from the iThink Software website. They’ve made public a serial number for use with the older version while they work on making an entirely freeware product ready for use.

Registration Name: MenuPrefs Freeware User
Serial Number: MP200ST001-E4E4-81NH-JF5C-DW26-G5HC

Installation is about as easy as it gets: just open the DMG and drag the application to the Applications folder. Then when you start it, enter the Freeware license given.

access preference pane


The MenuPrefs icon is now in your MenuBar and is ready to use.

preference pane mac

Modifying MenuPrefs

When you start using MenuPrefs you’ll soon see that the list of preferences is rather long. There’s also a “Show All” item to take you to the regular System Preferences pane.

To make changes to your MenuPrefs list, choose the “Preferences” option at the bottom of the list.


preference pane mac

The preferences let you choose to open MenuPrefs on startup, which is handy if you want to keep using it. You can also choose whether to show icons in the menu and how big those icons should be.

access preference pane

The list order can be changed to Name order, Location order, Category Order or Custom Order. Location order separates the list similarly to within System Preferences.


Custom order should let you choose which preferences to show in the list, including separators and a custom order. It’s a little buggy for me though and won’t make the changes.

More About Mac Preferences

If you’re keen on tweaking your system, you’ll probably also want to read about these preference changes you can make to your Mac:

So, is MenuPrefs something you’ve really wanted for a while? Is there anything the developer can do to improve the app? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Bill
    June 17, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Snard by Gideon softworks does that, plus you can also (optionally) put apps or documents in the menu as well.

    • Angela Alcorn
      June 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

      That sounds pretty awesome too!