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➖ Menubar

High level way to create menubar desktop applications with Electron.

This module provides boilerplate for setting up a menubar application using Electron. All you have to do is point it at your index.html and menubar will handle the rest.

✅ Only one dependency, and one peer-dependency.

✅ Works on macOS, Windows and most Linuxes. See details.

✅ 💥 3.6kB minified + gzipped 💥

macOS Mojave 10.14 Windows 10 Ubuntu 18.04


yarn add menubar


Starting with your own new project, run these commands:

$ yarn add menubar
$ touch myApp.js
$ touch index.html

Fill index.html with some HTML, and myApp.js like this:

const { menubar } = require('menubar');

const mb = menubar();

mb.on('ready', () => {
  console.log('app is ready');
  // your app code here

Then use electron to run the app:

$ electron myApp.js

Alternatively, see examples/hello-world folder for a simple working example.

Menubar Class

The return value of menubar() is a Menubar class instance, which has these properties:

  • app: the Electron App instance,
  • window: the Electron Browser Window instance,
  • tray: the Electron Tray instance,
  • positioner: the Electron Positioner instance,
  • setOption(option, value): change an option after menubar is created,
  • getOption(option): get an menubar option,
  • showWindow(): show the menubar window,
  • hideWindow(): hide the menubar window

See the reference API docs.

menubar() Options

You can pass an optional options object into the menubar({ ... }) function:

  • dir (default process.cwd()) - the app source directory
  • index (default file:// + opts.dir + index.html) - The URL to load the menubar's browserWindow with. The url can be a remote address (e.g. http://) or a path to a local HTML file using the file:// protocol.
  • browserWindow - BrowserWindow options to be passed to the BrowserWindow constructor, see Electron docs. Some interesting fields to passed down are:
    • x (default undefined) - the x position of the window
    • y (default undefined) - the y position of the window
    • width (default 400) - window width
    • height (default 400) - window height
    • alwaysOnTop (default false) - if true, the window will not hide on blur
  • icon (default opts.dir + IconTemplate.png) - the png icon to use for the menubar. A good size to start with is 20x20. To support retina, supply a 2x sized image (e.g. 40x40) with @2x added to the end of the name, so icon.png and icon@2x.png and Electron will automatically use your @2x version on retina screens.
  • tooltip (default empty) - menubar tray icon tooltip text
  • tray (default created on-the-fly) - an electron Tray instance. if provided opts.icon will be ignored
  • preloadWindow (default false) - Create BrowserWindow instance before it is used -- increasing resource usage, but making the click on the menubar load faster.
  • loadUrlOptions - (default undefined) The options passed when loading the index URL in the menubar's browserWindow. Everything browserWindow.loadURL supports is supported; this object is simply passed onto browserWindow.loadURL
  • showOnAllWorkspaces (default true) - Makes the window available on all OS X workspaces.
  • windowPosition (default trayCenter and trayBottomCenter on Windows) - Sets the window position (x and y will still override this), check positioner docs for valid values.
  • showDockIcon (default false) - Configure the visibility of the application dock icon.
  • showOnRightClick (default false) - Show the window on 'right-click' event instead of regular 'click'

See the reference API docs.


The Menubar class is an event emitter:

  • ready - when menubar's tray icon has been created and initialized, i.e. when menubar is ready to be used. Note: this is different than Electron app's ready event, which happens much earlier in the process
  • create-window - the line before new BrowserWindow() is called
  • before-load - after create window, before loadUrl (can be used for require("@electron/remote/main").enable(webContents))
  • after-create-window - the line after all window init code is done and url was loaded
  • show - the line before window.show() is called
  • after-show - the line after window.show() is called
  • hide - the line before window.hide() is called (on window blur)
  • after-hide - the line after window.hide() is called
  • after-close - after the .window (BrowserWindow) property has been deleted
  • focus-lost - emitted if always-on-top option is set and the user clicks away

Compatibility with Electron

menubar Electron Notes
9.x.x 9.x.x | 10.x.x | 11.x.x | 12.x.x | 13.x.x | 14.x.x | 15.x.x | 16.x.x | 17.x.x | 18.x.x | 19.x. | 20.x. | 21.x.x | 22.x.x | 23.x.x. | 24.x.x. | 25.x.x. | 26.x.x. | 27.x.x.
8.x.x 8.x.x
7.x.x 7.x.x
6.x.x 4.x.x | 5.x.x | 6.x.x Not recommended for security reasons
<= 5.x.x <= 3.x.x Please, please don't use these old versions

API Docs

See the reference API docs.


  • Use mb.on('after-create-window', callback) to run things after your app has loaded. For example you could run mb.window.openDevTools() to open the developer tools for debugging, or load a different URL with mb.window.loadURL()
  • Use mb.on('focus-lost') if you would like to perform some operation when using the option browserWindow.alwaysOnTop: true
  • To restore focus of previous window after menubar hide, use mb.on('after-hide', () => { mb.app.hide() } ) or similar
  • To create a native menu, you can use tray.setContextMenu(contextMenu), and pass this custom tray to menubar: const mb = menubar({ tray });. See this example for more information.
  • To avoid a flash when opening your menubar app, you can disable backgrounding the app using the following: mb.app.commandLine.appendSwitch('disable-backgrounding-occluded-windows', 'true');

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