Menu Bar Commands ᵇᵉᵗᵃ
As of version 1.38.1, you can create Raycast commands that place glanceable information in your menu bar!
The MenuBarExtra component can be used to create commands which populate the extras section of macOS' menu bar.

Getting Started

If you don't have an extension yet, follow the getting started guide and then return to this page. Now that your extension is ready, let's open its package.json file and add a new entry to its commands array, ensuring its mode property is set to menu-bar. For this guide, let's add the following:
{
"name": "github-pull-requests",
"title": "Pull Requests",
"subtitle": "GitHub",
"description": "See your GitHub pull requests at a glance",
"mode": "menu-bar"
},
Check out the command properties entry in the manifest file documentation for more detailed information on each of those properties.
Create github-pull-requests.tsx in your extensions src/ folder and add the following:
import { MenuBarExtra } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon="https://github.githubassets.com/favicons/favicon.png" tooltip="Your Pull Requests">
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Seen" />
<MenuBarExtra.Item
title="Example Seen Pull Request"
onAction={() => {
console.log("seen pull request clicked");
}}
/>
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Unseen" />
<MenuBarExtra.Item
title="Example Unseen Pull Request"
onAction={() => {
console.log("unseen pull request clicked");
}}
/>
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}
If your development server is running, the command should appear in your root search, and running the command should result in the GitHub icon appearing in your menu bar.
GitHub Pull Requests menu bar command
macOS has the final say on whether a given menu bar extra is displayed. If you have a lot of items there, it is possible that the command we just ran doesn't show up. If that's the case, try to clear up some space in the menu bar, either by closing some of the items you don't need or by hiding them using HiddenBar, Bartender, or similar apps.
Of course, our pull request command wouldn't be of that much use if we had to tell it to update itself every single time. To add background refresh to our command, we need to open the package.json file we modified earlier and add an interval key to the command configuration object:
{
"name": "github-pull-requests",
"title": "Pull Requests",
"subtitle": "GitHub",
"description": "See your GitHub pull requests at a glance",
"mode": "menu-bar",
"interval": "5m"
}
Your root search should look similar to:
Menu Bar Command - Activate Background Refresh
Running it once should activate it to:
Menu Bar Command - Refresh

Lifecycle

Although menu-bar commands can result in items permanently showing up in the macOS menu bar, they are not long-lived processes. Instead, as with other commands, Raycast loads them into memory on demand, executes their code and then tries to unload them at the next convenient time. There are five distinct events that can result in a menu-bar's item being placed in the menu bar, so let's walk through each one.
Same as any other commands, menu-bar commands can be run directly from Raycast's root search. Eventually, they may result in a new item showing up in your menu bar (if you have enough room and if the command returns a MenuBarExtra), or in a previous item disappearing, if the command returns null. In this case, Raycast will load your command code, execute it, wait for the MenuBarExtra's isLoading prop to switch to false, and unload the command.
If your command returns a MenuBarExtra, it must either not set isLoading - in which case Raycast will render and immediately unload the command, or set it to true while it's performing an async task (such as an API call) and then set it to false once it's done. Same as above, Raycast will load the command code, execute it, wait for MenuBarExtra's isLoading prop to switch to false, and then unload the command.

At a set interval

If your menu-bar command also makes use of background refresh and it has background refresh activated, Raycast will run the command at set intervals. In your command, you can use environment.launchType to check whether it is launched in the background or by the user.
To ease testing, commands configured to run in the background have an extra action in development mode:

When the user clicks the command's icon / title in the menu bar

One of the bigger differences to view or no-view commands is that menu-bar commands have an additional entry point: when the user clicks their item in the menu bar. If the item has a menu (i.e. MenuBarExtra provides at least one child), Raycast will load the command code, execute it and keep it in memory while the menu is open. When the menu closes (either by the user clicking outside, or by clicking a MenuBarExtra.Item), the command is then unloaded.

When Raycast is restarted

This case assumes that your command has run at least once, resulting in an item being placed in the menu bar. If that's the case, quitting and starting Raycast again should put the same item in your menu bar. However, that item will be restored from Raycast's database - not by loading and executing the command.

When a menu bar command is re-enabled in preferences

This case should work the same as when Raycast is restarted.

Best practices

  • make generous use of the Cache API and our Utilities in order to provide quick feedback and ensure action handlers work as expected
  • make sure you set isLoading to false when your command finishes executing
  • avoid setting long titles in MenuBarExtra, MenuBarExtra.Submenu or MenuBarExtra.Item
  • don't put identical MenuBarExtra.Items at the same level (direct children of MenuBarExtra or in the same Submenu) as their onAction handlers will not be executed correctly
  • don't rely on state updates triggered by onAction handlers as your command might not have time to execute & re-render

API Reference

Adds an item to the menu bar, optionally with a menu attached in case its children prop is non-empty.
menu-bar commands don't always need to return a MenuBarExtra. Sometimes it makes sense to remove an item from the menu bar, in which case you can write your command logic to return null instead.

Example

import { Icon, MenuBarExtra, open } from "@raycast/api";
import { useBookmarks } from "./hooks";
export default function Command() {
const [newBookmarks, archivedBookmarks, isLoading] = useBookmarks();
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark} isLoading={isLoading}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="New" />
{newBookmarks.map((bookmark) => (
<MenuBarExtra.Item key={bookmark.url} title={bookmark.name} onAction={() => open(bookmark.url)} />
))}
<MenuBarExtra.Separator />
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Archived" />
{archivedBookmarks.map((bookmark) => (
<MenuBarExtra.Item key={bookmark.url} title={bookmark.name} onAction={() => open(bookmark.url)} />
))}
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}

Props

Prop
Description
Type
Default
children
MenuBarExtra.Items, MenuBarExtra.Submenus, MenuBarExtra.Separator or a mix of either.
React.ReactNode
-
icon
The icon that is displayed in the menu bar.
-
isLoading
Indicates to Raycast that it should not unload the command, as it is still executing. If you set make use of isLoading, you need to make sure you set it to false at the end of the task you are executing (such as an API call), so Raycast can then unload the command.
boolean
false
title
The string that is displayed in the menu bar.
string
-
tooltip
A tooltip to display when the cursor hovers the item in the menu bar.
string
-
An item in the MenuBarExtra or in a MenuBarExtra.Submenu.

Example

ItemWithTitle.tsx
ItemWithTitleAndIcon.tsx
ItemWithAction.tsx
An item that only provides a title prop will be rendered as disabled. Use this to create section titles.
import { Icon, MenuBarExtra } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Raycast.com" />
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}
Similarly, an item that provides a title and an icon prop will also be rendered as disabled.
import { Icon, MenuBarExtra } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item icon="raycast.png" title="Raycast.com" />
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}
An item that provides an onAction prop alongside title (and optionally icon) will not be rendered as disabled. When users click this item in the menu bar, the action handler will be executed.
import { Icon, MenuBarExtra, open } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item icon="raycast.png" title="Raycast.com" onAction={() => open("https://raycast.com")} />
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}

Props

Prop
Description
Type
Default
title*
The main title displayed for this item.
string
-
icon
An optional icon for this item.
-
shortcut
A shortcut used to invoke this item when its parent menu is open.
-
tooltip
A tooltip to display when the cursor hovers the item.
string
-
onAction
An action handler called when the user clicks the item.
() => void
-
MenuBarExtra.Submenus reveal their items when people interact with them. They're a good way to group items that naturally belong together, but keep in mind that submenus add complexity to your interface - so use them sparingly!

Example

Bookmarks.tsx
DisabledSubmenu.tsx
import { Icon, MenuBarExtra, open } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item icon="raycast.png" title="Raycast.com" onAction={() => open("https://raycast.com")} />
<MenuBarExtra.Submenu icon="github.png" title="GitHub">
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Pull Requests" onAction={() => open("https://github.com/pulls")} />
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Issues" onAction={() => open("https://github.com/issues")} />
</MenuBarExtra.Submenu>
<MenuBarExtra.Submenu title="Disabled"></MenuBarExtra.Submenu>
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}
Submenus with no children will show up as disabled.
import { Icon, MenuBarExtra, open } from "@raycast/api";
export default function Command() {
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark}>
<MenuBarExtra.Submenu title="Disabled"></MenuBarExtra.Submenu>
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}

Props

Prop
Description
Type
Default
title*
The main title displayed for this submenu.
string
-
children
MenuBarExtra.Items, MenuBarExtra.Submenus, MenuBarExtra.Separator or a mix of either.
React.ReactNode
-
icon
An optional icon for this submenu.
-
An item that shows a separator line. Use it for grouping and visually separating menu items.

Example

import { Icon, MenuBarExtra, open } from "@raycast/api";
import { useBookmarks } from "./hooks";
export default function Command() {
const [newBookmarks, archivedBookmarks, isLoading] = useBookmarks();
return (
<MenuBarExtra icon={Icon.Bookmark} isLoading={isLoading}>
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="New" />
{newBookmarks.map((bookmark) => (
<MenuBarExtra.Item key={bookmark.url} title={bokmark.name} onAction={() => open(bookmark.url)} />
))}
<MenuBarExtra.Separator />
<MenuBarExtra.Item title="Archived" />
{archivedBookmarks.map((bookmark) => (
<MenuBarExtra.Item key={bookmark.url} title={bokmark.name} onAction={() => open(bookmark.url)} />
))}
</MenuBarExtra>
);
}