Mac scripts and Chromebook tips – hiding Mac applet

I’ve been thinking about adding some posts on here with tech tips.  Here’s a taste of what I’m thinking.

You’re all done creating a nice little applet for Mac OS, maybe using Apple’s built-in Script Editor.  Now you want it to run on a client computer in the background, completely hidden from view.  There are two things I always consider in this situation.  One is obvious, you want to hide the icon in the dock and menu bar.  The second consideration is to mask the identity via the process name.

Starting with the process name makes sense because it is also the easiest to change.  Simple adjust the name in the Bundle Info section, or manually adjust in the info.plist file.  Now if you open Activity monitor, instead of seeing something obvious like “Joe’s updater app” it could be more innocuous like “updagent”.  Quite frankly though, this name doesn’t matter unless you are trying to keep the end user from closing the application on purpose.

The one most people are concerned about is hiding the application from the dock and menu so it isn’t in the way during normal day-to-day activities.  This is done simply by adding a line in the info.plist file.  The line to add is:

Application is agent (UIElement) : YES

That’s it!  Now you have a hidden, and fairly covert, applet running in the background.

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