The Dock is the area the bottom of your screen on the Mac where you can find shortcuts to apps, along with folders and minimised windows of programs you have open.
It’s a handy go-to place for nearly everything you need when using your Mac, but you can make it even more useful by customising the apps and folders that live there and changing the order so you can easily find what you are looking for.
There are lots of clever things you can do with the Dock, but here we will look specifically at how to add apps to the dock, and how to move them into the best position. If your Dock keeps vanishing, however, you may prefer to read How to fix a disappearing Dock on Mac.
How to add an app to the Dock
Adding an app to the dock is easy, there are a couple of ways to do this.
- Open the app you want to add to the Dock, since it’s not already in the Dock (or you wouldn’t be here) you may need to find the app by searching using Spotlight - press Command + Space bar and start typing the name of the app.
- Once the app is open its icon will appear in the Dock. However, as soon as you close the app the icon will disappear again. If you want it to remain in the Dock you can right click or control click on the icon in the Dock.
- From the options that appear choose Options > Keep in Dock.
Now the app icon will remain in the Dock even after you have closed the app and you will be able to click on it whenever you want to open that app.
How to rearrange the apps in the Dock
You can have shortcuts to a lot of apps in the Dock on your Mac, which can be very useful. But if you have a lot of icons in the Dock it can make it difficult to find the one you want to open.
There are a couple of ways to make it easier to find an icon. You can set your Dock so that icons are magnified when you swipe over them with your mouse or trackpad (we’ll look at how to turn magnification on and off in a different tutorial).
Here we will look at how to rearrange the icons in your Dock so that you can keep certain types of app together, or perhaps put the ones you use the most in the middle or sides of the Dock.
- All you need to do is hover your mouse pointer over an icon you wish to move.
- Click once on the icon.
- Continue to hold the mouse button and immediately drag to the new location.
- Release the button.
Speaking of shortcuts, you might find this tutorial useful: How to create shortcuts on a Mac.
How to remove an app from the Dock
How about those icons that are already in the Dock that you have never clicked on.
If you want to organise your Dock to make it easier to find program then removing those that you never use would be one way to do so.
- Locate the app icon you want to remove.
- Right-click or control-click on the icon.
- Choose Remove from Dock.
Wondering what apps are open on your Mac? Read How to view all open apps on a Mac.
We also have this tutorial on using Full Screen mode.