How to customise the Dock on your Mac

The Dock on your Mac is one of the most used bits of Mac OS X, it’s where you keep your most used apps, where you store the folders you often look in, and it’s where apps your currently using hide when you’ve not got them fully opened. Like most aspects of OS X the Dock is also fully customisable, and in this guide I’ll talk you through some of the most commons ways that you can customise the Dock on your Mac. I’ll explain how to add apps to the dock,  how to resize the dock, how to alter how folders are displayed and how to remove items from the Dock.

How to Add and Remove items from the Dock

Possibly the easiest way to customise your Dock is to add and remove items from it, this is as simple as dragging and dropping. To add items to the dock just pick them up with the curser and drag the to the lefthand side of the dock. If you’re doing it right the other apps will shuffle up and make room for what you’re trying to add.

To remove an icon from your dock just do the opposite, pick it up and drag it off your dock. You can either drop it on some empty space above your dock or drag it all the way to the trash on the right of the dock.

To change the order of apps the process is the same, just drag and drop icons around until they are in the order you want.

How to alter how folders are displayed on the Dock

If you’ve got a folder on your Dock there’s a number of ways you can have the dock display it. Right-Click (or two finger click) any folder on the Dock and you’ll get a menu. You’ll be able to select between grid, which is how the Apps folder displays, or Stacks, which open as vertical menus above the folder.

You’ll also be able to choose how to sort the contents of these files, I normally keep my downloads organised by Date Added so that I can always see the most recent additions, but keep my documents folder in alphabetical order. If you want to open any of these folders in finder you can use the same menu and choose the bottom “open” option to go straight to a finder window.

How to resize the Dock

To resize the Dock you need to locate the vertical divide on your Dock, this is the line that separates out the open/pinned apps you have on the left of your Dock from the folders and Trash on the right. To change the size of the dock and the icons in it just click and drag on this line, your Dock will resize accordingly.

Before you go

After spending over 20 years working with Macs, both old and new, theres a tool I think would be useful to every Mac owner who is experiencing performance issues.

CleanMyMac is highest rated all-round cleaning app for the Mac, it can quickly diagnose and solve a whole plethora of common (but sometimes tedious to fix) issues at the click of a button. It also just happens to resolve many of the issues covered in the speed up section of this site, so Download CleanMyMac to get your Mac back up to speed today.


About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

You can also follow me on: and

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.