Dock basics

The Dock appears at the bottom of your screen, although you can move it to the right or left side if you prefer. The Dock provides quick access to applications, documents, and folders.


Folders in the Dock are called “stacks.” A stack can be a folder of documents or applications—anything you need to access frequently. When you click a stack, it springs open in a fan or a grid, depending on the number of items. The Dock comes with an All My Files stack, for quick access to all your documents, images, and other files, and a Downloads stack, which saves files you download from the Internet or receive as “AirDrops.” Stacks are located near the right end of the Dock.

Add items to the Dock
  • To add a document or folder, drag its icon to the Dock, and drop it to the right of the Dock’s separator line.
  • To add an application, drag its icon to the Dock, and drop it to the left of the Dock’s separator line. Or, if the application is open, Control-click its icon in the Dock and choose Options > “Keep in Dock” from the pop-up menu.
If you can’t add icons to your Dock, your administrator may have prevented you from doing so. Talk to the person who administers your computer.

Use the items in the Dock
  • For quick access to all your applications, including ones that aren’t in the Dock, click the Launchpad icon.
  • To open an item in the Dock, click its icon. You can also open a file that isn’t in the Dock by dragging its icon to the Dock icon of the application you want to use to open the file.
  • To perform various actions on an application in the Dock (such as opening or quitting the application or removing it from the Dock), Control-click the application’s icon in the Dock, and choose an option from the menu that appears.
Customize the Dock
  • To change the size or position of the Dock, or set other options, choose Apple menu > Dock > Dock Preferences.
  • To rearrange icons, drag them into the order you prefer.
  • To remove an item, drag it out of the Dock.
You can also change some Dock settings by Control-clicking the Dock’s separator line and choosing an option from the menu that appears.