Use the Dock on Mac
The Dock on the Mac desktop is a convenient place to access apps and features (like Siri, Launchpad, and the Trash) that you’re likely to use every day. The Dock can show up to three recently used apps that aren’t already in the Dock and a folder for items you download from the internet.
Open items in the Dock
In the Dock on your Mac, do any of the following:
Open an app: Click the app icon. For example, to open the Finder, click the Finder icon in the Dock.
Open a file in an app: Drag the file over an app’s icon. For example, to open a document you created in Pages, drag the document over the Pages icon in the Dock.
Show an item in the Finder: Command-click the item’s icon.
Switch to the previous app and hide the current app: Option-click the current app’s icon.
Switch to another app and hide all other apps: Option-Command-click the icon of the app you want to switch to.
You can Control-click an item to display a shortcut menu of other actions to take, such as open or close an app, open a recent document, and more.
If an app stops responding, you can Force Quit the app from the Dock (you may lose unsaved changes). Control-Option-click the app’s icon, then choose Force Quit.
Add or remove Dock items
On your Mac, do any of the following:
Add an item to the Dock: Drag apps to the left side of (or above) the line that separates the recently used apps. Drag files and folders to the right side of (or below) the other line that separates recently used apps. An alias for the item is placed in the Dock.
Remove an item from the Dock: Drag the item out of the Dock until you see Remove. Only the alias is removed; the actual item remains on your Mac.
If you accidentally remove an app icon from the Dock, it’s easy to put it back (the app is still on your Mac). Open the app to make its icon appear again in the Dock. Control-click the app’s icon, then choose Options > Keep in Dock.
You can also rearrange items in the Dock—just drag an item to a new location.
Customize the Dock
On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Dock.
Change the options you want.
For example, you can change how items appear in the Dock, adjust its size and position, or even hide it.
To learn about the options, click the Help button in the pane.
To quickly adjust the Dock’s size, place the pointer over the separator line until a double arrow appears, then drag the Dock to make it larger or smaller. Or Control-click the separator and choose an action from the shortcut menu.
You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate to the Dock. Press Control-F3 (Control-Fn-F3 on a portable Mac) to move to the Dock. Then use the Left Arrow and Right Arrow keys to move from icon to icon. Press Return to open an item.
A red badge on an icon in the Dock indicates you need to take one or more actions in an app or System Preferences. For example, a red badge on the Mail icon in the Dock indicates you have new emails to read.