How do I display only open apps in the macOS Dock?


In macOS, the dock plays a rather important role. The Dock displays minimized windows, the trash can, running applications. But there is another important feature – the quick launch bar. There you can put shortcuts of the most frequently used applications and launch them if necessary with one click.

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But the more you work with your Mac, the more elements appear in the dock – you want to make this usable space as efficient as possible. But sooner or later you realize that there are already so many icons there that it already interferes. A little-known command for the Terminal application will help us, which will allow you to display only open applications in the dock.

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How do I display only running apps in the macOS Dock?

Run the program “Terminal“. In its window, you will need to write the command:

defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool true; killall Dock

How do I display only running apps in the macOS Dock?

Click on “Enter”, after which the dock will reboot. Only the trash can, minimized windows and running applications will remain in it. But the quick launch shortcuts and previously added folders will no longer be displayed. Do not be alarmed – they are not deleted, but simply not shown.

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Return to the normal dock view on Mac

If there is a desire to return to the traditional view of the dock, then enter another command in the “Terminal”:

defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool false; killall Dock

How do I display only running apps in the macOS Dock?

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Enabling the most minimalistic dock mode

Using the method described above for shrinking the dock will still place user-collapsible apps in the space to the left of the recycle bin, taking up space there. It is possible to optimize this too.

Open up AppleSystem settings → Dock and activate the option “Remove window in Dock to the program icon“.

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This will keep the dock width unchanged. When minimizing applications, they will be placed in the icon of their application, and not occupy a separate place with their icon. Note that previously opened windows will still be in the dock to the left of the Trash until you minimize them again. Then they will finally hide in the icons of their application.

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