macOS Tips

I remember seeing a reply post somewhere here (can’t find, and if I add a reply now the date will not update so you don’t know when it is updated) I believe from a new user not overly enamoured with dock (heritage from UNIX UI I believe and of OS/2). The complaint was that the dock got in the way. My original solution was to use System Preferences to configure the ‘Dock & Menu Bar’ to:

  • Size: smallest
  • Magnification: checked and set to maximum
  • ‘Automatically hide and show the Dock’: checked

This was the best configuration for me for a long time. It freed up the dock space, and only when you moved your mouse down to edge would the dock appear. It would also be sized very small, but where your mouse pointed it would magnify so you could easily read and see the icon that you were about to select.

However, using Microsoft Remote Desktop into another computer (in full screen) the macOS dock and the Windows bar would take up effectively the same space and make it difficult to select so I wanted to figure out how to hide the dock and only have it appear when I selected it by a command key sequence. Personally, I rarely use the dock in macOS since I try to keep myself keyboard optimized… I use Alfred app (but Spotlight is now about the same as Alfred for searching for Apps) – it is much quicker to hit Command-Space and have a centered search box appear, type the first few characters of the app name… and hit enter. I was not able to find an option to completely disable the dock until a key combination was pressed… but I was able to have the delay set so large it was effectively disabled.

The following will allow you to set the delay (in my case 1000 seconds) before the dock appears (unless you hit the dock command key sequence to make it appear and disappear). The command is a terminal configuration command to set the delay to 1000 seconds.

  • defaults write autohide-delay -float 1000; killall Dock

 To restore the default behaviour:

  • defaults delete autohide-delay; killall Dock

To toggle the Dock to appear and disappear when you want it:

  • command-option-D

I recommend getting use to launching apps through spotlight (or Alfred) it will improve efficiency.

To bring up the search dialog onscreen:

  • command-space

You can then type the first few letters of the App you want to launch and press enter.

Conversation 2 comments

  • Greg Green

    14 November, 2021 - 10:12 am

    <p>Thanks, I didn’t realize I could shrink the dock.</p>

  • phil_adcock

    21 November, 2021 - 1:46 pm

    <p>I did not either, As soon as I read this, I went and did just that. It’s not tiny tiny, but much smaller and looks more fit to my desktop setup now.</p><p><br></p>

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