How to add apps to the Dock on Mac

Luckily, Dock is perfectly customizable. Today, we will teach you how to add apps to the Dock and remove them if they create clutter. 

How to add or remove apps from the Dock? 

Mac Dock’s can also get over-cluttered by too many shortcut icons to documents and folders you visit often. So much so that many people can’t tell one app or document from another. 

So before you start deleting apps and shortcuts, there are changes that can be made to the Dock settings that will tidy it up. 

Go to Preferences and open Dock. Here, you can change its size, customize the Dock’s position, and change other default settings. You can also choose to automatically hide the Dock when you don’t need it. 

However, if making those adjustments doesn't solve the problem, and you want more space for apps you are now using, you need to start removing apps from the Dock. 

How you remove and add apps to the Dock has changed over the years. It depends which macOS you are currently using as to which approach is required. The Dock also comes with a few fixed items that can’t be removed or changed, such as the Finder icon, Trash, and the divider line between where apps sit.

How to add an app to Dock? Adding an app is really simple. 

Drag the app from the Applications folder, or Desktop, into the Dock. The app itself isn't the home of that app, so removing it won’t delete the app. Instead, an alias - or shortcut is created - giving you a quick, easy link to the app you want to use. So removing an app from Dock doesn't remove it altogether; it only takes it out of the Dock. 

Here is how you do that: 

Removing apps from Dock 

  1. Quit the app you want to remove from Dock.
  2. Right-click on the app’s icon.
  3. Choose Options.
  4. Click Remove from Dock.

Repeat these steps for all other apps you want to remove from Dock. 

How to find your hidden apps? 

Some apps on your Mac are neither shown in Dock nor your Applications. These are called “shadow apps” or launch agents. Such software plays a small supporting role for other applications. Although launch agents are meant to be practical and useful, they may slow down your Mac considerably. 

I find CleanMyMac X extremely useful for finding and disabling the launch agents. This software uncovers everything you have installed on your computer.

  1. Get CleanMyMac X here
  2. Install and launch the app
  3. Go to the Optimization module
  4. Click View All (number) Items
  5. Click Launch Agents and select those you want to disable. 
  6. Click Perform.

Well done. Now your Mac performance shouldn’t be interrupted. 

Keeping the Dock tidy, you will ensure yourself quick access to the apps you use often. If you don't use some of the applications, remove them from Dock. Deleting an app from Dock doesn’t remove it from your Mac. You can then access it from Applications or Desktop.

If it seems like some app overload your CPU, consider disabling its Launch Agents. It’s also a good habit to check the Unused tab in the CleanMyMac X’s Uninstaller tab to make sure you don’t have many apps you don’t even open.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.