How to Make Applications Minimize Into Their Dock Icon in Mac OS X

May 11, 2010 - 2 Comments

how to minimize apps into dock icon

You can make save a lot of clutter from showing in the Dock of Mac OS X by making applications minimize into their own Dock icon. What this means is that if you minimize an app, rather than having the little thumbnail stay on the right side of the Mac Dock, it will minimize directly into the apps icon instead. Fairly self explanatory and useful, right?

Here’s how to enable this handy little tidy Dock feature:

  • Launch System Preferences by way of the  Apple menu
  • Click on the “Dock” preference panel icon
  • Select the checkbox next to “Minimize windows into application icon” so that is checked and enabled
  • Close out of System Preferences and minimize an app to see the difference

Changes take effect immediately, all apps are now minimized into their Dock icon and can be retrieved by either clicking on the app icon within the Dock or right-clicking the Dock app icon and selecting the window directly. Yes, we have covered this tip before but it was by changing the minimize behavior via the command line, I find it much more simple to do this tricks through the GUI whenever possible.

Note this is a feature that was added in Snow Leopard (10.6), and thus users that running prior versions of OS X must rely on the defaults string method instead.

All new versions of Mac OS X continue to support this easy Dock Preferences approach, however, from Lion to Mavericks and beyond.

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Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. norm says:

    This appears to be a Snow Leapord only feature (im guessing – that checkbox isnt in my dock prefs)

  2. Jennifer G says:

    This didn’t work for me. Example, Firefox and Itunes don’t minimize into icon, they minimize into their own thing.

    Just wondering what I’m missing?

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