How to Add a Website Shortcut to Dock on Mac

Jul 10, 2016 - 19 Comments

Add a website shortcut to the Dock on Mac OS X

A nice way to quickly visit your favorite website(s) is to add a website shortcut for that site to the Dock on Mac OS X. Once a website shortcut has been added to the Dock, simply clicking on it will both launch the browser and immediately load that site.


While you can add URLs to the Dock from every web browser, we’re going to focus on Safari here. This works in all versions of Mac OS X, so it should not matter what version of system software the Mac is running.

Adding Website Shortcuts from Safari to the Dock on Mac OS X

Here’s how to add a website shortcut with Safari and place that into the Dock for quick launching in Mac OS:

  1. Open Safari on the Mac and visit a website you want to add a shortcut for (for example, the excellent osxdaily.com)
  2. Click and hold on the URL link in the URL bar, then drag the URL down to the right-side of the Dock on the Mac
  3. Release the click and the website URL has now been added to the Dock as a shortcut
  4. Add a website shortcut to the Dock in Mac OS X

Now when you click on that shortcut from the Mac Dock, you’ll instantly open Safari and a new browser window to that website.

Add a website shortcut to the Dock on Mac OS X

You can repeat this trick to add multiple websites to the Dock for quick access if desired.

If you’re having trouble with clicking and dragging the URL, you can also grab the websites bookmark icon and drag that into the Dock as well (which is how this trick works in some of the other web browsers as well, so if you’re using something other than Safari try that approach).

Another helpful tip if you’re having difficulty getting this to work as intended, is to be sure to drag the URL to the right side of the Dock, not the left side. There is a faint divider which separates the two, and only the right-side can accept files, folders, and URL links. The left side of the Dock is for apps only.

This approach offers a quick and easy way to access a frequently visited website from anywhere on the Mac, similar to adding website bookmarks to the iOS home screen. Of course you can always just add bookmarks into Safari, Chrome, Opera, or Firefox as well, but those require you to be within the app to have access to their bookmarks, whereas this approach will open the browser and the website directly.

This probably goes without saying, but if you click the new Dock icon when the web browser is closed or quit, the web browser will launch again and load the URL that was bookmarked into the Dock. So if you created the bookmark in Safari, then Safari will open – that bookmark association persists even if your default web browser changes – so that is something to keep in mind.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

19 Comments

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  1. Carl Hammel says:

    Does not work for me using a two-year old MB Pro running El Capitan 10.11.5. I first have to drag that URL to the desktop, then drag and drop the resulting icon onto the Dock. Multiple tries to move the URL directly to the Dock failed.

  2. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Works exactly as described thanks

  3. Bruce Potts says:

    2014 27″ SSD iMac. 10.11.5 Doesn’t work.

    • tuqqer says:

      bruce: I think I have that same identical Mac. works here. Are you sure you’re dragging the URL to the correct section of the Dock. There are two sections: one for Apps, and the other for Files and Folders. Drag it to that section.

  4. Bize1 says:

    How do we change the icon

    • Nealt says:

      Drag the URL to the desktop. Then Right click on it and choose “Get Info”. You can then copy and paste any icon to the icon shown in the upper left side of the URL “get info” dialog box.
      Then move it to the dock.

  5. PeteW says:

    I’ve made a folder in the documents folder called Links (or whatever you like) and put subfolders with different titles in that Links folder. Then drag any url you encounter into the desired subfolder. Drag the Links folder into the Doc and you’re good to go for pretty much infinite links. It opens Safari when you click on any link.

  6. Mark says:

    Depending on what version of OS X you’ll get a different icon, mines an @ on a spring, It would be helpful if the icon reflected the websites bookmark icon otherwise we are going to have a handful of identical icons to choose from.

    To be honest if you’re only going to have one site that you go to first then just make that the safari home page, and other very frequently used sites in the favourites bar.

  7. Jacob says:

    If people like this feature, try fluid app (fluidapp.com). I’m a big fan and it’s free, with upgradable features.

  8. NobodySpecial says:

    I liked it better when doing this created an “@” sign on a spring. The icon of the world may make more sense as in “world wide web”, but the @ sign on a spring was just cool!

  9. Stephen says:

    I have Safari 11.0 and macOS Sierra 10.12.6 (both are most recent update as of 9/22/17)
    This doesn’t work for me. Anyone know if they’ve removed this feature since 2016??

  10. Richard says:

    For those using Safari, why crowd the Dock, instead of using Safari’s Favourite bar, on which I have listed 29 websites that I use almost daily. To fit them all in I rename them. For the Stockmarket I substitute $, my bank €, this site OSX etc.. I have Safari in the Dock, but I usually launch it by pressing a button on my Logitech MX Anywhere 2 mouse. I prefer this system as it’s very fast, and particularly convenient when Safari is already open.

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