Change the Dock item click-and-hold behavior in Snow Leopard

Jan 13, 2010 - 6 Comments

Snow Leopard changed the way the Dock behaves when a Dock item has been clicked on and held down, since 10.6 it launches Expose for that specific application. You may recall how Leopard handled the click-and-hold though, which was to launch the contextual menu (the same one you get when you right-click in 10.6). Using the Terminal and the defaults write command, you can alter this behavior between the 10.5 contextual-menu and 10.6 Expose style click-and-hold Dock behavior. So launch your Terminal:

Show contextual menu rather than Expose when Dock item has been clicked and held (like 10.5)
defaults write show-expose-menus -bool no; killall Dock

Revert to Expose upon click-and-hold (10.6 default)
defaults write show-expose-menus -bool yes; killall Dock

I actually like the new Expose click effect (which is slightly different in 10.6.2 than it is in 10.6), so for me this is a matter of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but to each their own.

dock expose snow leopard

via Lap Cat Software

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Chris says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’ve just solved the single most annoying problem on my computer: when I’m pushing the machine to its limits, the dock often misinterprets a simple click as a click-and-hold, which means Exposé has to activate, slowing things down even more….

  2. csleh says:

    thanks, this has been driving me NUTS. On my 10.5 computer I can quickly pause itunes from the dock, and view all downloaded items pressing an arrow — but the 10.6 laptop makes me jump thru hoops for the same things.
    I may actually update the older computer now!

  3. Love this tip!

    Here is a link to a similar wallpaper of a hazy Chicago skyline. Not the exact match, but close!

  4. I found it on Flickr but I’m not sure if I can dig up the source, I’ll post it if I can!

  5. Bailsone says:

    Yeah i also think this wallpaper is great please give us a link ;)

  6. Tudor says:

    I like the wallpaper. Where did you get it?

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