Instantly Add Item to the Mac Dock with a Keyboard Shortcut

Feb 28, 2015 - 9 Comments

Add item to the Dock of OS X with a keystroke

Just about all Mac users know that you can add items to the Dock of Mac OS X by dragging and dropping things into it, but another option, which may even be faster for some users, is to use a keyboard shortcut. With a quick keystroke, you can instantly add any item from the file system of a Mac – be it a file, folder, or application – into the Dock of Mac OS X.

This trick is pretty simple, first you’ll want to navigate to anything within the Finder. Try something in the /Applications/ folder, or select any item from anywhere in the Finder if you just want to give it a test to see how it works. Then, you just hit the proper keystrokes. Here is how it works:

Add Anything to Mac Dock Instantly with a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Navigate to the item you want to add to the Dock in the Finder
  2. Select the item to add to the Dock in Finder
  3. Now hit the keyboard shortcut: Control+Shift+Command+T

The selected item, folder, or app will now be in the Dock.

Remember that applications will add themselves to the left side of the Dock, whereas documents or folders will add themselves to the right side of the Dock.

Add to the Dock keyboard shortcut in OS X

If you did this for testing purposes with something you don’t really want to stay in the Mac Dock, remember there is a slight delay for removing Dock icons in modern versions of Mac OS.

Now that you’ve added something to the Dock with a keystroke in MacOS X, if you want you can even navigate within the Dock itself with keyboard shortcuts too, including launching apps.

And for those wondering, the Dock shown in the sample screenshots has been made transparent with these instructions.


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


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  1. Lane Jasper says:

    Anyone know of a dock addition/replacement that’ll let you put anything anywhere you want in the dock? most things like pics, url shortcuts and mp3, jpg, docs etc all will only go to the right of the divider in the last 5 OS’es




  2. Skymaster says:

    Hey, Jazz Bass, have you tried Command-Tab to cycle through running apps rather than the Force Quit Menu? Shift-Command-Tab cycles through them in the opposite direction, in case that’s a quicker trip to the app you want to bring to the front.

  3. Jazz Bass says:

    I have been using dock block to hide and keep the dock off the screen for years. I think the dock is one of the most useless features of the Mac. It eats up valuable screen real estate and gets in the way. I can access my most used apps from the Apple menu>Recent Items and when I need one that isn’t in the list it’s no big deal to go to my app menu and find what I need, which you would have to do if the app wasn’t in the dock anyway.

    You can also change programs or apps from ForceQuit menu by double clicking on the one you want. Of course I’m back in Snow Leopard which works exceedingly well and does everything I need.

    16 gigs of Ram in a 2011 Macbook Pro!!

  4. Skymaster says:

    Dragging will put the new item where you want it.
    Control-Shift-Command T puts that item at the last Dock application position above the divider bar. If that’s not where you want it, a drag is still required.

    • Lane Jasper says:

      not with all items though like a url shortcut, most things have to or should say ONLY will go there, you can’t just move them anywhere in doc, such as shortcuts, pics, docs etc. :-( . It should be ANYTHING a use wants in the doc can be there, but sadly only certain items can be put anywhere, the rest go to the right of the divider. Maybe there’s a 3rd part dock that can do this I dunno.

  5. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Good to know.

    Also found by accident if you leave off the Control key and do the same key press it will add to your favorites bar of Finder instead. Cool maybe.

  6. tom says:

    how in godsname can I rembeer all these commands
    Better to drag

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