How to Reset the Mac OS X Dock to Default Icon Set
The first time you login to a new user account, boot a fresh Mac, or a clean Mac OS X install, you’ll be presented with a default Dock selection without any customizations, which includes a variety of apps depending on the Mac hardware and what software is installed.
A common default Mac OS X Dock icon set would include apps like Launchpad, Safari, iTunes, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Photos, iMovie, Mail, Messages, and the other pre-bundled apps the Mac comes with.
Users usually are quick to customize their Docks with their own app choices, but if you ever want to reset the Dock to the default state and start anew, you can do that at any time by using a defaults command.
Reset the Mac Dock to Default State & Default Icons in Mac OS X
- Launch the Terminal and enter the following command syntax:
- Hit the Return key and you’ll discover the Dock will quit and relaunch itself into the default state with default icon choices
defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock
Now that you have the default Dock again, you can customize it as you wish and start from scratch.
Essentially all this is doing is deleting any Dock settings you have, which includes everything from the app icons included in the Dock itself, to the icon size, to the positioning of the Dock on screen, whether or not it auto-hides itself, and of course, any other Dock contents.
If you’re doing this, you may also be interested in resetting Launchpad on the Mac too. That also requires a defaults command string, as Mac OS X does not offer the same “reset Home Screen layout” option that iOS does, which would perform the equivalent of both of these tricks on the mobile side of things.