How to Hide Recent & Suggested Apps from iPad Dock in iPadOS 13 / iOS 12 / iOS 11

Oct 26, 2017 - 27 Comments

Recent Apps and Suggested Apps in iPad Dock

One of the various new features introduced to iPad with modern iOS is a revamped Dock, complete with a new Recent and Suggested Apps section that appears on the far right side of the iPad Dock, delineated by a faint separator line.

Most iPad users will appreciate having the Suggested Apps and Recent Apps section allowing for easy access to apps that were accessed recently or that are often used, but for those who don’t want to see those Dock items they can be disabled. Maybe you prefer minimalism, or maybe you don’t want to offer any leads on what apps you were recently using or use often. In any event, here’s how to hide and disable the Suggested and Recent Apps feature of the Dock for iPad in iOS.

Note the Suggested and Recent Apps capability is only available to iPad users with iOS 11 or later installed on their device, neither the setting or feature is available in earlier iOS releases or on other iOS devices.

How to Disable Suggested and Recent Apps in Dock for iPad

By disabling the suggested and recent apps feature in the Dock, those apps will be hidden and no longer appear in iPad Dock, this is a simple settings change:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPad and go to “General” and then to “Multitasking & Dock”
  2. Locate “Show Suggested and Recent Apps” and toggle OFF to hide the feature from the Dock on iPad

Disable Show Recent Suggested Apps in iPad Dock

Once the setting has been turned off, if you return to the Home Screen or flick open Control Center on iPad you will notice the right side of the Dock has fewer icons visible now.

Recent Apps disabled in iPad Dock

The “Show Suggested and Recent Apps” feature will show up to three apps that are either suggested or recent. The suggested apps are learned and generated over time based on app usage habits, and the list will change periodically throughout the day and periodically depending on what apps you’re using.

How to Show Suggested & Recent Apps on iPad Dock

Of course you can reverse this setting any time and enable the suggested and recent apps feature as well:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPad and go to “General”
  2. Now go to “Multitasking & Dock”
  3. Under the “Dock” section locate “Show Suggested and Recent Apps” and toggle ON to show the apps feature on the right side of iPad Dock

Returning to the Home Screen or the Control Center to reveal the iPad Dock will show the recent apps feature available and visible again.

Recent Apps and Suggested Apps visible in Dock for iPad

What about the other Dock icon that sometimes appears on the far right side of iPad Dock?

If you disable “Show Suggested and Recent Apps” and still find an occasional icon appearing on the far right side of the iPad Dock, like what is shown in the screenshots here, that icon is likely from Handoff. The Handoff capability is identified by a little device badge hovering over the app icon, and the Handoff feature lets you pass app sessions from one iOS device to another iOS device or Mac, and vice versa. To hide that apps Dock icon as well, you’d need to disable Handoff on the iPad.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Moi says:

    Thank you! This was the actual solution! I already did what the article mentioned, but the third solution you mentioned is what solved it!

  2. RobH says:

    Well I have tried everyone of your suggestions to get rid of this unwanted, unrequested and unappreciated feature. Not a single one has made one iota of difference. The damned thing is still there on Messenger.
    I do not want this, I did not ask for this and I certainly do not appreciate it foisting itself upon my iPad.
    Mr Apple please provide a simple YES/NO switch for it.

  3. Casey says:

    This was helpful although not without the comments as well.
    I discovered THREE things that effect the dock, that need to be turned off.
    1)The recent app toggle switch that was in the article (Under general settings/multitasking & dock)
    2)The handoff toggle switch, that was mentioned oh so briefly. (Under general settings/handoff)
    3)swipe right to get the the search screen, scroll down to edit at the the bottom of the screen. Delete Siri app suggestions from the widget list.

  4. Luke Robertson says:

    Hi. Just figured out a solution (worked on my 2016 iPad Pro 9.7”). Click and hold until it wobbles and then drag it DOWNWARDS. This fixed it for me 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

    • Cat says:

      Doesn’t work for me. Can’t even drag it downwards very far. None of the solutions in this thread works. I can’t seem to edit the “Siri Suggested Apps” box on what I assume is the “Today” screen. That alarm clock icon is making me nuts. This is more than frustating. The multiple problems I’ve had with all of my Apple devices is making me want to leave Apple forever.

      • Marcello says:

        I’m slowly starting to get that vibe too. Wanting to leave Apple forever… It used to be, one could configure the dock as one saw fit. It wouldn’t tell you stuff like “Getting rid of screen time will not turn off screen time, etc.,” for Apple to assume that “most” Apple users find this feature useful is a complete bogus affirmation; I, for one, don’t care for it; not an iota! And where the frack did my news option disappear to??? 😑 I only got into Apple because your music-making protocols are the best ones out there, but others are catching up. Stop bringing unnecessary changes with each update and remember the old adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 😓

  5. Paul Holmes says:

    I would also like to get rid of the icons that have the alarm clock icon from the dock. I want an uncluttered home screen of my choosing, not a screen that somebody else decides I must have.

  6. Peter says:

    Is there a way to make the dock not pop up while I am scrolling through a webpage or news article? Both are littered with ads and pictures that are way to eager to go full screen when I don’t want them to, and sometimes the only safe part of the screen to scroll from is near the bottom. This causes the dock to pop up when I don’t want it to, because I never want it to. Now that the timeline for videos is also at the bottom of the screen, trying to rewind or fast forward a video brings up the dock and interupts the process. I know the Apple engineers are super proud of their new “feature”, but I find it irritating AF.

  7. Brit says:

    This doesn’t work for me: I have an iPad Air that I use for work, but I have the Netflix app on it. The Netflix app is showing on the far right of the dock with an alarm symbol on it, but nothing I do removes it. I’ve tried switching off the suggested/recent apps, but this just removes any other suggested or recent app, not the Netflix one. It’s driving me crazy!
    I watch downloaded shows on the bus to and from work. If this is Siri showing me that I normally use Netflix at this time, that’s of absolutely no help to me whatsoever.

  8. Andrew says:

    Okay, now how do I get rid of apps on the far right that have a little alarm clock symbol on them? I turned off both handoff and recent/suggested apps, and it remains. The only apps that I use are already in the dock, so having them in the dock again, showing up just as I’m trying to click on something so I click on the next thing over instead, is very frustrating.

    • Randy says:

      I have the same frustrating problem. After reading up at Apple support, I found an answer. In the today screen (swiping left to right), I edited the “Siri recommended apps”. Actually removed it from the Today list! Seems to have worked for me! No more annoying icon with little alarm clock! Hope this helps.

  9. Diana says:

    What are some good uses for an iPad, other than web browsing, checking mail or watching a movie? I am trying to justify getting one.

    • John R says:

      Diana, I wanted the 256GB 10.5″ iPad Pro for doing most of what I do on my iMac, but in my comfy chair, the tub, the garage, riding in a car, and yes, the commode, sorry. Also I see my entire photo library, play all my music, listen to audiobooks, send text & email, answer & make phone calls using wifi at home, control both my TV & my iMac from my comfy chair, take gorgeous photos anywhere/edit them, then save them to the cloud if I choose. Oh, tell me the time and wake me up.

      If it could cook, that would be nice. :)

  10. ds9 says:

    The Safari icon stayed, as it has the ‘handoff’ mode applied. Small icon on the safari icon. As stated, disable Hand-off, and icons in that mode will not show in the dock.

  11. Ursula Dick says:

    In disabling the suggested and recent apps, is there a reason the Safari icon, on the far right hand side of the dock in your example, stays on the dock?

    • Louie says:

      Yes. The reason why that icon stays in the dock is that it got there because of the handoff feature that lets you pass app sessions from one device to another (hence the little badge on its top right corner. They did mention that near the end of the article.

    • DCJ001 says:

      You probably have another device, like a Mac, with a website open in Safari, and Handoff is suggesting that you can open the website on this device too.

    • Haute Deux says:

      That is specifically explained in the article under the header “What about the other Dock icon that sometimes appears on the far right side of iPad Dock?”

      Sometimes I think people on the internet should have to answer a quiz about what they’re about to comment on before they can comment online, it’s clear the majority of people read a headline only then jump right to the comments. Nobody reads anymore, total ADHD generation.

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