How to Remove App Icons from Mac Dock

Dec 18, 2019 - 6 Comments

How to remove app icons from the Mac Dock

Want to remove an application from the Dock on Mac? You can easily remove app icons from the Mac Dock. This can offer a simple way to reduce clutter of the Mac Dock, but also to remove unwanted or unused apps from the Dock, or even just to customize the Dock for your personal preferences.

Removing app icons from the Mac Dock is simple and aside from removing it from the Dock it has no impact on the application. This will not uninstall the app or remove it from the Macintosh otherwise, it simply removes the app icon from the Dock.

How to Remove Applications from Mac Dock

Here’s how you can remove any app icon from the Dock in MacOS:

  1. Locate the app you want to remove the Mac Dock
  2. Click and hold on the app icon
  3. How to remove app icons from the Mac Dock

  4. Now drag the app icon out of the Dock while holding the click, continue holding as you drag until you see the “Remove” text appear on the icon
  5. How to remove app icons from the Mac Dock

  6. Let go of the click to remove that app icon from the Mac Dock
  7. How to remove app icons from the Mac Dock

  8. Repeat with other app icons to remove them from the Mac Dock too

You can remove just about every app icon from the Mac Dock if you’d like to, though Finder, active apps, and Trash will always remain the Dock.

Remember, you can not remove an app icon from the Dock that is currently running. You can tell an app is running as signified by the app status icons, which are little dots underneath the Dock icon; if you see a dot under the app icon, it’s running and active, if you do not, then it’s not open or active. There is an exception to this however, and that’s if you disabled the app icon status icons in System Preferences.

This applies to all versions of MacOS and Mac OS X, but there are some minor changes depending on the precise system version you’re running. For example, on some earlier versions of Mac OS X, you had to click and drag an app icon out of the Dock and then wait a bit longer for a cloud icon to appear on the icon but the ‘Remove’ label did not appear, instead you’d simply release the app icon and it would disappear into a poof with a little sound effect. That whimsical touch was removed in modern MacOS releases, however.

Adding app icons back into the Mac Dock is just as easy, just drag and drop them into the Mac Dock and position them wherever you’d like them to be. Easy as always.

If you remove (or add) too many things from the Mac Dock and regret your changes, remember that you can always reset the Mac Dock to the default icon set if you’d like to start over from scratch.

The Mac Dock has other customizations available for it too, and don’t forget that you can relocate the Mac Dock screen position with ease to any side of the screen, and you can also set the Mac Dock to automatically hide or show itself with the cursor.

If you enjoyed this tip, we’ve got tons of other Dock tips available for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so check those out too.

Do you keep your Mac Dock simple, stock, or customized? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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


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  1. Chris Bradley says:

    nice easy instructions! thanks

  2. Catalina installs Podcast and Apple TV icons in the dock. To remove those and other items from the dock, I held down the “Control” button and dragged the item out of the dock. While keeping the “Control” button depressed, I selected “Option” from the pop-up screen, and “Remove from dock.”

  3. Ivan says:


    I do the same with simply right click on the icon, pick “option” and “remove from dock”.

    But anyway result is the same!

    All the best from Slovenia!

  4. RM says:

    Seems obvious for some experienced users, but most people have no idea how to add/remove items from the dock. Always good to have these tips for those folks. thank you

    • Di Keller says:

      Have to agree with this. While I quite often get annoyed with Apple for what they force upon us, this site has been very helpful to me .

      Definitely the best at explaining simply.

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