How to fix a disappearing Dock on a Mac computer in 3 different ways

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Mac computers offer several ways to address your missing or disappearing Dock issue. MacFormat Magazine/Getty Images
  • You can fix a disappearing Dock on a Mac computer through a few troubleshooting methods.
  • Your Mac Dock keeps a selection of commonly used apps along the bottom edge of your screen for quick access.
  • While the Dock is usually visible on the screen, it can disappear with no clear way to get it back.
  • Your Mac’s Dock doesn’t show up in full screen mode, and it can be set to disappear automatically, so troubleshoot these issues first.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories .

The Mac Dock comes pre-loaded with some of your system’s most-used applications. You can also customise which applications are included in the Dock.

Sometimes that Dock can disappear, making navigating your Mac more tedious. The upgrade to Mac’s Catalina OS, for example, has seen users complain that their settings are automatically changed, so the Dock disappears by default.

If you’re in full screen mode, it’s important to note the Dock will not show up. To do so, disable fullscreen mode by hitting the “Esc” key and hitting the green button in the top left corner.

You can also check whether your Dock is set to hide automatically by moving your cursor over the bottom edge of your screen and seeing if it reappears.

If neither of these things is the reason, sometimes adjusting your settings can often make your Dock reappear. Here’s how to get your Dock back.

How to fix a disappearing Dock on a Mac in System Preferences

1. Click the Apple logo in your Mac’s upper left corner.

2. Scroll down to “System Preferences.”

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This is the second option in the dropdown menu. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

3. Select “Dock.”

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The logo will appear mostly black with what looks to be little apps along the icon’s bottom. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

4. If “Automatically hide and show the Dock” is checked, uncheck the box next to it.

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You can also choose to show open applications, animate Dock icon when you click them, and more. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

How to fix a disappearing Dock on a Mac by restarting the Dock

1. Click on your desktop screen until you see the “Finder” menu appear in the top left corner.

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It should appear in the top left next to the Apple icon. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

2. Click on “File.”

3. Select “New Finder Window.”

4. Select the “Utilities” icon.

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Utilities will be represented by a blue folder. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

5. Launch the Terminal.

6. Paste or write “killall Dock” into the Terminal window to turn off the Dock and automatically restart it.

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A solid black box with white lettered coding should appear. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

How to fix a disappearing Dock on a Mac by resetting the Preferences list

1. Click on your desktop until you see the Finder toolbar.

2. Select “Go.”

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This option will be between ‘View’ and ‘Window.’ Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

3. Scroll down to and choose “Go to folder.”

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A window will appear when you click this link. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

4. Type “~/Library” into the search bar that appears and hit enter.

5. Click on the “Preferences” folder.

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You’ll need to scroll towards the bottom to find this folder. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

6. Type “com.apple.dock.plist” into the Preferences window search bar.

7. When you find the file, drag it into the trash.

8. Restart your computer.

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