How to reset the Mac Dock to default

Mac Dock makes it easy to access the apps, folders, etc. that you use frequently but sometimes it can become too messy. So, if you added too many items in the Mac Dock and now it has become very messy or if you are wondering whether there is a way to somehow apply a quick fix to it or if you just want to have the default Mac Dock. Well, here is a simple solution to any or all of those issues. Do you remember how the Mac Dock looked when you had seen it for the first time you bought it? There is a simple one-line command to reset the Dock to that default appearance. Read on to find out the steps on how to reset the Mac Dock to default.

See also: How to check the storage on MacBook

Steps to reset the Dock:

  1. First, open the Terminal app on your Mac. You will find it in the Utilities folder which is in the Applications folder.
  2. Now, in the Terminal, type the command: defaults delete; killall Dock.
  3. What you need to do now is just press the Return button on the keyboard.
  4. The Mac Dock will now quit and then relaunch with default settings. What happened is that the plist file that kept the Dock preferences was deleted and the Dock preferences reverted to the factory settings preferences.
  5. You should now be able to see the Mac Dock loaded with default settings.


After the above steps, you can again add any apps and folders in the Dock that you want. That is, you can customize the Mac Dock again after resetting it to default. Also, after some time if you begin to feel that the Mac Dock has become too messy and you want to revert to the default Mac Dock, you can do so at any time by following the above steps.

The above steps also remove any settings (like location, size, etc.) that you may have for Dock. However, you can again change these settings by going to the system preferences of the Dock. To change these settings, go to system preferences from the Apple menu and then choose Dock. Here you will see a lot of options like magnification, position on the screen, size, show recent applications in Dock, etc. You can change Dock settings using these options in any manner you want. However, if at any point in time you think that you want to reset the Mac Dock to default, you can just follow the above steps to do so.

Mac Dock got stuck?

If after resetting the Mac Dock to default it got stuck, then first try to restart the system and see if it fixes the Dock.

If this does not solve the issue, then open the Terminal app (which you will find in the Utilities folder which you will find in the Applications folder). Type the command: ‘killall Dock’ (without quotes) in the Terminal app and press the Return button on the keyboard. What this command does is that it restarts the Mac Dock. Check to see if this approach fixed the Dock.

However, if the Dock is still stuck, the problem could be in the Finder. So, now try to restart the Finder. For that, open the Terminal and type the command: killAll Finder. Press Return after typing the command. This will restart the Finder and hopefully, the Dock will be fixed too. There is another method to restart the Finder. What you need to do is right-click on the Finder icon. Click on the ‘relaunch’ option from the pop-up menu which opens up. This will relaunch/restart the Finder too.

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