Get to the Dock in a Full-Screen App – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 101Get to the Dock in a Full-Screen App

Many Mac apps, such as Safari and Mail, can run in full-screen mode, in which case they occupy a Mission Control space all their own. Switching an app to full-screen mode is usually done by clicking the small icon at the top-right corner of the program window. Full-screen mode hides the menu bar at the top of the screen, along with the Dock. You can make the menu bar appear again by pushing your mouse cursor against the top edge of the screen and waiting for a second, but the same doesn’t work with the Dock. Push it against the Dock’s usual location on the screen, and it resolutely refuses to appear.

In fact, it will appear, but you have to perform an odd little trick—push the mouse cursor against the edge of the screen where the Dock is normally positioned, and then pause for a second before pushing again. This will cause the Dock to move into view. It takes a little bit of practice, so give it a go!

If you’d like the Dock to slide into view as soon as the mouse touches the bottom of the screen, like it does normally if the Dock is hidden, the following secret setting will do the trick. If any apps are set to run full-screen, temporarily exit full-screen mode, open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults write autohide-fullscreen-delayed -bool FALSE;
killall Dock

The changes will take effect immediately, so try switching an app to full-screen to see what happens.

To restore the default behavior of the Dock in full-screen mode, again temporarily exit full-screen mode in any open apps, open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults delete autohide-fullscreen-delayed;killall Dock