Make the Dock Really, Really Small – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 161Make the Dock Really, Really Small

You can shrink and enlarge the Dock by clicking and dragging the “Abbey Road” bar lines that separate the application icons from the stacks on the Dock (that is, the bars that look like the road-crossing stripes on the Abbey Road album cover). Alternatively, you can open System Preferences, select the Dock preference pane, and click and drag the Size slider.

However, your Mac will let you shrink the Dock only to a certain size. This setting is pretty small, but it’s possible to go even smaller.

Shrinking the Dock

To shrink the Dock even more than what is usually allowed, open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and type the following:

defaults write tilesize -int 8;killall Dock

This will shrink the Dock to half of the supposedly smallest size—for an example, see Figure 28, Shrinking the Dock to a minuscule size. The number at the end of the command can range from 1 (too small to be useful) up to 16, which is the smallest size achievable by clicking and dragging to resize. You can set values higher than this too, but you might as well use the built-in Mac tools, such as the System Preferences tool.

Figure 28. Shrinking the Dock to a minuscule size

However, if used with Dock magnification (which you can set using the same Dock pane of System Preferences), it is entirely possible to use a tiny Dock size, especially if screen real estate is limited.

Restoring a Normal Size

Using the Dock pane of System Preferences is the best way of returning the Dock to a normal size (just click and drag the size slider), although you can return the Dock to the default size by opening a Terminal window and typing the following:

defaults delete tilesize;killall Dock