Tweak Mac Dock for More Screen Area

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You can see the Dock is now either on the left or right. It’s always there, but we’ll fix that soon. Leave the Dock visible for now. It makes it easier to remove apps, resize the dock and turn magnification on.

Remove Rarely Used Apps

The consequence of moving the Dock to the left or right is that these vertical spaces are smaller. If you have a lot of apps on your Dock, the icons become tiny. The best way to fix this is to remove rarely used apps from the Dock. This is easily accomplished by simply dragging them off the Dock with the mouse pointer. Simply move the pointer to an app then click and hold your mouse or trackpad while dragging the icons away from the Dock. This won’t uninstall the app from your system. It simply removes the app from the Dock. We’ll take a look at how to quickly access these apps later in this article.

Adjust Dock Size

Now that you’ve removed apps that you don’t use often, you can increase the Dock size so that apps are more visible. Simply move the mouse pointer to the divider, click and hold the trackpad or mouse button and move the pointer away or toward the Dock. Moving it away makes the dock bigger.

If this requires too much manual dexterity, you can adjust the size of the Dock by clicking on System Preferences > Dock. Adjust the size slider to the appropriate position.

Adjust Magnification

If you still have a lot of apps on the Dock, or you have a small MacBook, the Dock icons might still be too small. The magnification feature will expand the size of icons when you hover the mouse pointer over them. You can turn this feature on by clicking on System Preferences > Dock and then adjust the magnification slider. Hover the mouse pointer over the dock icons to test magnification.

I personally don’t use the magnification feature. I find that it makes it a little harder to click on an app. I recommend removing more apps from the Dock if the icons are too small.

Minimize Windows into an Application Icon

Given that vertical screen space is smaller, it may be necessary to further modify Dock behavior. By default, when you minimize an open window, it will appear on the Dock, below the divider. This expands the size of the Dock, which can cause icons to appear smaller. If you have a lot of minimized apps, this can have a dramatic effect on icon size. In general, it’s best to have minimized apps appear below the divider, which is the default behavior. It makes it easier to see which apps you’re working on. If you have a small MacBook, however, it’s probably best to minimize windows back into their Dock icons. (continue…)

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