Dock on Top

by Robert Daeley

The single handiest modification I've made to my Mac UI lately: moving the Dock to the top of the screen. "Heretic!" I hear you exclaim. Ah, but give me but a moment to explain....


2006-03-26 03:36:58
Perhaps you should have incuded instructions how to undo it all?
Robert Daeley
2006-03-26 19:27:31
Don't like living dangerously? ;D

There are various ways to change things back. Easiest way to return to default is to delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/ Then log out and log back in, or restart the Dock application.

To undo the Top orientation, you can just select any of the normally available options (Left/Bottom/Right) from the Dock menu or System Preferences.

To undo the pinning, you can also return to the Terminal and use this command:

defaults write pinning -string middle

then log out and back in, or restart the Dock app.

2006-03-27 03:25:56
As a 12" iBook user I find that screen real-estate is all too valuable and I'm always trying to minimise my reliance on the Dock, and this is the best technique I've come across, thanks.

I use LaunchBar and LiteSwitchX from Proteron to eliminate mouse usage but occasionally due to old Windows habits find that I double-click the title bar to maximise the screen (as in Windows) only to find it's done the opposite. This is now the only time I go to the Dock to un-minimise that screen. Does anyone know a trick to control the action when double-clicking the title bar ?

2006-03-27 08:18:21
Stan -- check out WindowShadeX at
2006-03-27 17:14:04
Best tip ever. I've moved my Dock to the top and moved my virtual desktop app (The Desktop Manager) to the lower left corner. Thanks for the tip!
Norman Brooks
2006-03-27 19:38:39
I tried copying and pasting these commands in the Terminal (several times, and even using sudo), but my dock stayed stubbornly posted right where it was. Same thing using Macosxhints as the source, but I did see a reference to some utilities that will do the job. I finally found a reference to the name of one and used it. It worked. Its name is TinkerTool and it's free. I got it from MacUpdate.

2006-03-28 01:19:38
@Norman: Did you restart the dock after the defaults command? Try something like:

killall Dock


osascript -e 'tell app "Dock" to quit'

2006-03-28 07:03:52
Is there any way to get windows opened not to position themselves under the bottom line of the dock?

2006-03-28 16:21:23
By the way, ctrl-F3 is the default shortcut to move focus to dock. I find this more useful than cmd-opt-d since it allows you to scroll through your icons by hitting tab and then activate a program by hitting spacebar. For times when I feel like mousing, I've used Butler to map my top left corner click to activate this shortcut; this is nice because my pointer is right next to the beginning of the dock when I activate it.
2006-03-30 07:29:57
Does anyone else now get the Dock icons visible at the top when playing Quicktime Pro in full screen mode ?

(Jeremy, thanks for the earlier tip)

2006-03-30 15:35:22
I like the dock on the left (because I do use it to see things like what new mail/RSS updates I've got, or for the Activity Monitor dock icon graphs) but I'd love it if the Finder would align new icons on the left also, rather than the right. I've flicked through the options, and can't see anything. Can it be done?
2006-04-22 06:57:22
How would you get rid of the menu-bar:
[apple] ['application'][file][edit][etc...]
Or at least move it to the side?

Mav Block
2006-07-03 14:10:50
I really love having the dock at the top- especially using ClearDock to get rid of the transparent background!