How to Add a Recent or Favorite Items Stack to Your Mac's Dock

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Continuing our recent how-to focus on customizing the macOS Dock, in this article we're going to share with you a method for adding a recent or favorite items stack to the right of the Dock divider.


    Most users are aware that you can drag any folder into the right-hand side of the Dock to turn it into a stack, but the following lesser-known trick creates a unique stack type containing your most recently opened applications, documents, or servers.

    Alternatively, you can also set this unique type of stack to show the Favorite folder locations and Device links that appear in your Finder's sidebar.


    Unfortunately, you can't use stacks if you have the Dock set up to show only actively running apps. With that caveat in mind, simply follow the steps below to create the stack type that best suits your workflow. Just bear in mind that Terminal is a powerful app, so make sure you enter the commands properly, especially if you're not familiar with it.

    How to Create a Recent or Favorite Items Stack

    1. Launch the Terminal app found in Applications/Utilities. (To quickly open the Utilities folder in Finder, select Go -> Utilities from the menu bar, or use the key shortcut Shift-Command-U.)
      Copy the following command text and paste it into Terminal at the prompt, then press Enter: defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{"tile-data" = {"list-type" = 1;}; "tile-type" = "recents-tile";}'; killall Dock

      Repeat the command (hit the up arrow and press Enter) to create additional recent or favorite stacks in the Dock as required.
      To choose whether a new stack contains certain types of favorite items or recent items, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the stack and select one of the options in the pop-up menu.

      To change the default Grid view, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the stack and select one of the other options under View content as in the pop-up menu.
    Note that you can change the number of items shown in a recent items stack in the following way: Click the Apple (?) logo in the menu bar, select System Preferences..., open the General preference pane, and choose another number from the Recent items dropdown menu.


    To remove a Recent or Favorite Items stack from your Dock, simply right-click (or Ctrl-click) it and select Remove from Dock. Alternatively, click and drag the stack out of the Dock then let go of the mouse button to delete it.

    Article Link: How to Add a Recent or Favorite Items Stack to Your Mac's Dock
  2. tarsins macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2009
    Changed to Favorite items and the dock icon is horrible. Also, it expands to black and white for some reason.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 10.12.29.png
  3. kirky29 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Lincolnshire, England
    All this time as a Mac user and I didn't know you could set your home folder! Great tip!

    Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 17.35.58.jpg
  4. jimw macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2003
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2018 ---
    Alternately, especially if your not a geek, you can download the 'Onyx', a free app from such sites as MacUpdate and just click a box that is listed under the 'Parameters' heading and the sub-heading 'Dock. It also allows you to put the folder on the left side. I also believe 'Tinker Tool' which is a free subset APP of 'Onyx' and just contains the 'Parameters' tool.
  5. CJM, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    Best to use as few apps as possible.

    Thanks for the tip, Macrumors. I find that choosing 'recent servers' shows duplicates. I wonder if there's a way to prevent that.
  6. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Can you create a separate area on your page where you have a collection of all these “tips and tricks” posts?
  7. Marx55 macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2005
    Is it possible to place a folder with applications (and subfolders, if required) on the left side of the Dock?
  8. aardwolf macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2007
    You can also just create a Smart Folder with a custom search, then drag that to the dock.
  9. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2014
    How did you manage to have a clean looking icon on your dock? Mine look like a mess just like the screenshot posted above yours.
  10. matthewrumors, Apr 4, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018

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9 April 2, 2018