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raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
133
36
Please bear with me. I am a recovering Windowsholic. My new M2 MacBook Air has the system tray (or whatever Apple calls it) at the bottom full of every app on the machine. Is there a way to clean that up so that it only displays apps that are actually running? I understand the little black dot shows active apps. But it is hard for me to deal with all that clutter. Or is this something that I will have to learn to "like"?
 

VineRider

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2018
1,054
802
Settings/dock and menu bar. Unselect “show recent applications in dock“ and select “minimize applications into application icon”

you can also right click icons and remove the ones you don’t want In the dock.
 

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
133
36
Excellent. Thanks!

Settings/dock and menu bar. Unselect “show recent applications in dock“ and select “minimize applications into application icon”

you can also right click icons and remove the ones you don’t want In the dock.
 
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SRQrws

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2020
158
315
Two ways to remove icons from the dock. 1) Drag the icon a couple of inches out on to the desktop and "Remove" will pop up. Once you see that, just release your finger from your touchpad (or mouse) and the icon is gone. 2) Right click on the icon, then Options, then Remove from Dock.
 

Lihp8270

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2016
919
1,365
Please bear with me. I am a recovering Windowsholic. My new M2 MacBook Air has the system tray (or whatever Apple calls it) at the bottom full of every app on the machine. Is there a way to clean that up so that it only displays apps that are actually running? I understand the little black dot shows active apps. But it is hard for me to deal with all that clutter. Or is this something that I will have to learn to "like"?
Not sure if you know this. But the red button doesn’t “close” an app like the cross in windows. So if you hit this. It will still show in your dock with a dot.

You want to do Cmd + q to fully close an application
 

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
133
36
Yes I know that.

Not sure if you know this. But the red button doesn’t “close” an app like the cross in windows. So if you hit this. It will still show in your dock with a dot.

You want to do Cmd + q to fully close an application
 

jdb8167

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2008
3,671
3,177
Not sure if you know this. But the red button doesn’t “close” an app like the cross in windows. So if you hit this. It will still show in your dock with a dot.

You want to do Cmd + q to fully close an application
MacOS is fairly confusing about this. Some applications absolutely close when you close their window. This is for most single window applications from Apple. Applications that support multiple windows (always?) leave the application running even after the last window is closed. But I’ve seen cases where eventually MacOS shuts down the application anyway. I’m fairly certain that TextEdit does this.

So cmd-Q isn’t always necessary but is required in some cases. Like I said, confusing.
 
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raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
133
36
Neither of these methods seem to work for me. Right click opens the app, just like a tap (I enabled tap to click) or a left click. And if I drag it onto the desktop and see remove, when I release it just goes right back to where it was. MBA is currently updating iOS so I'll try this stuff again later.

Two ways to remove icons from the dock. 1) Drag the icon a couple of inches out on to the desktop and "Remove" will pop up. Once you see that, just release your finger from your touchpad (or mouse) and the icon is gone. 2) Right click on the icon, then Options, then Remove from Dock.
 

VineRider

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2018
1,054
802
Neither of these methods seem to work for me. Right click opens the app, just like a tap (I enabled tap to click) or a left click. And if I drag it onto the desktop and see remove, when I release it just goes right back to where it was. MBA is currently updating iOS so I'll try this stuff again later.
Right click on the trackpad is actually a two finger tap (at the same time) gesture. Alternatively, press the control key and click and you will get the right mouse context menu to remove the icons.
 
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Ruggy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2017
832
524
It's 'the dock'.
Towards the right end you'll see a vertical line. Hover over it until the curser changes then you can drag it up or down to make the icons bigger or smaller. I suggest you remove all the ones you don't use very often.
With the curser in the same place cntrol lft click and you'll have the dock preferences menu.
You can then switch 'hiding on so it will disappear until you move the curser down below the bottom of the screen.
You can also adjust position, magnification and effects there.
Not what you were asking but it may be what you need?
 
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Stevenyo

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2020
59
135
One thing no one on the thread has pointed out yet, you can hide the dock. In 20 years with OSX/MacOS I have never left a visible dock on my screen of my personal Mac. Always hidden on the right side of my display. In the rare cases I actually want to look at or use it, I just mouse over to the far side of my screen and it appears.

This can be changed in system preferences or by right/control-clicking on the dividing line between the applications and the stacks/minimized windows.
 

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Stevenyo

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2020
59
135
Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 10.32.06 AM.png
But you can also just right click each item in the dock, mouse over to "options" and then select remove from dock. Here's an empty dock I just made on a new user account, took about a minute:
 
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SRQrws

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2020
158
315
Neither of these methods seem to work for me. Right click opens the app, just like a tap (I enabled tap to click) or a left click. And if I drag it onto the desktop and see remove, when I release it just goes right back to where it was. MBA is currently updating iOS so I'll try this stuff again later.
If you're using the trackpad, a right click is done as a two-finger tap. If you're using a mouse, you have to enable right clicking in Preferences. Regarding the drag and drop method, be sure you're dragging the icon at least a couple of inches away from the dock before releasing your finger from the touchpad, otherwise it will just jump back to the dock. I know it's confusing at first, but it will become second-nature, trust me.
 
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lcs101

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2010
232
147
One thing no one on the thread has pointed out yet, you can hide the dock. In 20 years with OSX/MacOS I have never left a visible dock on my screen of my personal Mac. Always hidden on the right side of my display. In the rare cases I actually want to look at or use it, I just mouse over to the far side of my screen and it appears.

This can be changed in system preferences or by right/control-clicking on the dividing line between the applications and the stacks/minimized windows.
I'll never understand how it doesn't bother my wife (or others) to have the dock always there taking up screen real estate. But hey, to each their own... [Or I guess I could take a common strategy on this forum, and lambaste everyone who doesn't share my view ;)]
 

Jumpthesnark

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2022
300
2,104
California
One thing no one on the thread has pointed out yet, you can hide the dock. In 20 years with OSX/MacOS I have never left a visible dock on my screen of my personal Mac. Always hidden on the right side of my display. In the rare cases I actually want to look at or use it, I just mouse over to the far side of my screen and it appears.

This can be changed in system preferences or by right/control-clicking on the dividing line between the applications and the stacks/minimized windows.

Agreed. My dock is invisible until I mouse over it as well. I don't understand people who keep the Dock visible at all times, but to each their own. If OP is annoyed by visual "clutter," this may be the best way for them to go.
 

mansplains

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2021
527
714
You could check out uBar, I haven't personally used it but have heard good things from other recovering Windowsholics. It's $30 though which is a little steep imo, but there's a free 14 day trial.
 

raylo32

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2018
133
36
So, the system tray is now the dock. OK, then where's the boat? ;-) Thanks for all the tips, folks. And yes, I like the disappearing dock. That is similar to a Windows option for the tray. I have some other annoyances I am working through. But I'll do some searches so that I don't wear you all out.
 
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Lihp8270

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2016
919
1,365
Neither of these methods seem to work for me. Right click opens the app, just like a tap (I enabled tap to click) or a left click. And if I drag it onto the desktop and see remove, when I release it just goes right back to where it was. MBA is currently updating iOS so I'll try this stuff again later.
You can drag the icon straight to the trash can to remove from the dock too
 

fisherking

macrumors G3
Jul 16, 2010
9,457
4,107
ny somewhere
i've had the dock locked away on every mac i've owned (many) since 10.3.9. never needed it. i can invoke it with command-option-D (if, and rare, i need to check the trash). i prefer a lot of apps 'full-screen'... up to the menu bar. and always hated the dock taking up space, and/or popping up when the cursor neared it.

fwiw, it's just an insanely-long delay (days!), and, interestingly-enough, these settings retain with OS updates (even moving from monterey to ventura).

anyway, just mentioning. love that the OS allows some breathing room (vs, say, iOS)....
 

Tagbert

macrumors 68030
Jun 22, 2011
2,524
2,638
Seattle
Please bear with me. I am a recovering Windowsholic. My new M2 MacBook Air has the system tray (or whatever Apple calls it) at the bottom full of every app on the machine. Is there a way to clean that up so that it only displays apps that are actually running? I understand the little black dot shows active apps. But it is hard for me to deal with all that clutter. Or is this something that I will have to learn to "like"?
If you are into minimizing clutter, you are probably bothered by the app icons in the right side of the menu bar. If you get Bartender it will let you move most of those icons off screen into a panel that appears when you mouseover or click it.
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2020
2,082
2,054
SF Bay Area
There are some very useful tips regarding the Dock in this video.

Buried in the video is what I have been using for years: Put dock on left of screen, enable autohide, and make hide/show of the dock snappy with:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-delay -int 0
defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.2
killall Dock

Adjust the 0.2 to your preference
 
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Tagbert

macrumors 68030
Jun 22, 2011
2,524
2,638
Seattle
I like the dock and I usually fill it so that it's as wide as the screen.

Am I weird?
No, that is how most people use it, as a launcher and a task switcher. It makes sense to put your most used apps in it. I’m don’t see it as clutter as it is a very controlled space.
 
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