How to Group Mac App Icons More Prominently in Your Dock

by

In macOS, the Dock provides convenient one-click access to your most frequently used Mac applications. The simplest way to organize docked apps is to click and drag them into your preferred place, but here we're going to show you a lesser-known trick for arranging docked items more clearly.

using spaces to arrange dock apps
To relate certain types of apps and add an extra visual clue to their location in the Dock, try inserting some spaces. Using this method, you could separate out other apps from, say, conversion tools that you frequently drag and drop files onto. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Insert Spaces into the macOS Dock

  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.)

  2. At the Terminal prompt, type the following command and press Enter: defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'; killall Dock
    macos terminal dock spaces

  3. Your Dock will reboot with a single space added to it. Click and drag the space to your desired location, just like a regular app icon.
    Screen Shot

  4. Repeat the Terminal command above to insert additional spaces and arrange them in your Dock to suit.

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

Top Rated Comments

janfabry Avatar
37 months ago
To insert a small spacer, you specify "tile-type"="small-spacer-tile" (found on Ask Different ('https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/273540/654')).

An example with both widths:


To add them to the documents side instead of the apps side, use the key persistent-others instead of persistent-apps (found on Lifewire ('https://www.lifewire.com/add-custom-and-standard-doc-spacers-to-mac-2260861')).

Attachment Image
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
37 months ago
Great tip, didn’t know this. Big fan of these articles too. Thanks!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
opeter Avatar
37 months ago
My problem with these separators is, that they take to much space (like a whole width of an icon).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trollied Avatar
37 months ago
Dynamic spacer:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="flex-spacer-tile";}'
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RightMACatU Avatar
37 months ago
Too bad I can't do this with my office cube neighbor :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cpjakes Avatar
37 months ago

I like this. Is there a way to group the icons together in a Stack, like the folders can do?

It's not as fancy, but I put aliases to grouped applications in a folder, then put those folders in the dock.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

Monday January 25, 2021 5:05 am PST by
The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to ETNews. The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels,...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 With New Camera Warnings and Bug Fixes

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:04 am PST by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS 14 operating system that was initially released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.4 come more than a month after the release of iOS and iPadOS 14.3, updates that brought new emojis, Intercom support, and more. The iOS and iPadOS 14.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
14

Apple Releasing iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 Later Today

Tuesday January 26, 2021 7:20 am PST by
In its Black History Month announcement this morning, Apple has confirmed that iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 will be released later today. watchOS 7.3 expands the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer to Japan, Mayotte, Thailand, and the Philippines, while iOS 14.4 introduces a notification on iPhone 12 models with non-genuine cameras. Both software updates also add support for a new...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
apple watch black unity

Apple Celebrates Black History Month With Limited-Edition Watch, Featured Apps and Books, and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 6:14 am PST by
Apple today announced that it will be celebrating Black History Month with curated content that highlights and amplifies Black creators, artists, developers, and businesses across the App Store, Apple Music, the Apple TV app, Apple Books, Apple Podcasts, and more. The content will be featured throughout the month of February. Black Unity Sport Band has "Truth. Power. Solidarity." ...
7

Apple Releases watchOS 7.3 With Unity Watch Face, Expanded ECG Availability and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 7.3, the third major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September. watchOS 7.3 comes more than a month after watchOS 7.2, an update that brought support for Apple Fitness+ ‌‌The watchOS 7.3 update‌‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install...
time to walk apple watch

Apple Fitness+ Feature 'Time to Walk' Launching Soon With Audio Stories From Special Guests

Saturday January 23, 2021 7:13 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple seeded the watchOS 7.3 Release Candidate, which is typically the final beta version of a software update. The release notes for the update list a new "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Fitness+ subscribers, described as "an audio experience in the Workout app where guests share inspiring stories as you walk." Apple Fitness+ subscribers will be able to open the Workout...
apple dan riccio

Dan Riccio Transitioning to New Project, John Ternus to Lead Apple's Hardware Engineering Team

Monday January 25, 2021 2:05 pm PST by
Apple today announced that current Apple hardware engineering SVP Dan Riccio is transitioning to a new role where he will focus on an unspecified project, with John Ternus set to take over as Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Riccio made Apple a better and more innovative company, and that Ternus will bring a deep expertise...