Mojave Dock Recent Applications Section

The Dock has a new section in macOS Mojave that shows recently running apps. It will also show apps that are running that are not in the permanent icons sections of the Dock. You can remove items from this new section temporarily. You can also turn this feature off.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Mojave Dock Recent Applications Section.

So there's been a change to how the Dock works in macOS Mojave. If you go to the Dock at the bottom of the screen at a first glance it looks about the same since it's been for a few versions of Mac OS. On the left side we see lots of apps. These are either here by default or you may have added some apps as well. You click on one to launch the app or if the app is already running to switch to it. On the far right you see a few items with the Trash on the far right and then other things like folders and files that you may have put there or are there by default like the Downloads folder.

So this is the same. But what we've got now is this middle section that's new. You can see these divider lines. There was a single divider line between the left side of the Dock and the right side. Now there's this middle section although it's almost always going to be far to the right. This middle section has apps as well. They're apps that you haven't really put there. They just kind of appear there. This is called the Recent Applications Section and it's called the middle section of the Dock.

You're going to find two different things here. You're going to find apps that are running that are not on the left side. So if I were to run an app on the left side, like for instance if I were to launch Contents, it would stay on the left side and you'd see a dot under it. But if I were to run an app say like the Chess app that comes with all Macs, you can see the Chess app runs and you can see now it appears here in this section and it's got a dot under it.

Now you also have apps here that you've recently ran. So if you were to quit the Chess app you can see it remains there because it was the most recent app we ran that wasn't on the left side of the Dock. So it remains there as well as other apps that I've recently ran like for instance Calculator. So this is handy because you can get back to an app that you've just recently run. So if I run Calculator and then I quit it, it will stay here on the right side of the Dock, or the Middle side of the Dock, you can run it again.

Now if you want to get rid of something that you recently ran and it's listed here you can. You can drag it up and remove it there. It's just a temporary removal because it was only there temporarily to begin with. You can launch the app again just as before. So you can kind of clean this out if you want and you can see now the Dock looks like it did before where there is no section there. But as soon as I were to run an app like Calculator again it creates this middle section and it appears there.

So it's just a really handy little thing and it shouldn't bother anybody. But if you do want to get rid of it you can actually go to System Preferences, Dock, and there's a checkbox here for Show Recent Applications on the Dock. So if we turn that off we can now see it goes away and the Dock now behaves like it did before. Since Calculator is running it's still there but now it's grouped with the other applications just to the right side like it was in previous versions of Mac OS. If I say turn on the Recent Applications on the Dock now that is in it's own little section.

So this is a handy thing. If you use an iPad you'll recognize this because it kind of works the same way on the iPad. There's a right side to the Dock on the Home screen that shows recent applications as well as the main part of the Dock where you actually place applications that you're using.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to add an application you recently ran to the main part of the Dock so it's always there you can drag and drop it there. So now Calculator is permanently there in the Dock rather than being something that is temporarily there. I can get rid of it, remove it, and it's actually going to snap back into place because it's running. So what I would need to do is quit it, run it again and now it appears there in that middle section of the Dock. You can also Control click on anything there. One of the options is Keep in Dock and that actually moves it over there as well.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Mojave Dock Recent Applications Section”

    Dennis Linthicum
    6 months ago

    Currently I use a “recent applications” stack. Can this “recent apps” feature be turned into the stack or grid version for displaying from the task bar? This Mojave method looks like it will take a lot of real estate, or the number of items displayed will be very small. (On your dock example above, there is only room for three, or so, recent apps while my grid version of “recent apps” has 28 apps available (7 across by 4 down).

    6 months ago

    Dennis: There are only 3, so it won’t use up much space. It sounds like you need more, so keep using your stack.

    6 months ago

    i have mojave installed but my dock doesn’t do as you pointed out i open things like calendar and chess and terminal and they always appear on the left side of the one line that has always appeared. i don’t have that other line, i don’t know why.

    6 months ago

    Tim: Did you change the setting? System Preferences, Dock, Show Recent Applications In Dock? Also note that if the item is already on the left side, it then doesn’t need to appear in this new section.

Comments Closed.