Using the Dock As an Alternative To Browser Bookmarks

Some people like to put web location files on the Desktop or in the Dock as an alternative to using browser bookmarks. A better idea may be to create a folder to hold web location files and then add that to the Dock. You can set it to List mode and then use file names and folders to further organize your Dock bookmarks.

Video Transcript
So I've noticed some things when helping some users with their Macs that sometimes people put bookmarks, things to web pages, in the Dock here. Now I can see how that can be very useful to be able to access them here just like accessing apps. After all a lot of web pages are kind of like apps. You might go to gmail or Facebook just like you would access an app. I thought there's probably a better way to do this than cluttering your Dock with lots of these little links that all look the same and they're hard to figure out which is which. It occurred to be that you could just put a folder here. Let's try that.

Let's go and create a New Folder and I'm going to put that in my Documents folder just because that seems like a good place to put it. I'm going to create a new folder there and call this folder Bookmarks. Then I'm going to drag this folder down into the Dock to the right side. It's going to be to the right of the final line there near the Trashcan in other words. I'll just put it to the left of the Downloads folder which is already there. I'm going to get rid of these to clean up the Dock. Now how can I use this Bookmarks folder?

Well, if I go into Safari and say I want to bookmark some pages instead of using the Bookmark function to add a bookmark and all of that I can just drag and drop the address here. So I grab the address. It helps if I grab just the name. There. I can drag it to the desktop or any Finder window and it appears as a little file. As a matter of fact I'm going to drag it to the desktop here just so you can see. You can see it appears as this web location file. Now I'm going to use those. I'm going to get rid of that one.

I'm going to , instead of dragging it to the desktop, I'm going to drag it straight into this Bookmarks folder.When I put it there and it now appears in there. So if I go to the Finder and I look in Bookmarks you can see it placed that same web location file in there. I never have to look in this folder here in the Finder. I can get rid of that because I'm only ever going to use from the Dock. Now I can do that with other sites as well. So let me drag another site in here into Bookmarks. Another one and stick it in there.

So now I've got three in there and if I click on it I can see those three appear. I could go to anyone of those. Say I want to go to Wikipedia I can click on it and it'll take me to Wikipedia. Now I can make this look a lot better. I'm going to Control click, using two fingers to click on here, and change the display to, instead of showing me a stack, I'm going to change it to a Folder that'll look nicer. I'm going to click again and instead of Automatic I'm going to set it to List. Also I can change the sorting order. So I can change it to sort by Name, Date Added so it could be in chronological order for instance.

If I click here now you can see I can see it a little bit clearer. I can also go to Open in Finder if I ever want to go to the folder itself. So I can use this as a list of bookmarks. This list can grow. I can also, if I go into the folder itself so here it is in the Finder, create folders in here. So I'm going to do a New Folder inside this folder. Let's say I'll create a folder called Info and I'll stick Wikipedia in there. I'll create another one called Mac Stuff and I'll put Apple and MacMost in there. Now when I go to the Dock and I click here you can see I've got it broken into pieces. You can have folders and subfolders and subfolders in those subfolders, etc.

You can also change the name here. If you just change the name of the file you can change it to whatever you want. So I can change the MacMost one to something much shorter like that and the other ones look good. So now you can see here it's a lot nicer. So it's a really cool way to be able to add bookmarks. You can make this really long. I can have, you know, twenty folders and ten folders inside of each. Play around with it here in the Finder which might be an easier way to navigate through and change names and delete and move things from folder to folder and have everything here in this Bookmarks folders here in the Dock.

I can change the Options whenever I want. Move it around. I can put it next to the Trashcan or over here to the left. So it's just a handy way to have bookmarks that doesn't rely on the Browser's Bookmarks at all. It's not using Safari's Bookmarks. It's not using, you know, the sidebar here for anything. It's completely independent and separate from that. So if you find the need to have separate sets of bookmarks this also could be useful. You could have, you know, use this for your personal bookmarks and maybe use Bookmarks here for work.

If you don't like seeing the dot webloc extension there usually you can get rid of that by going to Finder Preferences under Advanced and turn off All File Extensions. You can see they're off now in the Finder and also in the Dock here. I don't see them there either.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Using the Dock As an Alternative To Browser Bookmarks”

    Edward Walsh
    1/10/19 @ 10:27 am

    Hello Gary:

    Thanks for the excellent tip. I just gave it a try and it seems like an interesting option.

    That said, I created a ‘New Folder’ in my Documents folder and dragged it to the Dock. It is there but with nothing showing. Just a plain blue folder. What I was wondering if it is possible to edit the ‘icon’ and put on it ‘Bookmarks’ myself or a symbol of my choice so as to identify its use?

    Again, thanks for the tip. Much appreciated.


    Edward Walsh :-)

    1/10/19 @ 10:29 am

    Edward: Yes. If you edit the actual folder’s icon, just like you would any other, then the Dock icon will show it.

    Edward Walsh
    1/10/19 @ 10:43 am

    Hello Gary:

    Thanks for the prompt reply. :-)

    That being the case, have you a video that shows how you can do this? Or do you know of someone who has created step-by-step directions on how to edit the folders icon? I am not as tech savvy as I would like to be.


    Edward Walsh :-)

    1/10/19 @ 10:45 am

    Edward: Changing the icon is just a matter of using Command+i and pasting a new image over the icon. Building an icon is a little harder as it requires some graphics skills and a graphics app. I’ve done many tutorials on it in the past. Here is one:

    Edward Walsh
    1/10/19 @ 11:04 am

    Hello Gary:

    Again, thanks for the quick reply. Your ‘link’ is very helpful. Will give it a try later and see if it is what I am hoping for. Nothing fancy, but something to make it different from the other icons on the Dock.

    Thank you very much…

    Edward Walsh

    Gwen Naden
    1/10/19 @ 5:01 pm

    Can this be done using IOS ipad 2

    Good video for OSX dock

    1/10/19 @ 5:04 pm

    Gwen: No. The Dock is a completely different type of thing on iOS.

    Robert Fort
    1/15/19 @ 11:10 am

    I created a folder, put all my desktop items in it except for Macintosh HD, moved the folder to the dock, named it “Stuff”, then mistakenly clicked remove from dock. Now I can’t find it!

    Help, where did it go?

    1/15/19 @ 11:20 am

    Robert: When you “move” a folder to the Dock you are actually just adding a shortcut/alias to that folder on the Dock. The folder itself doesn’t move anywhere. So it is where it always was. Where did you put the folder when you created it?

    Robert Fort
    1/15/19 @ 11:46 am

    I put it on the Desktop, but it isn’t there. Only the Macintgosh HD folder is there.

    1/15/19 @ 11:52 am

    Robert: You’ll need to search for it. Either it is on the Desktop but you aren’t seeing it (another area?) or you created the folder elsewhere.

    Robert Fort
    1/15/19 @ 12:05 pm

    I created the folder on the desktop, moved it to the dock, moved approximately 12 desktop items from the desktop to the folder then in the dock. I inadvertently clicked remove from dock, and now I can’t find it. I did a spotright search to no avail.

    1/15/19 @ 1:00 pm

    Robert: At some point you must have done something different. “Moving” a folder to the Dock doesn’t move it anywhere. It just creates an alias on the Dock. The original folder doesn’t move.

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