I would like to change the delay before the (autohidden) dock appears when I mouse over it.

There is currently a short delay before it appears, and I would like to make it a lot longer (one second instead of 1/10 of a second).

Based on extensive googling, this is a question that many people would like an answer to. I am hoping that the delay is specified somewhere and can be modified.

Many people would like the dock to appear instantly to be able to work more quickly.

Many people would like the dock to appear more slowly in order to effectively hide it.

Can we answer this question definitively?

  • You might have some success by switching to DragThing, a Dock alternative that supports delay and show/hide transition time configuration. Haven't been able to configure it properly (doesn't deactivate the real Dock etc.).
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 19 '10 at 18:37
  • I did some searching, but I couldn't find any information about how DragThing relates to the regular dock. I wouldn't want to add a new program without being sure that the original dock would be gone. And, while there are programs that get rid of the dock, they seem to cause stability problems since the system needs the dock to function correctly. The impetus for my original question was that modifying the delay would be a non-invasive way to make the dock disappear. Dec 20 '10 at 11:22

There is a preference for the delay before the dock appears. You can change it by typing the following in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float XXX; killall Dock

Where XXX is a number of seconds. I set they delay to 10 seconds. I can still get the dock to appear if I want to, but it takes a long time and never appears by accident.

To reset the dock to the default behavior, type the following in Terminal:

defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-delay; killall Dock
  • 1
    doesnt work in 10.9 (mavericks) anymore.
    – Hans
    Dec 2 '13 at 16:20
  • 1
    Works perfectly in 11.2.2 ( Big Sur ). Mar 4 at 3:40

Running defaults read com.apple.dock and checking here revealed no plist setting to change the dock's show delay. Secrets.prefpane and TinkerTool reveal nothing either. Therefore, I'm going to assume that there's no way to change the setting.

  • Sorry for the delay in choosing your answer. Nov 21 '11 at 8:40

This thread doesn't answer the question but may be somewhat useful :

I know it's a little tangential, but I recently stumbled onto an alternate configuration: Set it to always show, minimum icon size with maximum magnification. It still takes up a little bit of screen space, but I can get to it instantly, and so far I have fewer accidental activations because the small icons take up less surface area on the edge.

  • I had read that thread before posting the question, and I agree with the comments there. I don't use the dock at all, but if I did, I would want the icons to stay in the same places at all times. I realize that my question is really similar to that one. Dec 20 '10 at 11:09


defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide -float 1; \
defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 10; \
killall Dock

there appear to be two settings (Mojave tested). autohide (whether to hide it at all) is settable from System Preferences / Dock 0 = don't hide 1 = autohide

defaults read com.apple.Dock | less

    autohide = 1;
    "autohide-delay" = 10;

@Hans the delay may not have worked for you if the "boolean" was off.


It is not possible to change that (as far as i know).

  • Any proof for that?
    – Arjan
    Dec 16 '10 at 13:22
  • I'd be pretty surprised if it would be possible. Well, i got no proof, but there is no config option available for that.
    – Thariama
    Dec 16 '10 at 13:59
  • 1
    I'll upvote as soon as you bring some strong indicators that it's true. E.g. I checked Secrets.prefPane and came up empty.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 16 '10 at 21:46

On newer versions of macOS, setting seems to be changed from autohide-delay (actual number of seconds) to autohide-time-modifier (scaling factor for default delay). So the command becomes:

defaults write \
  com.apple.dock \
  autohide-time-modifier \
  -float 0.3

# Dock needs to be restarted
# for change to take effect
killall Dock

Obviously, set it to w/ever scale you want instead of 0.3: say, 0 to remove animation completely.

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