Snow Leopard works great! My mac's really fast after this. But sometimes the dock icons just disappear! I see the blue dot beneath when I click the empty space. So I know the item's there. But there are no icons! This happened for Safari and Downloads.

Some people responded on the Apple forums that I should try and remove the dock's plist file. But this just restores the dock to its original settings! I don't want to lose my settings.

Anyone else facing this issue with SL? Or is it a problem only I am facing?


5 Answers 5


That has happened to me with the Mail and Address Book icons, they became invisible but the blue dot would remain when the apps were in use. It seemed odd that it would happen with the two Apple apps.

My procedure for correcting the problem affects only the app with the problem.

  • quit the app
  • right click (I have a two-button mouse) on the invisible icon
  • chose 'Options - Show in Finder'
  • chose 'Options - Remove from Dock'
  • rebooted the app from the Finder window
  • chose 'Options - Keep in Dock' and moved the icon back to its original place.

That immediately corrected the problem. The icons remained after reboot.

  • Thanks. will give that a go. But doesn't look like a permanent solution. Might as well file a bug report with Apple. Nov 4, 2009 at 12:22
  • It was a permanent fix for me. Remove invisible icon from dock, restart app from Finder window, then 'Keep in Dock' option before quitting app. The previously invisible icon now remains visible in the dock. Haven't had a problem since.
    – Laur Hagan
    Nov 5, 2009 at 13:46
  • If that procedure doesn't work for you, cause of your problem must be different than what I had experienced. Please let us know what does resolve your problem.
    – Laur Hagan
    Nov 5, 2009 at 13:57
  • Deleted the dock's plist file and rebooted and I lost my dock settings. Copied the file again from trash to the Library and all icons now appear fine! Don't really know what happened :) Dec 3, 2009 at 7:16
  • I was able to fix this same issue on Mavericks similarly: by toggling the Options -> Keep in Dock value.
    – eebbesen
    Aug 23, 2014 at 19:00

Open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal and enter the following case-sensitive command:

killall Dock

Dock will restart.

  • Alternatively, just log out and back it.
    – Daniel Beck
    Apr 6, 2011 at 12:16
  • Nice, this fixed the problem for me. Jun 15, 2011 at 11:01

I've had the same happen just now, and resolved by:

Open Activity Monitor, find and Quit the Dock Process. Dock will restart with icons. Not sure how permanent this 'fix' is.


I had the same problem. Clobbering the plist is not a good solution if you've got a lot of customization in place. For me the fix came when I selected "Show in Finder" when I clicked and held on the invisible icon. The invisible icon magically reappeared and has seemed to stay back through a dock restart.


I just had a similar problem; but, instead of disappearing, the icons were corrupted, like what happens to the display when a graphics board fails (a few were disappeared). killall Dock did not work, but, removing the icon cache (in /var/folders/(2 letters)/(more letters)/-Caches-/com.apple.dock.iconcache) and then killall Dock brought everything back. You can get the path if you echo $TMPDIR and replace -Tmp- at the end with -Caches-

(This is probably only valid for snow leopard, and the path and filename has changed in 10.7 or 10.8)

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