I notice that my running applications on Mac OS X (10.5) do not show up in Dock? Even when I have icon for the application in the Dock, it does not show the 'blue highlight' when I click the application to launch the application.

Can someone please how can I fix this problem?

Thank you.

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    Does Exposé work, and can you right click or in other ways interact with the Dock? – Chealion Nov 4 '09 at 5:01
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    Have you (or anyone else who uses your computer) installed any third party software to change the dock's appearance? Does it happen in other users or after a reboot? – ridogi Nov 4 '09 at 5:13
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    Which application are you concerned about? Not all applications are supposed to show up in the Dock (hot-key driven or menu-extra driven or just plain background apps). Is it all of your apps that never get their blue dots, or just certain ones? – Chris Johnsen Nov 4 '09 at 6:21
  • @Chris: It sounds like all applications. – Sasha Chedygov Nov 4 '09 at 6:34
  • Even Finder? Maybe dockless installed? (homepage.mac.com/fahrenba/programs/dockless/dockless.html) – Tim Büthe Nov 4 '09 at 9:00

Google brought me here, and while ViggoV's solution didn't work for me, it made me think about something else that did. There is a terminal command that reboots the Dock:

$ killall -9 Dock

Well, technically, if I understand correctly, it shuts down the Dock, but another process notices it's not running and restarts it. The -9 signal is a “sure kill.”

It probably helps to shut down the application that's not appearing in the Dock first. I was able to select it through Exposé for that.

See the killall(1) Mac OS X Manual Page


Try creating a new user and testing there. If the new user works, then trash your Dock’s preferences for the non-working user. (~/Library/Preferences)

com.apple.dock.plist com.apple.dock.db

Bear in mind that if you don’t backup these, all the icons you had on the dock and any customization will be lost. After you’ve done that, logoff and logon again to reload the dock (you could execute a "Killall Dock” from Terminal if you wanted).


I found a solution to the same problem here: http://www.acmetech.com/blog/2005/09/30/mac-os-x-restart-the-dock/

Restart your OS X Dock from the Terminal

Open Terminal.app from /Applications/Utilities/Terminal
Type the command: "ps -auxww | grep Dock", then press the Enter key. You should see a listing similar to this (note, I’ve had to wrap the longer lines):

$ ps -auxww | grep Dock
wkw   7563   0.0  1.0   149188  10112  ??  S
         5:42PM   0:05.46 /System/Library/…/Dock -psn_0_128188417

You want to locate the Process ID for the Dock, that’s the first number you see reading from left to right (the number underlined above). My Dock’s PID is 7563. Now substitute your Dock’s PID into the command in the next step (where it says your_pid). We will now terminate that process with the kill Unix command.
Type into Terminal, "kill -HUP your_pid" and press the Enter key.
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    There's no reason to link to an external site (that could go offline, or otherwise make your answer useless) for a one line command. – Daniel Beck Mar 29 '11 at 19:18

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