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Translucent Dock Icons

Use Terminal to Make Hidden Application Icons Translucent in the Dock

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Translucent Dock Icons – Use Terminal to Make Hidden Application Icons Translucent in the Dock

Translucent Dock Icons

Hiding active applications is a nice trick for keeping your desktop uncluttered as you work with multiple applications. You can hide any application by clicking in the application and hitting command + h or by selecting 'Hide' from the application's menu. For example, in Safari, you would select 'Hide Safari' from the Safari menu.

But once you have a few application windows hidden, it can be tough figuring out which applications are hidden, and which ones are merely covered by another window or have been collapsed to the Dock. Fortunately, there's an easy Terminal trick that allows the Dock to use a translucent icon to display any application that has been hidden. Once you execute this trick, you'll have a quick visual indication in the Dock of which active applications are hidden.

Enable Translucent Dock Icons

  1. Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities/.
  2. In the Terminal window that opens, enter or copy/paste the following command, all on one line:

    defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool YES

  3. Press return or enter.
  4. Next, enter or copy/paste the following command:

    killall Dock

  5. Press return or enter.

Now when you hide an application, the corresponding Dock icon will display in a translucent state.

Should you decide you're tired of translucent icons in the Dock, or you simply don't like them, the trick is just as easy to undo.

Disable Translucent Dock Icons

  1. In Terminal, enter or copy/paste the following command, all on one line:

    defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool NO

  2. Press return or enter.
  3. Next, enter or copy/paste the following command:

    killall Dock

  4. Press return or enter.

The Dock will return to the normal method of displaying application icons.

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