I'm getting blank icons for stacks (e.g. Downloads) and grids (e.g. Documents) in the Dock. Nothing seems to fix it. Have tried relaunching the Finder and even a full reboot, but nothing helps. Any ideas?

There's a question about exactly the same problem from a while back but that's no help as the OP said that upgrading to Mountain Lion fixed his problem.

I'm running Mavericks (10.9.2). Problem started recently, but I can't tie it definitely to the 10.9.2 update.

UPDATE: tried restarting the Dock and that got back 2 or 3 icons, nothing more.

Here's an example of the problem:

enter image description here


Try removing PDFs from the stack's contents. Source

If that doesn't work, try backing up and removing ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist and relaunching the Dock (killall -HUP Dock).

  • 1
    Turned out it was a complex Excel spreadsheet in the Downloads folder that was causing the problem. Following the advice in the thread you linked to, the icons would appear if I left the stack open for long enough. Once I removed the .xls file, it all went back to normal. My guess is that Dock (or Finder) is taking too long trying to render a miniature version of the file. As you pointed out, this can happen with PDFs too.
    – mluisbrown
    Apr 29 '14 at 8:11
  • 1
    Removing the .plist worked for me. Great answer, even three years later +1. I only wish thhat I had taken a screenshot of my dock prior, because it reset the applications on it. Sep 23 '17 at 18:57

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