40

Is there a way to hide the application window and the dock icon of one specific active app in OS X? Kinda like a background service that can be turned on or off.

3
  • Solution may very well be app specific, so it would be good to know the app you are trying to hide.
    – nohillside
    Sep 28 '15 at 18:33
  • its a 3rd party app called morphvox Sep 28 '15 at 18:54
  • 4
    ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ WARNING - this question & answer is circa 2015 and while the procedure listed below USED to work, it SHOULD NOT BE TRIED in modern versions of macOS as it will likely make it so that you apps cannot launch.⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️
    – TJ Luoma
    Mar 6 at 19:45
66

This solution worked for me, but it might depend on the application in question. I tried it with a 3rd party app called "Burn" and it worked.

  1. Go to your applications folder and right click (control-click) on the app you wanna hide from the dock.

  2. Click on Show contents. You should now be able to see "inside" the app's files.

  3. Open the Info.plist file in the Contents folder with TextEdit (right click -> "Open with...")

  4. Go to the very bottom of the file and find the last two lines which should say:

    </dict>
    </plist>

  5. Now insert this before these two lines and save the file.

    <key>LSUIElement</key>
    <true/>

After this the app's dock icon will not be shown anymore. Keep in mind that you will need to use the Activity Monitor or Terminal (killall <appname>) to quit the app if you close the window.

If closing the window quits the app, you can press cmd + h to hide the window. This should make your app completely invisible.

To make it visible again, just remove those two lines again and the app should behave like before.


Source: Link

12
  • 6
    Doesn't work in 10.12 and later. ??
    – Itachi
    Nov 3 '17 at 2:59
  • @Itachi I don't have a Mac to test it, sorry.
    – comfreak
    Nov 4 '17 at 1:33
  • 1
    Ah, code signing.
    – SilverWolf
    Jan 23 '18 at 20:16
  • 5
    Does work on 10.13.5, after the change, you have to restart the app. Jul 17 '18 at 17:36
  • 1
    Tested and works well for XQuartz, macOS Mojave 10.14.6. Thanks.
    – Libin Wen
    Dec 10 '19 at 12:59
25

Use native PlistBuddy command to do it:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Add :LSUIElement bool true' /Applications/[AppName].app/Contents/Info.plist

Don't forget to change the [App Name].

If you wish gonna back, run command:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Delete :LSUIElement' /Applications/[AppName].app/Contents/Info.plist
5
  • 1
    Works on 10.14.4. Thanks
    – trial999
    Sep 9 '20 at 22:35
  • Didn't work for hiding slack icon on Mac os Mojave 10.14.6
    – user674669
    Mar 24 at 6:35
  • 1
    Works on Big Sur as well if you add "sudo" in front and restart the app (will show icon briefly at start).
    – Altair7852
    Aug 2 at 18:42
  • Did not work for me on Big Sur even with sudo and restarting the app. The app kept on quitting unexpectedly so I suppose it is also dependent on the particular app.
    – deeeeekun
    Aug 4 at 11:49
  • Works for me on Monterey with Viber.app. Nov 3 at 10:01
10

Recently I came across an app called GhostTile and it does exactly this. I tried dock dodger and it didn't work but this one definitely worked and is pretty awesome.

http://ghosttile.kernelpanic.im/

4
  • Ended using this app either. Is there any benefits by using paid version vs trial? Jul 25 '18 at 7:54
  • From what I can tell just the occasional annoying pop-up that says you're using an unlicensed copy of it.
    – Art Geigel
    Jul 23 '20 at 23:30
  • Not working for me on 11.2 (Big Sur). I tried to hide multiple apps and for each it just says it's "not yet supported!"
    – cody.codes
    Mar 1 at 19:51
  • Didn't work for hiding slack icon on Mac os Mojave 10.14.6
    – user674669
    Mar 24 at 6:35
6

A 3rd party drag-and-drop application called Dock Dodger removes an Application from the Dock and command + tab sequence for you. This way an application is still actively running but completely hidden.

It works for most applications on Mac. However, when updating a hidden application, it might undo your change, so you might have to run it through Dock Dodger again.

Steps to follow:

  1. Download Dock Dodger (for example: download from Apponic)
  2. Start Dock Dodger (you might have to allow opening this app from your macOS Security Settings because it's an unidentified 3rd party developer.
  3. Drag-and-drop the Application you want to hide on the Dock Dodger window
  4. Quit Dock Dodger
  5. Simply (re)start the Application you want to hide.

There is one 'but...'

When starting the application you just set to be hidden, it will show the application Window.

  • Click anywhere in the Application window to have it come to the front and have focus
  • Press command + H on your keyboard to hide the Application Once hidden, most applications will stay hidden.

To quit a hidden app:

  • Open Activity Monitor
  • Find the name of your hidden Application in the list
  • Quit or Force Quit

or:

  • Find the hidden Application in Finder (usually in your Applications folder)
  • Start the hidden Application
  • For most applications, this will unhide the Application window and bring it to the front
  • You can now Quit the Application from the macOS menu or press command + Q

One downside of using Dock Dodger:

Is this reversible? Dock Dodger doesn't help you to undo this change. To reverse it:

The upside of using Dock Dodger

  • It's a very easy one-step drag-and-drop action.

I've successfully used it to hide the apps Wacom Desktop Center and SpamSieve on macOS Sierra. I noticed the official Dock Dodger download location went offline, so I added an Apponic download link.

1
  • Awesome. You also can open running app with Command+up and you normally can quit app with Command+Q Jul 18 '19 at 16:43
2

You can still hide specific app icons from dock, at least it worked for me on macOS Big Sur 11.2.3.

  1. Remove app signature first:

    sudo codesign --remove-signature /Applications/<App name>.app/Contents/MacOS/<App name>
    
  2. If you get an error like

    xcrun: error: invalid active developer path

    then run:

    sudo xcode-select --reset
    

    and then repeat Step 1

  3. Option 1: You may perform procedures as described in https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/207944/96748, as I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work, since it is pretty much what second option does. However, I haven't tested this approach.

    Option 2: Alternatively (this one I have tested and it worked) it might be a little more convenient to just run script from GitHub repo FirePanther/MacOS-Hide-Dock-Icon as described in README.md with

    sudo php <path to hideDockIcon.php>/hideDockIcon.php
    

    (You obviously need to download this file first)

2
  • I tried option 1 and it worked for me. However, it should be noted that removing app signatures cannot be undone; you would have to reinstall the app if you want to restore the signature.
    – deeeeekun
    Aug 4 at 11:56
  • Worked perfectly with MacOS 11.5.1 Aug 4 at 20:28
-3

Unfortunately, the solutions already answered did not help me under macOS 11 But I have found a solution how I can no longer make apps visible with a graphical user interface from the Dock and from Exit immediately This can be useful if this app only has background services but is still not displayed as nicely in the dock.

There is no way to hide a running app from the macOS operating system if it cannot authenticate itself with an Agent (LSUIElement) or Background Application (LSBackgroundOnly)

Since the agent application unfortunately didn't work for me, I would like to introduce one that has always worked for me.

To solve this problem you have to write another keyword in the Info.plist Namely LSBackgroundOnly

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Add :LSBackgroundOnly bool true' /Applications/[AppName].app/Contents/Info.plist

Since the background application key now exists and is set to "YES" Launch Services only runs the application in the background.

The app must now be restarted. You will still see that this app has a graphical interface, but when you click away the app is no longer in the dock and is no longer available when you exit immediately. You would have to end this process with the terminal or with the activity monitor.

To remove the key just enter the following command:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Delete :LSBackgroundOnly' /Applications/[AppName].app/Contents/Info.plist
1
  • 1
    You mean MacOS 11.0?
    – anonymous
    Jul 28 at 14:26

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