Coming from a windows machine here. Is there any way that when you click on an app in the dock that is running, it would show the open instances? For example if I have multiple chrome browsers open.

Currently, you have to right click on an app item and that pulls up a menu with a very hard to read list. Is there some way to show larger information? Or show all the instances of the app?

Maybe this would require some custom dock plugin? Not sure.

2 Answers 2


While generally most applications allow only for one instance of an application to be running, I believe that you mean the multiple windows open for an application.

By default OS X does not show icon or window previews on the Dock. However, there are two options for allowing to see the windows:

  • Mission Control (built-in)
    Mission Control gives you the overview on the entire screen with all open application windows grouped together, but there is also an integrated function, called "Application Windows", which just shows you all the windows open for the currently active (foreground application). You can assign keyboard shortcuts and and trackpad gestures inside System Preferences. Additionally, if you prefer to use the mouse for this feature, you can drag the Mission Control application into the Dock for you to click on.
  • 3rd party application (e.g. HyperDock)
    There are some 3rd party applications, which mimic the Aero window preview of Windows 7. The one I used to have was called HyperDock, which looks almost like the real thing, but there are others as well.
  • FYI, you can have multiple instances of any app you want. From Terminal do open -n -a Mail
    – user14492
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 20:45
  • @user14492 Using Terminal is always possible and opens up much more doors. However, it is not always for everyone and therefore unless asked specifically, I tend to stick to the GUI, except a Terminal command can do the job easier. Since this question is around a GUI feature, I try to stay in the GUI.
    – Phoenix
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 22:12
  • @blm The OP is aware of this, but finds it cumbersome.
    – Phoenix
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 22:12
  • Looks like I will be searching for plugins...
    – Micro
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 18:12
  • Any free alternative to HyperDock? Commented Jan 9, 2023 at 13:30

Apple provides the Mission Control visualization and it's not designed to work in even the slightest manner similar to the windows task bar.

If you prefer the task bar, you will want to look for third party window manager and task bar software providers - there are always several good solid ones and some up and coming ones.

Also - check out fluid app - it's really nice for web apps to make them feel more like a real app as opposed to just another tab or window in your browser. It's not for everyone, but those that like it - absolutely love it in general.

  • fluidapp looks really cool!
    – Micro
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 18:13

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