Somehow the Applications icon is gone from my Dock. However I can't just drag the Applications folder (from Finder) into the Dock. How else can I restore it?

Is there a config file somewhere for the Dock that I can just edit with vi and fix this?


  • Why can't you just drag it back ?
    – Cedric H.
    Sep 26, 2011 at 17:16
  • Are you on Lion or Snow Leopard? Sep 26, 2011 at 17:33
  • Snow Leopard. One has to drag it to the bottom, then select "show as folder".
    – Woolly
    Sep 26, 2011 at 19:16
  • Is your problem fixed? If so, please accept an answer by clicking the green check mark next to the voting icons.
    – Cullub
    Dec 29, 2014 at 20:09

8 Answers 8


Hmm, depending on how precisely you formulated the question there are several possible answers:

  1. The Applications folder is missing from the Dock

    • Navigate to Computer in Finder (Shift-Command-C)
    • Open local hard drive (usually called "Macintosh HD" or computername)
    • Drag the Applications folder to the Dock (near the end where the other folders and the trash are located)
    • Right-click the folder in the Dock and select show as folder
  2. The Applications folder/link is missing from the Favorites list in any Finder window

    • Step 1 and 2 as above
    • Drag the Applications folder to the Favorites list
  3. You are actually missing the Launchpad icon from the Dock

    • Step 1 and 2 as above
    • Open the Applications folder
    • Locate Launchpad and drag it to the Dock (near the beginning this time)
  • If you do #1, it adds the apps folder to the Dock but the icon is wrong... the icon is the address book's. I then went into its options and selected "show as folder" and that fixed the icon.
    – Woolly
    Sep 26, 2011 at 19:13
  • It defaults to Stack then which just shows a stack of icons of the folder content. Fixed above.
    – nohillside
    Sep 26, 2011 at 19:41
  • 2
    Alernative #3 helped me.
    – yurkennis
    Apr 27, 2014 at 21:45
  • You saved my time. I was looking for this issue's solution a long time. Jul 25, 2018 at 22:01

go to finder. in the left panel, find the Applications folder. right click and select "Add to Dock", when the App folder shows in the dock - if it shows differently than before, again right click, and "Display as" select "Folder".


You can find the Applications folder by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock.

Then typing + + G. In the sheet window opened type /Applications. The Finder will the Go the folder. From there, just drag it back to your Dock.

If you're talking about the App Store icon:

mac app store

Invoke Spotlight, type App Store and then + .
A Finder window will open with the App Store app selected, and you'll just have to drag it back to the Dock.


You have to drag it onto the "folders and files" section of the dock, which is next to the trash can.

You cannot put a folder in the main applications section of the dock.

When you drop it on the dock, it will not immediately allow you to add a new item - it will instead attempt to let you drop it onto something on the dock. You may need to hold it in between two icons for a second or so before the icons slide to the side, then you can drop it on the dock.

Alternatively, you can type this into a shell to reset the dock to the default state:

defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock

It will also reset a few other settings. See defaults read com.apple.dock to see what will be deleted.

This may also work for you:

defaults delete com.apple.dock persistent-apps
defaults delete com.apple.dock persistent-others
killall Dock

though i use mac osx 10.7.4 and this is how i did it, i went to applications through go which is at the top with the finder,the applications opened, i then dragged the small application folder which is at the top of the applications to my Dock, then i right clicked and choose the option folder.


i had the same issue after trying a few of the above... i used finder, then mac HD when the applications folder appeared in the list below i dragged and dropped it on dock. then show as folder.


enter image description here

Open Finder > Application > Find Launchpad.app and drag to your Dock.

  • 2
    This answer is the same as several others here and doesn't contain any new info. Additionally, the OP is not asking how to add Launchpad to their dock. Please edit your answer to add new info not already provided. See How to Answer for info on how to properly answer a question.
    – fsb
    Oct 17, 2017 at 12:35

Drag Launchpad.app to the Dock. I am using Maverick 10.9.2

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