I have a link to the Applications folder on my dock - basically it's a great, unobtrusive, quick launcher when I'm already using the mouse.

Menu from a docked Applications folder

Problem is, it's cluttered up by a bunch of junk I don't want there. Dashboard, which I never use, Photo Booth, and other detritus that just clutters up the view.

I'd like to remove those somehow - but I'm not interested in a number of common workarounds for this use case:

  • I don't want to actually mess with the contents of the folder, which rules out every idea given in this answer. Setting the .app folders +hidden or putting a dot in their names means I have to disable SIP, and besides this could cause issues with updating or using the app later should I need it. I don't want to trash the apps either.

  • I don't want to maintain a separate folder with aliases to this one - having newly installed apps visible in this folder by default usually means I can launch them faster with the mouse than I can with cmd-space and finding it with Spotlight (since spotlight takes a while to update its cache)

Ideally, I could remove certain items from my "view" of the folder, but leave the actual folder untouched.

Is there a way to do this? Some feature I've overlooked or some app that provides an unobtrusive dock menu?

  • I find that Spotlight can index new items on my computer in a few seconds. Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 21:40
  • Also, have you considered creating a folder with aliases to your desired apps, and then adding a folder action to /Applications that will add the alias of any newly added item to that folder? Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 21:41
  • @BallpointBen Indeed it can, but when you just installed something and immediately want to run it, I find that Spotlight doesn't immediately update it's view. You hit cmd-space, type the name, realize it's not there, then dismiss it and try again, usually it's there by the second if not third time.
    – Mikey T.K.
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 15:09

3 Answers 3


Go to the Applications folder, then do 'Find', and search for any application whose name is not (X, Y, Z). Save the search, and add the search to your dock.


enter image description here

  • 1
    That is a damn clever workaround, and until now I didn't even know that you could pin a search result!
    – Mikey T.K.
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 15:06

Simply use the Dock!

Add apps which should be accessible immediately to the Dock and remove apps you don't want. Then you don't have go to the Dock and open a folder and choose an app but you can simply launch that app from the Dock.


You should be using Launchpad to achieve this. Launchpad will give you a similar view and allow you to organize all your apps in folders and separate pages (similar to iPhone).

You can drag the icon (Grey rocket ship) to your dock and/or set up "hot corners" (found in screen saver settings) where if you move your mouse into a chosen corner of the screen it will bring up launchpad.

  • This is not an answer to the question of providing a dock menu. Not only is Launchpad the complete opposite of unobtrusive (it monopolizes the entire screen), it allows absolutely no file manipulation like the pinned dock icon does.
    – Mikey T.K.
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:46
  • What do you mean by file manipulation?
    – JBallin
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:49
  • Dragging items directly into and out of the folder and having those changes be on the filesystem. Given that Launchpad is full screen, I'm not even sure how you surface another window to drag things into or out of it.
    – Mikey T.K.
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:53
  • Why would you need to do that in the applications folder? If it's programming related why not do it directly from terminal?
    – JBallin
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:57
  • ...because moving a folder with the mouse is obviously faster than opening the terminal and keying out source and destination names at the command line? The why is not germane to the (very direct) question.
    – Mikey T.K.
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 18:11

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