I really like the auto-hide feature of the dock in Mac OS X. However, the animation for the dock to reappear is just a bit too slow for me. Since this is quite annoying, I disable the feature.

Is it possible to manually shorten the time for the dock to reappear?

Btw: I am aware that one can use the key-combo D to toggle auto hide/show for the dock. But I want solution without using the keyboard.

  • 1
    I dont think there is a way to speed up the animation, you could make the dock smaller and it would reach its largest point quicker? – Graeme Hutchison Dec 13 '11 at 11:13
  • If you're using Lion, have you considered using Launchpad instead of the dock? It's amazingly fast and applications can be arranged in an order that makes finding/clicking them easy. I use the dock but I'm finding Launchpad quite fast and might consider using it more... – Richard Dec 13 '11 at 12:05
  • @GraemeHutchison Making the dock smaller does not change anything, unfortunately. – gentmatt Dec 13 '11 at 12:20
  • @Richard I don't use Launchpad since its animations have really low fps on my Macbook pro. Also, Launchpad does not sort apps by default (e.g. alphabetically), which is why I prefer accessing the apps via the applications folder in the dock. Moreover, I don't like that Launchpad spreads out over the whole screen. The viewing angle is too big on the eye for me. But that my 2 cents, I guess. – gentmatt Dec 13 '11 at 12:20
  • @matt cant help sorry – Graeme Hutchison Dec 13 '11 at 12:22

10 Answers 10

up vote 118 down vote

To make the Dock instantly leap back into view when it’s needed, rather than slide, open a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -int 0;killall Dock

I find this useful, but if you’d like the animation for the dock to reappear to last for a split-second, try the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.15;killall Dock

To revert back to the default sliding effect, open a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults delete com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier;killall Dock
  • 1
    Yes @Lri, the solutions are inspired from the Mac Kung Fu book. – Marius Butuc Dec 18 '11 at 23:57
  • Finally! I was searching for an answer for 'ages'. Thank you very much. – gentmatt Dec 19 '11 at 7:00
  • @Matt welcome! :) – Marius Butuc Dec 19 '11 at 16:52
  • This works in Mavericks. It not only eliminates the animation but also eliminates the apparent small delay before the animation. It becomes instant! – Marquez Jun 26 '14 at 14:57
  • Is it possible to do this with the menubar also since that can show/hide animated? – Oliver Dixon Jan 4 '17 at 10:01
up vote 61 down vote accepted

You can manually set the time it takes for the dock to appear.

Unlike the autohide-time-modifier tip posted by Marius Butuc, this command does not remove the animation of the Dock when it appears.

First, activate auto-hide in System Preferences → Dock → Autohide or type ++D Then open the Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0; killall Dock
  • 0 is the time it takes for the Dock to appear in seconds. You can choose floats and integers e.g. 2, 0.5,...
  • killall Dock causes the Dock to restart.

Restore the default behavior using...

defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-delay; killall Dock

According to MacOSHints this trick was found by reverse engineering from the developer Christian Baumgart of Hyperdock.

This command only works in OS X 10.7 or newer.

  • 3
    I don't think that the OP was really worried about the animation itself, which many of the answers have tackled. I think the OP just wants, as I do, to have the Dock come out quicker. To be clear: I think that this is the OP's question - "how can I make the Dock come out quicker?" And the biggest delay here is the getting-started delay. (Even if it isn't actually the biggest delay, it's where the delay is perceived). For me, the solution posted by genmatt was thus perfect. I applied it, now my Dock feels totally responsive - that is the answer to the "real" question. I recommend this to the OP – GreenAsJade Aug 15 '12 at 3:39
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    This didn't work for me on mavericks. – Marquez Jun 26 '14 at 14:58
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    Same here I've afraid. No difference on Mavericks. – VLostBoy Aug 2 '14 at 12:53
  • This works for me on mavericks – Hải Phong Sep 1 '14 at 10:27
  • Works great on El Capitan – Jose Rui Santos Nov 1 '15 at 14:39

The modifications in both @gentmatt's and @Marius Butuc's answers are important. I did some testing and in my opinion the delay (before the slide animation starts) should be zero while the animation duration should be 0.4s (to feel natural but fast). You can easily apply these settings by hiding your Dock ( > Dock > Turn Hiding On or ⌥⌘D) and entering these commands in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-delay -int 0
defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.4
killall Dock

You can change the values for 0 and 0.4 to see if a different setting works better for you. Don't forget to change int to float if you want to use a float instead of 0.

If you don't like it, you can undo the changes using these commands:

defaults delete com.apple.dock autohide-delay
defaults delete com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier
killall Dock
  • to feel natural? – SoilSciGuy Mar 13 '14 at 1:56
  • @SoilSciGuy With "natural" I meant feeling similar to the default animation. – Jonathan Mar 13 '14 at 10:30
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    it's the little things +1 – 2Toad Jul 2 '15 at 2:14
  • 2
    Perfect! Exactly what I wanted - no delay, short duration. Thanks! – Subfuzion Oct 7 '15 at 23:16
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    Definitely, the best answer. Should be the accepted one. – f1nn Feb 13 '16 at 0:48

I also find the Dock slow to use and the Launchpad can be sluggish. You might want to try an application launcher such as LaunchBar or Alfred. The former is a paid program (with a free demo), the latter is free. Either let you very quickly launch apps along with hundreds of other functions with applications, files, folders, and more. I don't use, or miss, the Launchpad or the Dock... even on a new Mac they are too slow, not to mention being mouse driven.

  • Thank you. I already use Alfred (and Quicksilver before that) over Spotlight. Since I use a SSD this is even more amazing. Results appear instantly. However, since I'm looking for a 'click to pick' answer this is not sufficient. ;) – gentmatt Dec 17 '11 at 10:23
  • Upvoting as a useful response to the original question. You can't know what solutions the OP has already rejected unless he says so in his question. – Jonathan Van Matre Dec 18 '11 at 23:50

This is a bit of a kludge, but it does make the Dock appear slightly faster.

If your Dock is on the right side of your screen (mine is; vary this for your desired Dock location), set upper and lower right Hot Corners to trigger Launchpad. When the mouse hits a hot corner, it triggers the action instantly, as opposed to after a brief delay with Dock Hiding. If the Dock is hidden and Launchpad gets triggered, the Dock appears. Ignore Launchpad; click what you want on your Dock.

So if you move the mouse to the edge, you get the Dock to appear after a brief delay, but hit either corner and the Dock appears faster. There's distracting action on the rest of the screen (i.e. Launchpad), but if you can ignore it, you get your desired results.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. Since Launchpad does not perform well, I do not want to use it. The shade effect for Launchpad to appear is not smooth on my MBP 3,1. Because it's that slow, there is no real gain. Besides, all hot corners are reserved for other functions already. – gentmatt Dec 16 '11 at 7:14
  • Oh, OK. On my machine, this makes the Dock appear faster, but your experience is obviously different. – Daniel Dec 16 '11 at 12:48
  • Upvoting as a useful response to the original question. You can't know what solutions the OP has already rejected unless he says so in his question. – Jonathan Van Matre Dec 18 '11 at 23:50

@gentmatt, I always install Secrets on my computer. It has lots of various system and application variables that you can toggle or set and the dock animation is one of them. It also allows you to put spacers on the dock to organize it by block a little. And the best thing is that it works as a control panel so no Terminal experience is required. http://secrets.blacktree.com

  • Thanks! I new about the website, but I never noticed that they have a prefPane for download. Thank you very much :) – gentmatt Sep 20 '12 at 9:44

To make it a tiny bit easier... here jonathan's answer, with semi colons so it can all be copied and pasted into the terminal window in one go. (And I tweaked the animation time to how I like it) BIG BIG Kudos to Jonathan for this suggestion, I tried to vote him up but I don't have enough rep!

Open Terminal and copy the following code into it :)

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-delay -int 0; defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 1.0; killall Dock

Tweak the -float number to change animation time

  • 1
    But Jonathon's answer can be cut and pasted into Terminal in one go – Mark Nov 28 '12 at 11:09
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    Steve Hall, your code (with the semicolons and copy paste) worked for me. Thank you!! Macbook Pro late 2011 OS X Mavericks – user87763 Aug 14 '14 at 19:26

Nice tutorial, but the problem is that it still takes some to show up after you point your mouse to the dock area. To reduce the delay you need to use this code instead

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0 && killall Dock

This way it comes up instantly! And you might want to leave a 1 second animation so that it looks nice and smooth

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -int 1 && killall Dock

Short answer: There's no known way to actually speed up the animation.

But you might be able to make it marginally faster with a few tweaks.

Your best bet is to get one of the 3rd-party "tweaker" apps such as Cocktail or TinkerTool and disable any of the eye candy related to the Dock.

I'd recommend TinkerTool as it has more Dock-related options right now.

In particular, I'd recommend turning off "Use transparent Dock icons to show hidden applications". And turn on "Disable the three-dimensional glass effect of the Dock".

This will likely have only a minimal benefit, but it could help a bit.

And if anyone ever does figure out how to speed up that animation, it'll be the teams at Cocktail or TinkerTool, so having one of these apps means you'll probably be one of the first to know.

ETA: Fastest way of all: disable Auto-Hide.

I keep my Dock on the right side and it takes up very little screen real estate. It's mostly the vertical pixels that are precious.

And with Lion's new FullScreen feature, if I ever really need to hide it to minimize distractions, I just go FullScreen with the current app.

  • Thanks. I've tried different options using the TinkerTool. Unfortunately, without success. BTW, I'm sure that the slow appearance of the dock is not a rendering issue because its that slow for any Mac. Therefore visualization settings should not make a difference. I guess, the slow appearance is rather a feature in case you accidentally hover over the bottom of the screen. – gentmatt Dec 17 '11 at 10:18
  • Exactly...it's like a baked-in "Are you sure you need the Dock?" feature. The TinkerTool stuff might be reducing the actual rendering time from 50ms to 25 ms, for example, but if that hard-coded pre-delay is like 400ms, the difference between 450ms and 425ms is going to be minimally noticeable. Personally, I just keep my Dock on the right-side and disable Auto-Hide...with all the widescreen real-estate, might as well use those pixels for something. :) – Jonathan Van Matre Dec 17 '11 at 13:43

via Cocktail.app

You can modify almost everything with this app.

  • 1
    How do you do this? – Mark Jan 17 '16 at 13:03
  • Open Cocktail - Interface - Dock - Auto-show delay – csabigabi Jan 18 '16 at 13:16

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