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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.

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    This is one of the things I hate on OS X. This is 2020, apparently people suffer from it since 2011. Jul 10, 2020 at 10:45

11 Answers 11

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+100

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 explain, changing "0.15" with any number can let you tailor things as it represents the time in seconds taken for the dock to reappear fully.


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
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    You saved my experience on OS X! Jul 10, 2020 at 10:50
  • 1
    I found I had to use the this and the accepted "autohide-delay" answer to remove the animation and the delay.
    – Gabe Rogan
    May 31, 2023 at 19:31
  • This highest voted answer answer makes it a bit too fast (janky), and the accepted answer makes it still a bit too slow - apple.stackexchange.com/a/70598/437992 should be the accepted one as it feels 'perfectly right' Aug 4, 2023 at 13:50
  • This doesn't work. It just removes the animation. The infuriating delay is still there. The accepted answer solves the actual issue by removing the delay before the dock is triggered. 17 hours ago
190

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

Note that com.apple.dock is case sensitive.

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.

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    Is there a way to only bring it back when the cursor goes out of the screen? Jul 10, 2020 at 10:54
  • This is still really useful a couple years later! I did notice, though, that this will only make the dock snappy on screens that are not in MacOS’s full-screen mode. Nov 7, 2022 at 5:38
  • So Apple is manually making the Dock slow... +1 Aug 27, 2023 at 22:02
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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
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    works like a charm Jun 26, 2020 at 12:38
  • 3
    Thank you, exactly what I was looking for!
    – rochasdv
    Jan 4, 2021 at 14:15
  • 3
    This is the right answer!
    – AArias
    Sep 28, 2021 at 13:54
  • 4
    This setting is the smoother option. Thanks!
    – Fede E.
    Dec 14, 2021 at 21:15
  • 4
    This one should be the top answer because in most cases, peoples issue isn't the animation time - but the massive delay before the animation starts. The animation time even at the default level feels more than fast enough once you've removes the massive initial delay. Jul 22, 2022 at 13:05
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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
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    This is what actually mattered to me not the animation time May 1, 2023 at 15:56
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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

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    But Jonathon's answer can be cut and pasted into Terminal in one go
    – mmmmmm
    Nov 28, 2012 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, 2014 at 19:26
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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.

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  • 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, 2011 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. Dec 18, 2011 at 23:50
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@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

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  • Thanks! I new about the website, but I never noticed that they have a prefPane for download. Thank you very much :)
    – gentmatt
    Sep 20, 2012 at 9:44
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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.

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    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, 2011 at 7:14
  • Oh, OK. On my machine, this makes the Dock appear faster, but your experience is obviously different.
    – Daniel
    Dec 16, 2011 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. Dec 18, 2011 at 23:50
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via Cocktail.app

You can modify almost everything with this app.

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    How do you do this?
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 17, 2016 at 13:03
  • Open Cocktail - Interface - Dock - Auto-show delay
    – csabigabi
    Jan 18, 2016 at 13:16
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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.

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  • 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, 2011 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. :) Dec 17, 2011 at 13:43
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my two cents only to be complete. (in my case I DO hate not seeing bar at all, so I want it to stay ever)

from docs in terminal You can use:

  1. sual animation:

    defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide -bool TRUE; killall Dock
    
  2. Always Shown:

    defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide -bool FALSE; killall Dock
    

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