My Dock's open app indicator is suddenly missing. There is no more black dot at the bottom of my open app indicator.

What I did (but failed):

  • I am turning on my open app indicator in the system preference.
  • I have tried to remove ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist

When I move the dock position to Left or Right though, the indicator appears. Only when at the bottom it doesn't appear. Anybody knows why?

I am on macOS Sierra 10.12.6.

Adding picture.

This really doesn't show my point so well. When I took the screenshot, the open app indicator is there. But it doesn't show up in my real desktop. enter image description here

  • That's it then! If the screen shot captures the dots, then it's simply a GPU failure or a display failure where that command isn't making it to the display. Crazy failure mode. I'm not sure I have a good thought - my answer was for everything but this case. I'll leave it up as a wrong path in case anyone else doesn't see or believe this situation. – bmike Mar 10 at 20:12
  • U might be right. Probably it is my display issue. the bottom part looks a bit shady. – addicted Mar 10 at 20:13
  • Go ahead and make your answer what you find and tick your answer as the “solution” - Mine can sit as a second answer in case someone has “the usual” culprits of software errors – bmike Mar 10 at 20:29

I've seen that happen when a system isn't logged out for months, so the first thing I would do is save work and then log out.

When you log back in, consider holding the shift key (or not having all the apps re-start) as well if a quick log out and log in don't clean things.

  • On rare occasion the saved application state gets messed up and a cleaner log in can help.
  • On other rare occasions it’s genie effect and software bugs - Visual bug in Dock after macOS Mojave installation
  • Be sure it’s not just a display failure as well. I would rule that in or out with some tests below:

Start with logging out and then restarting with no accounts logged in. Should you have something you can reproduce right after a restart, would be when I would get a sysdiagnose of the dock process and get a support ticket in to Apple.

Lastly, since you were removing preference files from under the preference database engine, consider trying a new user account to be sure things are good. In that case, you can consider moving files and settings over to a new account or know that it's just a user library preference corruption issue.

If you reproduce this on a new account, a backup and reinstall of the OS would be my next step. Hopefully you don't need to do an erase install, so start with an in-place reinstall where your user data isn't erased.

  • let me try those. simply logging out and logging in does not work for me. I'll try restart with no accounts logged in. – addicted Mar 10 at 19:46
  • Yes - be sure to make a second admin account. That will tell you right away if it's a system issue or something messed up in the home folder / preferences of your main account. – bmike Mar 10 at 19:47
  • restarting and logging in to second admin account. Some app (system preferences for example) have open app indicator and some others doesn't (Safari, Finder). What should I do next? – addicted Mar 10 at 19:53
  • @addicted I would upload a screen shot of the dock of the newly created account. My answer can sit here in case it improves, but you'll want to show what's happening with more details and an image to draw attention to this. – bmike Mar 10 at 19:56
  • I am adding picture but sadly it doesn't make my point very well. The indicator shows up in the picture but missing in my real desktop. One way to make the indicator appear (in my new account) is to remove the app icon from dock and launching it again. – addicted Mar 10 at 20:10

Open the terminal and in a terminal window type:

defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock

This returns dock to original settings.

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