For some reason Dock process is using a lot of cpu and RAM ( 4GB+ at this moment ) as you can see on this image:

I tried to:

  • Kill the process
  • Restart Mac OS
  • Remove com.apple.Dock.plist/db and kill Dock
  • Logout and login again

Nothing worked. Note that i don't have VMWare or Parallels installed.

Any ideas of what might be happening?

If i login with another user, Dock works fine. But i really don't want to configure everything again :(


  • 1
    Did you ever solve this? – dkam Jun 16 '12 at 23:24
  • @dkam Unfortunately i had to reinstall MacOS to get rid of this problem. – Fernando Jun 17 '12 at 4:05
  • 1
    @Fernando - a better way is to create a new user and then add used apps one by one until you see which one causes the issue – mmmmmm Jan 6 '13 at 12:42

You could try removing all of the icons from your dock that you can and then slowly add them back until you find the app that is causing the memory leak.


Some apps that 'update' their dock icons with information (e.g. Mail, App Store, myriad third-party apps that might 'monitor' things such as temperature, processes, network connections) can definitely cause big resource draws. I've had the whole machine move in slow motion because of this.

As a result, I generally turn off any dock icon updating, or as Apple calls them, 'badges', both from Apple and third parties, regardless of nature/flavour/complexity. I much prefer my information to reside in the menu bar anyway (where possible), and it generally doesn't eat up so many resources. This way I avoid the behavior in question, that I have only ever had intermittently, not constantly like you did (obviously this is not guaranteed to be what was causing your troubles).

You could also try deleting the dock cache file* (at least in Lion/10.7): com.apple.dock.iconcache inside…


Some people just go into Terminal and type:

sudo find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.dock.iconcache

…however, this shows you all users' dock icon cache file. That's why I prefer to move through the GUI filesystem, because the other users' folders will be unreadable, so you can just find this through browsing/elimination. It's the only one you can actually read.

To get started

  1. Make sure Finder is the front-most application
  2. Press ⌘ cmd + ⇧ shift + G
  3. Paste/type in /private/var/folders/ and click Go.

*Note: when you update the Finder dock icon this is one of the steps included in the process for Lion.

  • 1
    With regards to the sudo find … showing all users' cache file, if you omit the sudo and add 2>/dev/null to the end, it will show you the path to your dock icon cache file only, hiding errors: find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.dock.iconcache 2>/dev/null – grg Aug 23 '13 at 17:09

I know this post is very old, but I ran into the same exact problem.

The Dock tracks every single changes in the Application folder. In my case, an application was creating tons of files in the application folder which brings the Dock to its knees.

The only solution for me was to move the application into an other folder.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .