My dock in Mac OS Catalina shows icons for all open docs in my open apps (Finder, Word, Skim,...) If I right click on any of these apps and press "Hide" the doc icons disappear from the dock, but the moment I use the app again, they all reappear again. Is there any way to make the doc icons disappear completely. They are shown to the right of my apps in this screenshot:
enter image description here

  • To be clear: Do you also see the opened documents in large, i.e. displayed in full on the screen? Because that screenshot just looks like you have a lot of open documents minimized, which is precisely the point of that Dock function. The "Hide" functionality each app gets has nothing to do with those, it is, as the name implies, meant to hide the entire app. Using the app naturally unhides it again. I don't quite understand what the question is.
    – Gero
    May 12, 2020 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


The behavior shown in the image in your OP is the normal default for macOS when application windows are minimized.

If you do not want to see minimized windows in the Dock, then do the following:

  • Go to System Preferences > Dock and check the
         [√] Minimize windows into application icon checkbox.

  • In Terminal run the following command: killall Dock

    • This will restore all the application windows so they are not minimized to the Dock.

Now you can minimize the application windows you do not want to currently see and they will minimize into the application's icon on the Dock, not the the normal default position as shown in the image in your OP.

To then access a minimized window, when in the application, you can go to the Window menu on the menu bar, or either click-hold or right-click on the Application's Dock Tile and select the target window.

  • Which is the default? Minimize into Application ON, or OFF? I've never observed this behaviour in MacOS since day 1, that I can remember! ;-) Mind you, I've always advised against minimizing windows. But I digress..
    – benwiggy
    May 12, 2020 at 14:07
  • 1
    @benwiggy, The normal default for macOS is to minimize to the Dock just as in the image shown in the OP, thus making the default for the [ ] Minimize windows into application icon checkbox is not checked. Which makes the default for minimize to the application icon to be off. May 12, 2020 at 14:19
  • @user3439894 Thanks! "killall Dock" did the job! I believe that the problem was a result of some bug in the system, as I never attempted to mess with internal dock settings, beyond what it in the Settings menu.
    – Adam
    May 12, 2020 at 17:43

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