I repeatedly see that the Dock is in auto-hide mode. So, I go to settings and disable auto-hide. Yet soon enough, auto-hide returns.
How can I keep this setting from re-enabling itself?
(macOS Monterey 12.3.1)
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@bjbk's comment to use option+command+D fixed it for me.
If you have (even inadvertently) used the keyboard shortcut option+command+D it turns on (or off) this setting.
You can disable the keyboard shortcut by opening System Settings and searching for "Keyboard shortcuts". Uncheck "Turn Dock hiding on/off".
Right-click the tiny dividing line in the dock, and you will see Turn Hiding On/Off as seen below:
From the same dock context menu you can access the corresponding MacOS Settings page via Dock Settings...
And now the important part: if you have a dual monitor setup 🖥️ 🖥️, AND you disabled the option Displays have separate Spaces then you will have the scenario described in the original question where dock hiding seems to turn itself on out of the blue. When using multiple displays you must make sure that Displays have separate Spaces is set to ON (on Ventura the option is the last one in the Dock Settings prefs pane which can be opened from the context menu).
To get the dock context menu hover above the tiny line in the dock until the cursor turns into resize mode ↔️, and then right-click (this area is also used to click+drag to adjust the size of the dock):