Situation: Mac laptop was part of a MacOS server profile managed MDM system, and it pushed some dock icons for that user XYZ. Mac is now part of a new system, and uses the same users/uids. When the user logs in their dock sees the same old list of icons from OS long ago along with new ones.


  • Tried to remove dock plist files - but those are local not global so no effect
  • Tried defaults write options listed elsewhere - again local not global
  • Verified and made sure that the MDM profiles were removed from the old system - no effect
  • Tried the normal delete options, but the OPTION menu comes up and it blank (including the obvious drag and drag with option/ctrl)
  • Verified this happens to multiple users on the computer
  • Looked in /var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/ but the "Store" is a secret hidden-ish file and likely clobbering that too much would render my current LDAP/MDM borked.

Request: Anyone have an idea on where to try next? Is there a way to reset the Dock for all the users and remove the global pushing of the old icons? Do I need to delete the user and re-create through the new MDM/LDAP system? Where do those MDM pushed dock settings come from now that the MDM system is gone....

Note: Contacts icon which is gone from OS; Options menu is empty; and the list of icons in the pictures. Options Empty Old Contacts App Entire Dock w/ old stuff from Global MDM

  • Have you tried just dragging them up out of the dock? You should get the 'ghost' with Remove… i.sstatic.net/rMEnk.jpg [I don't have a ? to use as an example]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 16:07
  • 1
    Oh yeah - tried all the normal Dock management techniques - clarified that in the original post.
    – cgseller
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 16:33
  • 1
    I discovered the problem. The /Library/Managed Preferences/ is a location where .plist files are that merge with your standard preferences. These can sometimes be left over from a previous MDM.
    – cgseller
    Commented Feb 15 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


If you have tried all of the other documented or recommended solutions for fixing the dock with frozen icons, icons you can't delete, or icons with ? that you can't delete or remove, then make sure you try

/Library/Managed\ Preferences

There you should find some .plist files and resources from MDM or profile management which may be your source of ghosts.

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