What are the best dock replacements?

It's frustrating to keep track of windows in the dock unless they're minimized. For instance, I often have 10-15 separate PDF documents open. It's a mess to keep track of them on the dock.

-- Harry Gindi

  • 9
    What do you dislike so much about the Dock? I don't really have a problem with it. Knowing what issues you have would help create better solutions.
    – jmlumpkin
    Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 20:31
  • TBH, I wouldn't use the Dock to keep track of windows. I wouldn't recommend minimizing windows, either - you just forget that you had something open. Use Application Windows (F3 on my Mac, but I think it varies) to show open windows, or use Tabs. You can right-click on the Dock to get a list of an app's windows, and there's some other useful stuff there too, like a quick way to Force Quit.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 11:38

6 Answers 6


HyperDock gives you window previews for each running app in the dock, which helps tremendously.

alt text

  • 1
    So does the Dock if you click and hold on the icon of a running app.
    – Greg
    Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 10:00
  • 5
    Yeah, but not like this. This is instantaneous and it doesn't take over your screen like the Expose view you get when holding a click on the app. HyperDock shows you the windows from all spaces, unlike Expose. Plus there are a whole slew of other useful things I haven't mentioned. Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 18:02
  • Huge fan of this app. Been a paying customer for quite some time now. That said, as great as it is, the support is horrible. Well, it can't be called horrible if it doesn't exist! I tried contacting support several times over a mis-typed email address which kept me from getting my license, but the person didn't reply. (Yes, I wrote from a different email address and yes, I included it in the text as well.) Honestly, I was so mad that after two months of trying I was going to leave, but the program is just too good, so I ended up reluctantly paying again. Love the app. Hate the support. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 5:38


I was impressed with this. It is the closest thing to a task bar replacement I found. Some of its behavior annoyed me so I did not purchase it at the end of the trial. You may fare diffently.

The DOCK is rather ill conceived for a variety of reasons, but programs leaving the dock when open is a huge one. Finding open windows is OSX is far more difficult than in Windows. alt-tab > cmd+tab then cmd+~. Seeing the window clearly on the task bar is also nice.

EDIT: I found this forum while looking for a replacement for ubar. I was unable to find one worth a crap. So I ended up buying Ubar, even tho it has some issues. Even with its issues it is better than the dock. The dock is a common complaint for windows users; this isnt a case of stubborn users rejecting change or a different way of doing things. This is a case of the taskbar really being the better way fulfill these functions.

  • 1
    Hi, I'm the developer of uBar. Send me an email with your issues and I'll see if I can resolve them. Cheers.
    – Edward
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 17:54
  • An issue I am having is that multiple instances of the a program do not show up as multiple (or grouped) items on the ubar, and go to the dock. So I need to use both.
    – Unknown
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 13:27
  • 1
    For future people wanting to try uBar - don't. It's abandoned. Bugged. Lagging. Crashing. Freezing. And developer ditched everything. But still takes money when you buy uBar :) Don't be fooled like me people
    – idchlife
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 6:01

A quasi-replacement worth considering is Quicksilver (download: https://qsapp.com/ and guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBvFUhTqKK4), used by a large number of devout users.

Though, that it depends on what you're looking to replace: access to apps, documents, tasks etc? It should work great. If you want something that looks vaguely like a dock/taskbar/GNOME panel, it won't replace that.

  • 3
    LaunchBar... Alfred... Google QuickSearch Box... Even Spotlight! Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 22:02
  • Quite right! I've actually had Spotlight replace QS for months…
    – msanford
    Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 22:37
  • 2
    I use Spotlight instead of QS too. Works fine.
    – Greg
    Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 10:01
  • 1
    @Flimm This answer is 5 years old and probably no longer relevant…
    – msanford
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    @Br.Bill There you go, I updated it.
    – msanford
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 18:09

Ubar is very nice. But I don't think it's a dock replacement. Because for me a big job of the dock is the list of icons for my commonly used apps. As far as I can tell, uBar doesn't do that...@Edward


I'm an ActiveDock developer, the application is actively developing, version 2 is now available https://noteifyapp.com/activedock/


System Preferences->Dock: set "minimize windows into application icon".

  • This is not an answer to the question.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 17:02
  • we will see about soon enough.
    – LexS
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 14:37
  • How does this replace the dock?
    – nohillside
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 15:36

You must log in to answer this question.

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