How To Create A ‘Recent Apps’ Shortcut In Your Dock

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

8 Responses

  1. Robert M says:


    Is there a way to make it a folder instead of a stack? I find stacks annoying and much prefer the Recent Apps shortcut appear as a folder. It would also be nice to have it list Recent Apps, Recent Docs, Recent, etc, instead of just one of these items. Since it’s limited to just one selection, the overall usefulness of the icon is greatly diminished.

  2. mdwychoff says:

    @Robert M
    Which OS X or macOS are you running?
    Have you tried “right-clicking” (Ctrl+click) on the Recent Documents icon after issuing the Terminal command and restarting?

    I’m running it on the macOS 10.12.4 Sierra public beta 5, and there are check/uncheck selections for Recent Applications, recent Documents Recent Servers Favorite Volumes, and Favorite Items.
    Also View Content as Fan Grid List, or Automatic.

  3. mdwychoff says:

    Two more tips:

    1. Triple-click on the command shown to highlight the entire text, then use Command+C to Copy, move the cursor to the open window, and use Command+V to Paste the text in. You might need to press the Return key to execute the command.

    As explained in the article, the Terminal cursor returns momentarily. Then type in the ‘killall Dock’ command. and press ‘Return’. Note that the D in ‘Dock’ must be capitalized.

    I’ve now used this in the last release of OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 , the latest consumer distribution (NOT Beta) of macOS Sierra 10.12.3., and ‘right clicking’ offers the same content and display options I noted in my March 10th post.

  4. Jonny Evans says:

    Thanks to mdwychoff for that – I love it when readers take time to help each other!!!

  5. KBeat says:

    Is removing this as simple as dragging it off the dock, or does it require another trip to the terminal?

  6. Just to add to mdwychoff tips – you can run the terminal command more than once, and end up with a couple of folders if you like. I have one for Recent Apps and Recent Docs.

  7. James says:

    glad to read it.

  8. Devon Sean McCullough says:

    Fails to work around sudden inexplicable disappearance of
    El Capitan 10.11.6 Apple menu > Recent Applications >

    Instead creates a blank spot between Downloads and Trash.
    Hovering says “Recent Applications” but opening does nothing.

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