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Question: Dock disappeared


a dock of a friend of mine keeps disappearing. When he uses his
Mac Pro there is no Dock to be found, and sometimes it pops up but
then it's gone in a flash.
When I try "killall Dock" it won't help, I have replaced the Dock
application in Macintosh HD/System/Library/CoreServices.
This won't work either.

Can someone help me to solve it, or does someone have any experience
with this?



Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)

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Dec 5, 2007 8:53 AM in response to FlorisW In response to FlorisW

Might be a good idea to trash the preference files for the dock and then do a kill -HUP on it. The files are located at:


The ~/ denotes the home directory rather than the root just in case you were not aware.

Dec 5, 2007 8:53 AM

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Dec 5, 2007 2:30 PM in response to Thomas Wager In response to Thomas Wager

Ahh was not aware that this would cause an issue. If so, killing the dock plist and db should also resolve it as it should clear everything off the dock (including the stacks I believe).

Would then need to troubleshoot individual stacks and icons on the dock by adding them one by one to see if problems occur, so removing the Downloads stack would probably be a quick fix to see if it works first.

Dec 5, 2007 2:30 PM

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Dec 6, 2007 9:55 AM in response to Thomas Wager In response to Thomas Wager

I had this problem, and removing the "broken" jpg fixed it. Thanks for the advice!
If you have this problem, look for a broken jpg in your downloads folder before trashing the dock plist and db, just in case it fixes it - then you don't have to rebuild your dock icons and settings like I did.
This all assumes you have the default downloads folder shortcut in your dock like I do.

Dec 6, 2007 9:55 AM

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Jan 11, 2008 10:46 PM in response to chrisleedottv In response to chrisleedottv

Yes, this solution worked for me too. After a download that included several image files, I started having the disappearing dock problem on an iMac 24" Aluminum running Leopard. At first it would appear and disappear quickly, repeatedly. Dock preference settings had no effect. Then, later, the Dock simply failed to appear at all.

After reading this hint, I connected to my computer from another and found a jpeg file in the Downloads folder. Moving it to the desktop fixed the problem. I had previously tried deleting the various dock prefs files and that didn't help.

Thanks for the solution!

Jan 11, 2008 10:46 PM

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Jan 15, 2008 4:42 PM in response to frodolives In response to frodolives


My Dock suddenly wouldn't appear, and spaces was freaking out. Preferences did nothing, reboots did nothing. I was starting to freak out.

I saw this solution and I was skeptical, since it seemed unlikely to fix the myriad odd problems I was experiencing. But, I just moved the JPEG from "Downloads" to my desktop and the dock sprang back to life, no reboot, nothing.


Jan 15, 2008 4:42 PM

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Jan 23, 2008 9:55 PM in response to FlorisW In response to FlorisW

There is another forum on this subject:


This was my post from there:

I appreciate the active forum on this subject, thank you all for the help. In the end, my solution to this problem is:

.) Command-Option-D did not work.

.) I tried the Terminal solution of:
killall Dock

.) Terminal solution did not work (other than reset my desktop background, which is kinda cool, because it was jacked)

.) After applying the terminal solution, and THEN using Command-Option-D my Dock came back.

Thank you for the tips everyone.

To summarize:

1) In Terminal:
killall Dock

2) Command-Option-D

Hope this helps,

PS: I have no image files or anything related during this most recent disappearing, that may be a separate issue. May the force be with you.

Jan 23, 2008 9:55 PM

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Question: Dock disappeared