6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2011 9:03 AM by Dah•veed
redpola Level 1 (25 points)
Since the introduction of the App Store, my icons won't stay where I've placed them in the dock. I've specifically noticed it with Address Book and Calendar and Mail, but I think it's a generic problem.

Here's how I reproduce the issue.

Drag an icon of an open application such as Calendar from the far right hand side of the dock to somewhere near the left hand side of the dock. This should mean "keep in dock" and position the icon where you require it in the dock.

All is as normal.

Later I look and find that the icon has moved BACK to the right hand side of the dock. It may take a minute, an hour, or a day, but it's happening reliably now for the above mentioned applications.

I specifically have left them both open in case this makes a difference.

Can anyone help me stop this broken behaviour?


Aluminium MacBook, Early 2009, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Max user-installed RAM, 640GB user-installed HD.
  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,660 points)
    Trash the Dock's preference file.
    Then open the Terminal and type +killall Dock+
    This will quit and restart the Dock. And a new default preference file will be generated in place of the one you trashed. Now arrange things the way you like them and reconfigure the Dock's System Preferences.

    Fingers crossed that things remain the way that you like them.


  • redpola Level 1 (25 points)
    Thanks David,

    I've seen a similar solution suggested followed by comments that the fix does not work.

    Before I try this, can you confirm you saw exactly the same symptoms as me and that your fix cured those symptoms?

    Or are you suggesting something you are guessing will fix the problem?


  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,660 points)
    Before I try this, can you confirm you saw exactly the same symptoms as me and that your fix cured those symptoms?

    I have never had these symptoms with my Dock. But I also use the Dock differently than you do. I do not use the Dock as an app launch platform, so if there are no apps open on my Mac, there are no icons populating my Dock (with the exception of Finder, Mac App Store, Dashboard and the Trash). My Dock only shows apps that are currently open.
    Or are you suggesting something you are guessing will fix the problem?

    I am suggesting a harmless procedure which is a long standing troubleshooting step in trying to fix misbehaving apps. It may or may not be a permanent remedy. But I repeat, it is harmless. When the Dock restarts it will generate a new default preference file, in place of the one you trashed, that you can then reconfigure as you wish.
  • redpola Level 1 (25 points)
    Thanks again David, I appreciate your helpful suggestion.

    However I really was hoping for someone who suffered my problem and cured it to help.

    I really would like to cure the actual problem rather than reset my dock, start again, then suffer the problem again after I've spent a whole load of time setting up my icons how I want them.


  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,365 points)

    Deleting the dock.plist file will not "reset" your Dock icons. Deleting that .plist file is a very common troubleshooting tool for fixing issues with the Dock.

    If you open your user account in a Finder window then open the Library folder then the Preferences folder you will see all the .plist files associated with your applications. Removig the finder.plist file fixes Finder issues and so on.

    If necessary, it only takes a second to re arrange Dock icons. Just drag and drop.

    David's advice is spot on.


    Message was edited by: Carolyn Samit
  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,660 points)
    I have never heard of someone with this issue, so you may be waiting a long while for someone who fits the bill to stumble in here.

    I usually test my advice before posting, so, since I had never trashed the Dock plist before I did before recommending it to you. You get the original Dock back that was on your Mac when you logged in for your first time, across the bottom and populated with all of Apple's favorite apps. It took me 30 seconds to remove all the extra apps and in System Prefs/Dock put it back to autohiding on the right.

    Have you added any 3rd party hacks to the Dock?