Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Bay Mac's Help Desk with Steve Paris

Q: I use my Mac’s Dock a lot and place all the apps I use there so I can access them quickly when I need to. Problem is, I now have so many, it’s actually getting harder and harder to find the app I want to launch. Is there a way to resolve this?

A: Ah that is a problem many who use numerous apps face, sooner or later.

The most obvious solution is to remove apps you don’t use very frequently from the Dock. You do this by first quitting the app if it’s currently running, and then dragging its icon out of the Dock and as far away from it as possible before releasing the mouse button. Sadly, with Apple not being the Apple of old, things don’t always “just work”, and if you see the icon snap back into the Dock as you release it, try the following instead:

Control-click on the icon in the Dock and choose Options > Remove from Dock.

But Steve”, I hear you ask. “Once I’ve removed apps from the Dock, I then have to go to the Applications folder to find the one I need to open, which is extremely tedious.”

Worry not, because I have a little trick up my sleeve. You know Spotlight, right? The Mac’s system-wide search tool which you can trigger by either clicking on the magnifying glass icon, top right of the Menu Bar, or by using the Command-Spacebar keyboard shortcut.

Well, you can use Spotlight to launch apps. Just start typing its name in the search field, and Spotlight will offer you options, auto filling the ‘Top Hit’ which is very often the app you want to open. If it is the right one, hit the Return key to launch it. Even better, Spotlight learns from your choices and it will see which apps you launch most often, so very quickly you might only need to type a single letter to get to the app you need, like ’T’ for TextEdit, or ‘P’ for Photos.

You might actually find, as I have, that Spotlight will become the de-facto method you’ll use to open all the apps you need.

Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.




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