How to speed up the animations of a hidden macOS Dock

November 2017Jonathan Gruber

Since windows cannot overlap the Dock in macOS, hiding the Dock is often a good way to gain additional vertical screen space, particularly on smaller devices like a MacBook Pro 13. Unfortunately, there is always a certain delay until the Dock will be shown again when moving the mouse nearby. I find this very annoying as it unnecessarily slows down my workflow. I have also noticed that this works especially slowly when using external mice as opposed to the MacBook’s trackpad.

The defaults utility

Fortunately, many hidden options in macOS can be set with a command-line utility called defaults. To trigger the fade-in animation of the Dock immediately you can do the following:

defaults write autohide-delay -float 0
killall Dock

After executing this command the Dock needs to be restarted (killall Dock). If you want to switch back to the standard behavior, you can simply delete the corresponding configuration key:

defaults delete autohide-delay
killall Dock

You can also control the duration of the fade-in and fade-out animation itself. For example, to set the animation duration to half a second, you can enter the following commands.

defaults write autohide-time-modifier -float 0.5
killall Dock