dock preferences icon

How to Disable ‘Show Recent Applications in Dock’ in macOS Catalina

Catalina Quick Tip

macOS Mojave added a new feature to the Dock: it now shows your three most recent apps. This section sits between your collections of app icons on the left and the section of the right that shows your open apps.

I find it convenient; however, you may not. If so, you can disable this feature. Go to System Preferences > Dock and uncheck the box at the bottom for Show recent applications in Dock.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers

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  • Found issue, had to do a complete restart. Not just shutdown.

    Thank you for the tips.

    Very useful.

  • I am using a 13” MB pro 2015 with CATALINA.
    I found the check box, unchecked it.
    Closed preferences.
    Restarted Mac book pro.
    list is still there.

    What did I not do correctly.

    Also is there a way to edit what you see, the feature would be handy if I could customize.


  • I like the old “Recently Used Apps” where it showed more than three which Apple seemed to think was a waste of a feature. I’ve been trying to get it back, not get rid of it.

    • Recent apps are shown in the Apple menu in Recent Items.

      The General preferences panel has an option to increase the number of Recent Items shown for Documents, Apps, and Servers.