Remove all persistent items from Apple Dock using Xcode

If you’re like me, you hate all those default applications in the dock when you create a new user or get a new mac. I hate clicking, dragging, holding, and releasing to remove so many applications. Here’s a quick way to get rid of them using Xcode

First you’ll want to open the preference list (plist) file that stores what items are in the dock. Type the following into Terminal and Xcode should open.

open ~/Library/Preferences/

If you don’t have Xcode installed, you’ll probably be asked what program to open it in, and you’ll probably select TextEdit and see a garbled mess like the image below!

Opening a .plist file in TextEdit will get you nowhere

The file that opened in Xcode will look like the following: in Xcode

My persistent-apps only shows (1 item) because I’ve already cleared mine out, but on a new install, that’ll be a much higher number. BTW, don’t confuse this with persistent-others.

Go ahead and expand persistent-apps and click the minus button next to item 0 when you hover over it. Keep doing that until there are no more items listed under persistent-apps.

If you’re interested in what each item is, you can expand it further and check tile-data > file-label.

Checking the file-label in persistent-apps

To see these changes reflected, you can either kill the dock from the terminal like so:

killall Dock

Or you can Relaunch Finder from the Force Quit Applications dialog.

Relaunching Finder (and Dock) from the Force Quit Applications Dialog

Or you can just restart your computer.


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