Disable icon bouncing in the Dock on Mac

How to toggle dock icon bouncing on and off on mac. Icon bouncing can be very distracting, and sometimes the cause can be entirely intentional. E.g. A disconnected ssh tunnel; this is how you turn off the little annoyance.


By. Jacob

Created: 2023-09-23 00:00

1. First disable the bouncing:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-bouncing -bool TRUE

2. Then kill the dock (it will be automatically be restarted):

killall Dock

.plist files are stored in ~/Library/Preferences.

Icons bouncing is distracting

Icons bouncing in the MacOS Dock, together with the delay-infused sabotaged Caps Lock button, and various other little annoyances, is one of the most horrendously irritating things I have come across after I got my hands on a Macbook Pro (M1); typically the icons will bounce continuously until you react to it, and sometimes there is no way to stop an app icon from bouncing except closing the program. This is especially annoying when the bouncing is caused by something like a disconnected ssh tunnel — because you might actually intend it to remain disconnected!

Closing programs is a cause for extra stress for me, because what happens when closing a program is not very well defined or consistent across different programs. It may very well depend entirely on the specific program you are working with.

Toggle bouncing on/off

Disable icon bouncing:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-bouncing -bool TRUE

Enable icon bouncing:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-bouncing -bool FALSE

After making changes to com.apple.dock you will also need to restart the dock for the changes to go into effect:

killall Dock

What is the defaults command on mac?

The defaults command is used to read and edit property lists (plists); app configuration options on mac are often stored within these "plists", and can be changed through existing GUI controls or through the terminal using the defaults write:

defaults write com.apple.dock orientation left

If you have Xcode installed, you can also edit .plist files by double clicking them in MAC Finder, and for Visual Studio Code there might be a plugin for reading .plist files.

There are more advanced usage options available than covered here; you can always read the man page from your terminal to find out more:

man defaults

Reading a .plist from terminal

The .plist is unfortunately in a binary format, so it can not easily be viewed and edited with nano, but the defaults command can be used instead. E.g:

defaults read com.apple.dock.plist


  1. Edit property lists in Terminal on Mac - support.apple.com

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