Recently, I set up a Mac for my grandmother (yes, my grandmother, who is almost 90, has been gently coerced into using OS X and is doing better than a lot of much younger people I know). However, she had a few problems with what she called “programs disappearing from the side bit”. What was happening was that she was dragging icons out of the Dock by mistake, inevitably removing them from the Dock. So I locked the Dock to stop this happening. And because it’s quite a handy thing to know, I thought I’d write a quick post about it.
The easiest way to do this is using the Terminal. For those who are unfamiliar with the Terminal there are really only 2 things I would mention about it.
1.) It is very powerful (it can destroy things if you are not careful) so make sure you are very clear about the commands you are using.
2.) It is very often the quickest and easiest way to execute a command cleanly.
So having said that, to work.
To Lock the Dock:
1.) Open Finder and go to Go > Utilities
2.) From the Utilities list choose Terminal
3.) In the Terminal type (or just copy and paste):
defaults write com.apple.dock contents-immutable -bool true
4.) Then restart the Dock with the new settings by typing:
The Dock is now locked.
To Unlock the Dock
You may find that from time to time you want to add/remove programs from the Dock. To do this simply repeat steps 1 and 2 above, then
3.) In the Terminal type the command above with “false” instead of “true”
defaults write com.apple.dock contents-immutable -bool false
4.) Restart the Dock (as above) using:
Now the Dock is unlocked.
[NOTE: If this doesn’t work for you try logging out and logging in again as Admin.]