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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mac - Get rid of Dock folder preview icons

So in Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard"), if you put a folder in the Dock, then the folder's icon gets replaced with the icons of files inside that folder. The most common place to see this is the Downloads folder.

I find this feature useless and ugly. My Downloads folder has dozens of items in it, and the preview algorithm is not helping me at all. So with some digging around, I found out how to make my Dock display simple folder icons rather than the icons of contained files.

Simple approach:
1) Command-click the Dock icon for that folder, and select "Folder" under the "Display As" area.

Geekier approach (and the one I first found):
1) Open the file /Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist in the Property List Editor program.
2) In the Editor, open the entry "persistent-others/Item 1/tile-data/displayas" and change its value from 0 to 1.
3) Repeat Step 2 for all items under "persistent-others" that have a displayas entry (only folders in the Dock have this entry).
3) Save the changes in the Editor.
4) In a terminal, issue the "killall Dock" command (or log all the way out and then log back in, or restart your Mac).

Voila! Real, simple folders in your Dock! The only downside is, whichever method you use, you have to do separately for each folder in your Dock.

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