Resolve the Issue of Dock Icons that Go Missing All the Time

The latest update to the macOS – High Sierra – includes a wide range of new features and security tweaks that are well worth of users’ time. Those who tried the new version of macOS have discovered considerable performance improvements, additional file formats, and exciting Safari features among others. However, in addition to presenting long-overdue features, High Sierra has introduced multiple inconveniences to the user experience despite intense beta testing. Luckily, almost any bug discovered by Mac owners can be eliminated with the help of easy-to-follow fixes. Furthermore, supplemental updates regularly issued by Apple address the majority of system defects and vulnerabilities confronted by users, which is especially important for those Mac aficionados who are less technologically advanced.

One of the recurring issues in High Sierra is the missing Dock icons. Specifically, application icons regularly disappear from the Dock for no apparent reason, which introduces a fair share of irritation for those Mac owners who use both stock and third-party apps. Instead of custom icons, the Dock features generic images that make it impossible to distinguish between different apps.

This article aims to help Mac users restore the normal view of the Dock icons. Follow step-by-step instructions outlined in the article to get rid of this vexing problem.

First Approach: Reset the Dock

The first approach to solving the issue of the missing Dock icons is to delete the Dock plist file and reboot a Mac. It should be mentioned, that the deletion of the file will remove all Dock preferences, thereby making it necessary to restore them manually. (Note that the introduction of changes to the Preferences should be done after the Mac is rebooted). To delete the Dock plist file:

  1. Open the Finder by clicking on its icon, which is located in the Dock;
  2. In the menu bar of the Finder, click on the Go tap and then proceed to Go to Folder (alternatively, use the Command + Shift + G combination);
  3. In the search bar at the top of the window, enter the following: ~/Library/Preferences/;
  4. Locate and delete the files named as apple.dock.extra.plist and com.apple.dock.plist

(Note that the files can be copied to the desktop to ensure their restoration after the deletion);

  1. Close the Preferences folder;
  2. Click the Restart button in the Apple Menu to restart the Mac.

Second Approach: Create Alias in the Dock

The second approach to solving the problem, which falls into the category of workarounds, necessitates the use of aliases as shortcuts for accessing apps. To create an alias and add it to the Dock:

  1. Go to the Applications folder;
  2. Choose a needed app;
  3. Drag it to the desktop and press Option-Command to create an alias;
  4. Drag the alias to the Dock;
  5. Remove the generic icon from the Dock by dragging it out.

It is possible to create as many aliases as needed; however, if the number of generic icons is too large, it is better to adhere to the first approach to solving the issue.

Note that you can also access either the original file or an app associated with an alias. To do so, select an alias in the Dock and press Command + R to show the original item. Alternatively, right-click on the icon and select Show Original in a menu that opens.

 

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