Add Spaces to Dock in OS X

This is absolutely not HTML related, but by sheer demand, I needed to add it somewhere. To add a "space" to the dock in OS X, open up and enter this. Enter it as many times as you want spaces. Error on too many, they are easy to remove.

defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'

They won't show up until you force restart the Dock with:

killall Dock

To remove them, just drag them up and out of the Dock like any other icon. To move them around, click and drag.


  1. shawtttt
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, maybe it’s time to add another snippet section? Mac os snippets? :)

  2. Jacob
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been waiting for this since I bought my mac earlier this year.

  3. CTPE30
    Permalink to comment#

    This is absolutely awesome! Simple and easy to use and get rid of them later if needed. Great! Thank you very much for sharing it.

  4. Jon Stuebe
    Permalink to comment#

    You guys should check out the pref pane secrets. Has this little terminal command along with a ton other useful ones.

  5. @joely
    Permalink to comment#


  6. Chris
    Permalink to comment#

    lol that was one of my first thoughts when I saw your intro video. Thanks for addressing it!

  7. Joseph
    Permalink to comment#

    Seems like this might work only in 10.5 and above? Wasn’t able to get any spaces in 10.4.11.

    I need to upgrade anyway.

  8. Matthew Guay
    Permalink to comment#

    If you’d like a similar effect in Windows 7, I just wrote an article on How-to Geek about it:

    Thanks Chris for the inspiration … when I saw your dock in “Digging into WordPress” I knew I had to have that :)

  9. Andy
    Permalink to comment#

    I love this trick. I used to watch your screencasts and always wanted to know how you got those spaces. I actually found it several weeks ago on another site, but this is great to have as I tend to get carried away with customizing my dock.

  10. GTinLA
    Permalink to comment#

    Hey…thanks a bunch….love that tip…cheers

  11. Tony
    Permalink to comment#

    I can’t seem to get the spaces where I want them, any help please ?

    Thanks so much !

  12. Flavio
    Permalink to comment#

    Tks a lot!!! work fine!!!

  13. Ryan Baillargeon
    Permalink to comment#

    Very Cool SIte – found it on smashing’s twitter. Thanks for the script here.

  14. Daniel
    Permalink to comment# an easy way to add spaces (and toggle between 2D/3D)

    • matt
      Permalink to comment#

      Super cool.
      Ive always wanted to organize the dock so I can group the applications in it better.

  15. Gyonka
    Permalink to comment#

    You put this in the HTML category?

  16. Casey
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you so much!! I have been looking for this all over, and found it here!

  17. Phil D
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for posting this Chris
    – From memory I think I was one of the naggers asking for this… cheers

  18. jkjkjk
    Permalink to comment#

    Onyx application do that and even much more extremely useful maintenance

  19. Chad

    Thanks Chris

    Always learning a lot form you and CSS-Tricks. Please Keep them Coming

  20. edgar
    Permalink to comment#


  21. Rai
    Permalink to comment#


  22. Mr babeljlex
    Permalink to comment#

    Very nice. Thank you. No more scrolling backwards and forwards on the dock to find the application I need at any given time

  23. David Parsons

    I knew you would have something on this! Thank you!

  24. Bob Jonson
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks sooooooooo much, ever since I started watching your screencasts I’ve been wondering how to do this!

  25. Mike Bosch
    Permalink to comment#

    I went away from the using dock and started using spotlight (cmd+spacebar) as an app launcher. Now that I’m used to it; that’s my preference…but then I saw this on your screencasts…

    and thought “how do you do that”? Google…BAM! right back to CSS-tricks. It’s like crack. I can’t get away. But I’m ok with that ‘cuz now, my dock looks cool. :)

  26. Chris
    Permalink to comment#

    Noticed these in your screencasts! Nice addition :)

  27. Lauren
    Permalink to comment#

    Oh thank you so much for this. I’ve been watching your screencasts for a while and have always wondered how to do this. You’re my official Friday hero :)

  28. Maurice
    Permalink to comment#

    I never realized that you had already addressed this, and all this time watching your screen casts I would think “this is a great screen cast, but how did he get those spaces”. Guess I was a little lazy until you mentioned it at ConvergeFL the other day. Big thanks for this one :-)

  29. Andrew
    Permalink to comment#

    I made a simple Automator Workflow. You may need to do a chmod 744 Add\ Space\ to\ Dock.wflow for it to work.


  30. Julie
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for this! Love it.

  31. Javier Diaz Gomez
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome! thank you so much for the tip! Love it.

  32. Shina
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks … very useful

  33. Colin
    Permalink to comment#

    Sweet! This is a must have snippet, glad you included it.

  34. Marc
    Permalink to comment#

    Very, very useful. Thanks :)

  35. Manuel

    Thanks, you are the best.

  36. Josh B.
    Permalink to comment#

    I have been wondering how to do this forever! Thanks for the simple lesson. I thought there was some work-around to achieve this, like a transparent .png or something placed in the Dock (stupid thought, right?)

  37. Andrew K
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks – saw this on Digging into WP and always wondered how it was done :)

  38. Mitch
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks Chris not the usual type of knowledge I get from css-tricks but really useful.

  39. Jeonghwan
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks. It’s a really useful tip.

  40. Antonie
    Permalink to comment#

    Excellent, it works well. I also saw this in a screencast and wondered how you got it, searched the internet and got back to your site with this article. Well done! I can now organize my dock!

  41. saada
    Permalink to comment#
    This app is easy to install and use to add spaces to the dock

  42. Leslie D. Martin

    Any way to add divider lines (like the divider between applications on user folders) instead of spaces?

  43. Sven
    Permalink to comment#

    in order to add more than one .. i had to close and reopen the terminal window after each killdock

  44. Simon
    Permalink to comment#

    This is AWESOME! =) THANKS

  45. Phil
    Permalink to comment#


  46. xairbusdriver
    Permalink to comment#

    As long as we’re completely ‘off topic’, here’s a non-Terminal and slightly more artistic method; vertical and horizontal “apps”: link

  47. Harkirat
    Permalink to comment#

    how to remove this?

  48. The Old Designer
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks Chris
    Took the inspiration and rearranged my dock (although I use Launchbar most of the time) to use it as a visual reminder of some of the apps I rarely use but should. Knew about the spaces but like a lot of things had slipped off the radar.

  49. Greg
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks so much for this! Very useful!

  50. Doris
    Permalink to comment#

    can i do this on windows?

Leave a Comment

Posting Code

We highly encourage you to post problematic HTML/CSS/JavaScript over on CodePen and include the link in your post. It's much easier to see, understand, and help with when you do that.

Markdown is supported, so you can write inline code like `<div>this</div>` or multiline blocks of code in triple backtick fences like this:

  function example() {
    element.innerHTML = "<div>code</div>";

We have a pretty good* newsletter.