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How to recover from 'microdock' Desktop
You might ask "What's microdock?" It's my personal name for what you get when you're trying to drag a large selection of something (images, for example) and drop it onto a folder in the dock (say a new destination folder) ... and miss the target. When this happens, the 1,254 images you were trying to place in "My Pictures" are instead added to your dock ... and you get the microdock (a 10K image file, but it's 1600 pixels wide).

So how do you recover, as the only obvious way to get the stuff out of the dock is one item at a time? There's a quick two-step solution. First, delete from your ~/Library/Preferences folder. Second, use ProcessViewer (or the Terminal) to quit the dock. When it restarts, you'll find a new dock with the default OS X icon set installed.

If you had a highly customized set of things in your dock that you'd rather not have lost, you're out of luck at this point (short of hand-editing the dock.plist file). In the future, though, create a backup of the dock.plist file while the dock is "good", and then just replace the "bad" dock.plist file with your good backup and restart the dock -- you'll have your pre-incident dock back complete with customization.

The publication of this hint is in no way an admittance that I may have actually done something like this, of course ;-).
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How to recover from 'microdock' | 7 comments | Create New Account
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I believe you can simply force-quit the dock
Authored by: JKT on Apr 11, '02 07:14:40AM

IIRC, just force-quitting the Dock will re-expand any docked windows. You shouldn't have to delete the .plist

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Not minimized windows, objects...
Authored by: robg on Apr 11, '02 08:38:54AM
Force-quitting the dock will, indeed, expand any minimized windows. It will not, however, remove any objects such as applications, folders, or document icons that you have dragged there. In my example, that would be literally hundreds of JPEG files sitting on the right side of the dock. These weren't being minimized (command-M), they were being dragged to be placed on a folder that was already on the dock.

They'll all still be there after a force quit; the only way that I know of to make them vanish is to either drag them off one by one, or trash the prefs.


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Or, better yet...
Authored by: hobbster on Apr 11, '02 11:54:01PM

Simply hold down the "command" key when you drag items to a folder in the Dock. Then the Dock won't allow you to drop items ONTO it -- only INTO folders on it.

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I know that now...
Authored by: robg on Apr 14, '02 11:49:15AM

This actually happened a longggg time ago before I was aware of command dragging to the dock. A recent email, however, made me think that it might make a useful tip for those that don't learn about command until too late :-).


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cute dock
Authored by: wal9000 on Apr 14, '02 05:07:05AM
but those icons are so cute when they're that tiny :-)

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How to recover from 'microdock'
Authored by: carsten on Jul 22, '03 11:54:36PM

"All kids hate 'microdock!'"

Write to Apple to ask them to add a confirmation dialog to the Dock when dragging more than, say, 10 items onto the dock.

I wrote to Apple to complain about this during the public beta. Once in a while it still happens to me (followed immediately of by a loud ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!)

BTW, "microdock" is the coolest sounding name ever... for such a brain-dead feature of Mac OS X.

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How to recover from 'microdock'
Authored by: Kalindor on Sep 12, '03 07:51:23AM

You don't have to reconfigure your dock, if you just delete the unwanted items from the XML file.

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