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Position the dock at the top of the screen Desktop
Ever really, really wanted the Dock to appear at the top of your screen, but were frustrated because Apple left out that option? No? Me neither ... But if you're curious, here's how to do it.
  1. Open up the Terminal
  2. Type defaults write orientation top
  3. Restart the Dock process. You can either log out then back log in again, use ProcessViewer (in /Applications -> Utilities), or using "ps" and "kill" if you know how to do such things.
To change it back:
  1. Open up the Terminal
  2. Type 'defaults delete orientation'
  3. Restart the Dock process as above.
Be warned though: If you have auto-hide on, it is very tricky to get the dock to appear; you need to hover just below the bottom edge of the top menu. If you have troubles, just use the Apple menu to make it visible again (Command-Option-D).

[Editor's note: I know this is an oldie, but as far as I can tell, it's never actually been directly posted before! If you'd rather not use the Terminal, just use TinkerTool, which can move the dock and make the changes take effect immediately.]
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Position the dock at the top of the screen | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: jjenness on Oct 18, '02 11:36:56AM

You can use something like BBEdit to actually edit the file "" and change the "left", "right" or "bottom" (your current settings) to "top" or open that ".plist" file in Property List Editor that came with the Developer's all there.

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Still doesn't solve my problem... :-(
Authored by: b3uk on Oct 18, '02 05:51:02PM

I have a dual monitor setup, and would like to position the dock on the bottom of my extra monitor, but cannot find a way to do this. I can only (even with tinkertool) position it on the bottom of my main monitor or the very left or right hand sides of the whole display. Anybody worked his one out?

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Still doesn't solve my problem... :-(
Authored by: koala2 on Oct 18, '02 06:59:38PM


me to, I would love to stick my dock up right on my first monitor...
A kingdom for a solution... :-)

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Multiple Monitors and the Dock
Authored by: Frederico on Oct 18, '02 09:19:30PM

As others have mentioned, the Dock and multiple monitors is a continued frustration. Back in the Public Beta, one could manipulate the dock at least to work on any one of multiple monitors placed on a single horizontal plane.

Since 10.1.x,, however, it's either the bottom of the Main screen, or the edge of the furthest-left or furthest-right monitor on the same plane as the main screen.

My setup is six screens; three over three; with the main screen in the lower center plane.

This tip puts the dock on the top of the screen above my main screen in the center. Interesting, but not exactly what I want.

Gideon Softworks' Dock-It is seeking to help with this behavior; as it is, it's the only application (that I'm aware of) that allows for multiple
*SIMULTANEOUS* docks, placed at any location, left, right, top, bottom, centered or otherwise -- except that it is currently limited to the Main screen.

The developer says (based on my request) that he is working on multiple monitor support (allowing a dock to be placed on any edge of any screen, ala DropDrawers) for the next version.

In the meantime, check out DropDrawers X, which can add a tabbed interface (again, on any edge of any screen) that in many cases can replicate the functionality of the Dock.

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wreaks havoc with menu
Authored by: cynikal on Oct 25, '02 01:53:56PM

The items in the upper right corner (battery, time, etc) all seem to be affected negatively when the dock is at the top.. their menu's drop down below the dock but then you have to scroll up to see the whole menu.

Is there a way to fix this or does one have to live w/ it when using the dock at the top?

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Position the dock at the top of the screen
Authored by: harpoonflyby on Apr 11, '06 12:32:06PM

I started experiencing random kernal panics when using this command. Also lost my date/time upon reboot.

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