If you’re new to Apple’s MacBooks, there are many things to get used to. Switching to your first Mac involves a learning curve, especially because Apple does so many things differently than Windows, and many people are confused about what the black dots on a Mac doc are. How do you get rid of the dots that appear under apps when using a Mac?
To get rid of the dots under the apps in a Mac’s Dock, one has to go in and manually quit the app. This is similar to the way apps on iPhones are still running in the background and must be closed manually. To do this, right-click on the app and select the “Quit” option.
Included below is information about what the dots under the apps in your Mac’s Dock are, why they’re there, and how to get rid of them.
What Are the Dots Under the Apps in the Mac’s Dock?
The dots under applications on your Mac’s Dock mean that the apps are still running, even if you can’t see any of the windows open on your desktop. This is similar to having apps open in the background on an iPhone. On your iPhone, these apps need to be closed manually, and on your Mac, you have to do the same thing. Most of the time, these dots can easily be removed. The one exception is the Finder app.
Why Do the Dots Appear?
The black dots appear under the apps in the Dock because Apple wants the user to be aware of apps that are still running in the background, regardless of whether or not you can see them doing so. The black dot, essentially, is so that you can see that the app you recently closed is still running. This is especially helpful for those who prefer to pin apps to their Docks instead of leaving them on their desktops or somewhere else.
Apple wants to let you know when closed apps are still running in the background to preserve your Mac’s battery life and ensure the machine is running to the best of its ability. Open apps drain the battery life and reduce the efficiency of your Mac.
How to Get Rid of the Black Dots Under Apps Permanently
There are many ways to get rid of the black dots under the apps in the Dock, but only a few ways to get rid of them permanently. Even if you do get rid of the dots, keep in mind that apps may still be running in the background, you just won’t have any way to determine if they are.
To get rid of the black dots, open Mac’s System Preferences, then click on the Dock & Menu Bar icon. In this section, you can change many settings, from where your Dock appears on your screen, to what tabs look like when they are minimized.
To get rid of the black dots, find the “show indicators for open applications” statement, and uncheck the box next to it. You will need to uncheck the box because Apple’s default settings ensure that the box is checked. (Source)
Now, the black dots should be gone! Remember that some apps may still be running in the background. If you are having trouble with the battery retention in your Mac, try quitting some apps to see if that will improve it. If an app is unresponsive to the right-click and quit method, you may need to force quit the app. To do this, press and hold Option, then click and hold the app’s Dock icon.
How to Close Apps in the Background
If you prefer to know whether or not apps are running in the background, hiding the indicators is not the best choice. Instead, allow the black dots to pop up when you open an app. When you are done using the app, right-click on its Dock icon and select “Quit” from the drop-down menu that will appear.
Because Mac’s trackpad doesn’t allow you to right-click by just clicking on the right side of it, some people, especially previous Windows users, get confused about how to right-click. To right-click, press and hold control, then click on the app. You can also click on the trackpad with two fingers instead of just one to right-click.
After you’ve right-clicked on the app and pressed “Quit”, the app should do one of two things. One, it could be removed from the Dock. Two, the black dot could go away, and the app’s icon will remain in the Dock. The latter occurs when apps are pinned to the Dock.
If an app is pinned, when you open it again the app will jump up and down in place a few times before opening. If you are opening the app from your Launchpad, the other apps in the Dock will get smaller to make room for the new app, which will also jump up and down a couple of times before opening.
To cancel this animation, open the Mac’s System Preferences and click on the “Dock & Menu Bar” icon. When you’re in this section, find the “Animate opening applications” statement and uncheck the box next to it.
When the app appears (or is just reopened), a black dot will appear beneath it until you quit the app, unless you have decided not to allow the black dots to appear.
Can I See Which Apps Are Open in the Background if the Indicator Setting Is Off?
There are many ways to check and see which apps are running in the background, even if you’ve turned off the black indicator dots.
The first method is to press command + option + escape. This opens the Force Quit Applications menu. It isn’t possible to open apps from here, just to close them, but it also allows an easy way for you to see which apps are active.
Another way is through the Finder app. Click on the Applications section on the left menu bar and from there, select the Utilities folder. Then open the Activity Monitor. In the Process Name column, you can view the Open Processes on your Macbook. You can also access this information through Spotlight, which can be found in your Mac’s System Preferences.