How to Make Your macOS Dock Stacks Stand Out With Drawers

This guide will show you how to add cool “drawers” to the Stacks in your macOS Dock, making them really stand out and quickly identifiable.

Dock Stacks with and without Drawers as overlays

macOS Stacks Explained

A “stack” in your macOS Dock is really just a shortcut to folder that expands to quickly show you its contents. It can be a great way to quickly access your files or Apps without having to open a Finder window.

How to Add a Stack to your macOS Dock

Adding a Stack to your macOS Dock is as easy as dragging and dropping a folder onto it.

dragging and dropping the Downloads folder onto the macOS Dock

That will create a “Stack” item for that folder.

a Dock Stack for the Downloads folder

You can then configure how that Stack looks when you click it. Hold down the control key and click on the Dock Stack to bring up its contextual menu. You can choose between Fan view, Grid view or List view. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

the view options for Dock Stacks

Here’s what a Dock Stack looks like in Grid view:

Grid view

How to Add Drawers Dock Stacks

As you’ve probably figured out, the icon that represents a “Stack” is the icon for the first item inside of that folder. So if the first app in your Applications folder is 1Password, your Applications stack will display the 1Password icon. A cool ‘hack’ discovered many years ago is that you can put an image ‘on top’ of that first icon (an overlay) which can help to more easily identify that stack. You just have to make sure that image is the first file in that folder – which is super easy to accomplish. All you have to do is put a space at the beginning of the file name, and that file will be the first one inside of your folder – no matter what the other files are named.

an icns file with a space at the start of the file name displayed inside of a Finder window

To get started, I’ve included two of my favorite icon sets for you to download and use – here and here. Once the download has completed, open and extract the contents of the zip file. Inside you’ll find a whole bunch of .icns files. Copy the Downloads.icns file to your Downloads folder and then create a Dock Stack using that folder. You can then repeat the process to add drawers to your other Stacks – there are icons to make stacks from your Music folder, Applications folder – there are lots of options to choose from.

You can find additional Dock Stack icons and icon sets by running a search for them on Google Images.

If this article helped you, I'd be grateful if you could share it on your preferred social network - it helps me a lot. If you're feeling particularly generous, you could buy me a coffee and I'd be super grateful :)

buy a coffee for

Home » Mac » How to Make Your macOS Dock Stacks Stand Out With Drawers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.