10 Beautiful Elegant Replacement Docks for your Mac

[tweetmeme] Ever since the day themers found the resource files for changing the Leopard dock, the themes have just flown out. At first it was abstract stupid stuff that made its way to ‘dock sites’ like dockulicious and leopard docks, but it’s only later that serious designers put their hard work into creating some visually appealing and functional docks, perfect as a replacement to the grey dock that comes with your Mac. Many of these docks are meant to be used with CandyBar from Panic Software, which is one tool you need if you’re going to be theming your Mac.

Sidenote: You might also want to check out this post on SA, all about customising your dock.

Phantom Dock

Gorgeous dark theme, works especially well with vibrant yet dark images. The dock comes with some spacey wallpapers perfect for this one. It’s also a dock theme that looks great when enlarged rather than small. Also, it’s not the more intuitive dock, as its indicators can get muddled with the reflections.


For the new age “HUD” look in 3D, nothing beats Huddy. Brilliant reflections (or Opaque), and slick indicators. Works well with spacey wallpapers, although you better have the icons to pull it off right.


Thin Glass

A sharp dock created by Chris, is perfect for those wanting a slight change from the original. The indicators, as recommended by the artist are from “Ivory Dock” by William Szilveszter.


Niqu Dock

Some people hate the 3D dock with vengeance. I don’t. However, when I saw this dock I had to agree that having it in 2D isn’t such a bad idea after all. Niqu comes in 2D as well as 3D. For the 3D you can use the iContainer, but for 2D it involves manual dock resource hacking. To do so, go to your Mac HD » System » Library » CoreServices » (Right-click “Dock” from that list) » Show Package Contents » Contents » Resources. Then delete all the files from that folder that correspond with the Niqu 2D dock folder (bottom1.png, left1.png, etc). Once that’s done, move the files from Niqu 2D into the Dock resources folder (you will have to authenticate).

You also need to enable the 2D dock via this terminal command.

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES && killall Dock

When you need to go back, Niqu also includes a folder containing the original dock files, and the terminal command can be reversed by replacing “YES” with “NO”. It’s all worth it though!


Sweet Sweet Candy

A sweet little dock that should go well with a white wallpaper, perhaps some candy art. Comes with different colours for indicators.


Mini LED Dock

The mini-LED dock is great for dark backgrounds, and even though the indicators are ‘mini’, you can clearly tell which app is open. Comes with different coloured LEDs.



Perfect for minimal desktops with a lot of digital noise. Caramba dock comes in dark and silver flavours, with indicators that are kind of like the original, but on close inspection might be even more perfect.



Another candy coated dock, Plastic comes in Blue and Ice flavours. While Ice is a little too reflective for my liking, Blue goes well with bright vibrant wallpapers.


Another brilliant double layered dock. Love the vibrant colour (there’s almost too many of them to choose from), especially when used with an equally vibrant desktop.





As suggested by Joseph in the comments, MINIUM² is one beautiful dock theme, designed by Sascha Höhne, an user interface designer at Apple. I love the way it looks with the Flurry icon set from Iconfactory. Thanks to Joseph for this screenshot.

I’m sure you’ve got some Dock suggestions up your sleeve. Don’t be shy.

If you like reading Beautiful Pixels, you should Sign Up for our Membership.
You get to support this site and also get access to exclusive perks and features.

Related Posts

38 Responses

  1. Finan Akbar says:

    I LOVE Niqu Dock! 2D is always the best for Dock.

  2. Docks are fine, but where did you find that awesome Finder icon? :)

  3. qka says:

    A criticism that was widely raised when the new Dock style appeared in Leopard was how bad it appeared when used vertically on the side of the screen. It would have been nice if you had posted samples of these Dock alternatives in vertical, as well as horizontal modes. A minor quibble, maybe. On a 27″ iMac, there is all kinds of screen real estate, but on a 13″ MacBook, every pixel is precious, especially vertically. The Dock on the side really is the only option on small screens.

  4. Another side-dock user chiming in. 15″ MBP here, but I definitely can’t afford to use up my pixels on a horizontal dock. Auto-hide bugs me for some reason.

    – chrish

  5. @Aleksandar: The Finder icon is called “Uniq”, available here.

    @qka: Doesn’t the Dock automatically switch to 2D when docked to the side? The 3D perspective would look totally weird there. I personally can’t work with the Dock on the side. It’s just plain weird to me.

  6. Eric says:

    What dock is being used in the placeholder photo at the beginning of this post? Looks awesome, but didn’t seem to get a mention.

  7. Phil Bowell says:

    I can confirm when the dock is on the side it switches to the 2D mode. Always been a dock on the left guy, even these couldn’t tempt me to switch.

  8. Lukas says:

    Hi, @ the author
    I would like to know which wallpaper you have on your desktop behind the McDouble Dock ;)

  9. Munim says:

    Huddy and Thin Glass look really neat!

  10. What’s the name of the Fin Wallpaper???? How can I get it??

  11. Some great dock replacement themes here! In my opinion though, none of them rival the MINIUM² dock by Sascha Höhne (an Apple employee I might add).

    Screenshot: http://cld.ly/39w4z
    Website: http://rad-e8.com/

    Check it out, it’s truly awesome!

  12. dre says:

    You guys need to tell us where your wallpapers come from!!!!

    At the very least have an article dedicated to wallpapers (non Christmas), with links of where to find the best ones. I’m sure most of us know of PixelGirl and DeviantArt, but the wallpapers you guys have don’t appear to be there.


    NOW DO IT!!!!

  13. @Dre: We’ve just started off, and still trying to figure out how things play out. It’s not perfectly clear that wallpapers need a proper mention along with the rest of it (icons, skins and all that). Stay tuned, and thanks for the feedback. :)

    PS: Now as in NOW? We were just about enjoying our Christmas holidays…

  14. dre says:

    I see….. interesting.

    But on a serious note, thank you for this site along with the other. Your sites have become my fav Apple sites. Not only are they very informative but very easy on the eye.

    As far as my previous comment, I understand that the site is new….. that was just my lame sense of humor.

    As far as what style or type of wallpaper/icons/docks to cover, you guys have great tastes and eye for design, I’m sure most of the readers will trust your opinions. Hell…. it doesn’t stop other sites/blogs from having their own articles on the matter. I think its only fitting that you guys (‘Beautiful Pixels’) have an article or even better…. a section where wallpaper/icons/docks can be posted and shared. I’m sure you’re constantly stumbling across great docks/wallpapers/icons and an article won’t be enough. Your clean, minimal and elegant tastes should be enjoyed by your readers (they better *pumps fist*) and would appreciate the links.

    Happy Holidays!


  15. Deavy says:

    Hi there!

    You’re forgot few awesome dock replacement by Max Rudberg:
    New Dock Unibody
    New Dock Ice
    New Dock Obsidian

    All of this docks can be found here: http://maxthemes.com/
    I’m not relate with this website, but dock skins are really incredible.

    Happy new year!

  16. Anonymous says:

    These are nice: IKEA-style, called “HYLLA” (means shelf in Swedish) http://mxmln.blogspot.com/2008/05/download-os-x-dock.html

  17. dre says:

    So what’s the word on Snow Leopard theming?

    There doesn’t seem to be any reliable solutions. The other day I tried installing the ‘Ceasar’ theme that was ported to Snow Leopard and it crashed my Macbook. I had to re-install my OS.

    Any word?

  18. dre says:

    One quick request and I’ll shut up.

    This one is for the developers that might be reading this…. and although impossible, I feel its worth a shot.

    Is there any way, that an app could be created that matches the wallpaper to the album’s cover art as close as possible?

    I know it sounds crazy, I was trying out Ecoute and wished the album art matched my wallpaper.

    That’s all…. thanks and Happy New Year!

  19. pre says:

    Does anyone use DragThing anymore? I’ve been using it for 10 years, and I still stand by it as the best way to access apps, folders & files – even over Quicksilver.

  20. Mick Reeves says:

    Any chance of a nice wooden or wood dock, can’t seem to find one anywhere, almost tempted to just make one from a jpg myself ….. unless you know how to save a busy musician some time ;-)

    All the breast ;-)

  21. Taylor says:

    I would suggest New Dock Unibody and New Dock by Max Rudeburg.

    Here is the link


  22. Skyy says:

    Nice work on these! Could someone maybe post the wallpapers? They are awesome too^^

  23. Check this list of 10 gorgeous walls, along with this post on Christmassy Walls. Let me know if you don’t find them.

  24. Skyy says:

    Thank you very much!^^

  25. jose says:


  26. d.h4ck3r says:

    same problem as jose please help

  27. d.h4ck3r says:

    What is the dock that is at the very top of the page directly above the writing10 Beautiful Elegant Replacement Docks for your Mac?

  1. December 31, 2009

    Crafting Subtle & Realistic User Interfaces…

    The underlying secret to beautiful user interface design is realism: making 2D objects on your screen appear to sit in 3D space with volume, surface properties and undulations that might appear in real life. These faux 3D objects have highlights……

  2. February 24, 2010

    […] recently linked to some beautiful Dock replacements for your Mac and many of these illustrate how important the material is to your overall design. In one named […]

  3. June 4, 2010

    […] Beautiful Pixels – 10 Replacement Docks […]

  4. December 30, 2010

    […] 10 Beautiful Elegant Replacement Docks for your Mac Reply With Quote   + Reply to […]

  5. April 1, 2011

    […] my Leopard dock to this simple, 2-D look with help from this Beautiful Pixels post.  The reflection of my browser status bar was an […]

  6. August 27, 2011

    […] to spice up the Dock, there are plenty of utilities to help you with that as well. Check out this list of replacement Dock themes at Beautiful Pixels to get […]

  7. September 3, 2011

    […] Stunning replacement Mac OS X docks. […]

  8. February 17, 2017

    […] to spice up the Dock, there are plenty of utilities to help you with that as well. Check out this list of replacement Dock themes at Beautiful Pixels to get […]

Leave a Reply