How to Add Favorites on Mac

Customize your Mac by adding your favorite websites and apps

Screenshot of Macbook Dock icons

Your Mac computer comes loaded with two productivity tools to help you quickly find and open the applications, files, and folders you use most often. One tool is the Favorites panel within Finder. The second tool is the Dock, a narrow panel located on the edge of the screen that holds shortcut icons to these items. Here's how to add favorites on Mac using these two tools.

How to Add Favorites to Mac Finder

Finder helps you quickly find an app, file, folder or web page stored within your Mac and iCloud Drive. There's a sidebar within Finder which includes a section for Favorites, where you can add shortcuts to speed the time it takes you to find your most commonly used folders, files, and apps. Here's how to add your favorites to Finder.

  1. Click Finder in the Dock.

  2. You'll see a list of files. Find the application, file or folder you would like to add from the list of files.

  3. Click the item from the list and drag it over to the Favorites section of the Finder sidebar.

    Screenshot showing how to add an application to Finder.
  4. A red line will appear showing the location of the item.

    To add an application to the Favorites panel, hold the Command key while dragging the Application file to the Favorites panel.

  5. Once you have the item in the correct location, release the item with the mouse.

  6. To remove an item from the Favorites panel, simply drag it away.

How to Add Favorites to the Dock

The Dock is a useful time-saver, as each icon is a shortcut that allows you to quickly open apps, files or webpages. Your Mac already comes pre-loaded with icons on the dock, in a specific order from left to right:

  • The Finder
  • Favorite app shortcuts
  • Currently-running apps (indicated by a little black dot on the top of the icon)
  • Favorite files or folders
  • The Trash

How to Add Apps to the Dock on Your Mac

The Dock can show up to three recently used apps that aren’t already in the Dock and a folder for items you download from the Internet. There are several ways to modify the appearance of your dock. You can customize your dock by adding icons, deleting icons and rearranging the order of the icons.

  1. Click Launchpad in the dock.

    Screenshot of Launchpad icon on Macbook dock
  2. Select and drag an application of your choice to your dock.

  3. The icons already in the dock will make room for the app to slide in between them. Drag the icon to the position you would like it to have on the dock.

    Screenshot of Dictionary being added to dock
  4. Once you let go of the app in the desired position, it will be added to the Dock.

How to Add a Website to Your Mac Dock

If you have a web page you visit often, you can create a shortcut to add to the Dock so you can quickly load the page.

  1. Open the web page from any browser, including Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

  2. With the page open, click and hold the URL in the browser address bar. A small icon will appear below your mouse cursor. Depending on the browser you're using, you may need to click the entire web address or the icon located to the left of the web page URL.

    Screenshot showing how to grab the URL of a website to drag to the Mac Dock.
  3. Drag this icon to the dock, to the left of the trash can.

    Screenshot of webpage being added to the Dock on Mac.
  4. Release the mouse, and the globe icon will be added to the Dock.

    Screenshot of webpage added to Mac Dock.
  5. Click the web page icon to automatically launch that page.

How to Add Files or Folders to the Dock

If you have a file or folder within an application you'd like to open quickly, you can add them to the Dock so that the folder is always right on top of your desktop.

  1. Launch Finder to locate the file or folder you would like to save.

  2. Click the file or folder you would like to add and drag it to the dock, to the left of the trash can icon.

    Screenshot showing a folder being added to the Dock.
  3. Release the mouse and the folder will appear. Depending on the application, the icon will take on the appearance of the application. Word documents, for example, will display the word 'DOCX.'

    Screenshot showing how a MS Word folder appears in the Dock.
  4. Click the icon to open the associated application and the folder.

How to Rearrange the Position of the Icons in the Dock

While the Dock is pre-loaded in a specific order, you can customize which applications appear in the dock, and the location, or order, of the applications. The Finder and Trash icons cannot be moved, but you can move the position of, and add or delete other app shortcuts, to match your own preferences.

Screenshot showing how to rearrange icons in the Dock.

All you have to do is select the icon of the app you'd like to move, then drag it to the new position you want it to be in. The other icons on the Dock will resettle around the icon you've just moved so everything is spaced evenly on the Dock.

How to Delete Items in the Dock

If your dock is too crowded, or you'd like to declutter your Dock, you can remove icons and give your Dock some breathing room.

  1. Click an icon you'd like to remove.

  2. Drag the icon up (or across, depending upon the location of your dock) to the middle of the screen.

  3. The word "remove" will appear.

    Screenshot showing how to remove the Dictionary icon from the Dock.
  4. Release the mouse, and the icon will be removed from the Dock.

Changing the Location of the Dock

On your Mac, the Dock is located horizontally at the bottom of your screen. You can move the Dock to appear vertically to the left or right of your screen, along with other customization features, including the Genie effect. Here's how:

  1. Right-click the vertical line on the Dock located beside the Trash icon.

  2. A pop-up menu will appear. Click Dock preferences.

    Screenshot showing Dock Preferences
  3. A new window will open giving you the option to change the position of the Dock, the Dock's size, and the Genie effect.