How to Open and Switch Programs from Your Mac’s Dock

By Mark L. Chambers

The Dock on your Mac couldn’t be any easier to use. The following steps walk you through basic Dock tasks and navigation. Hint: You can have more than one program open at a time. (Sweet!)

  1. Click a program icon on the Dock to run a program. The program window opens. (Note that some programs you run from the Dock don’t open a window, such as the Dashboard. Almost all programs, however, display a window.)
    Several programs appear on the Dock by default, such as Safari, the App Store, and iTunes.
  2. Click a different icon on the Dock, and watch as another window opens. This second window covers the window you opened in Step 1 — but that’s okay.
  3. Click the icon that you clicked in Step 1 to move the first window to the front. (You can also click any part of the window that’s peeking out — if it is — but you won’t always have that option.) Now you see the window you opened in Step 1 again.
  4. You can continue switching between windows, or even add a third, until you get the hang of it or just get bored watching the windows dance around on your screen.

Running a program and loading a document are the most common functions you use on the Dock.