How to Add Individual System Preferences to the macOS Dock

If you still access the same System Preferences pane, follow this guide to add it to the Dock and speed up your workflow in the process.

Open MacBook sitting on the desk

In macOS, the Dock is your go-to tool whenever you want to quickly launch software or another docked file. Adding apps is a fairly straightforward process – just drag and drop – but your preference panes are a little more stubborn.

Sure, you can put System Preferences itself on the Dock, but repeatedly launching the entire Settings app to get to a single pane you use frequently isn’t very productive. You can, however, use a workaround to add individual preference panes to the Dock. Let’s discuss the process.

Add preference panes to the Dock

Here’s how to add preference panes to the Dock in macOS:

  1. To throw Searcher and select Go > Computer.
  2. Open your boot volume, usually MacintoshHD.
  3. Go to System > Library > PreferencePanes.
  4. Drag all relevant items to the section of the Dock through the trash.

macOS Finder Preference Panes Folder

Docked preference panes don’t behave like apps, so you can only drop them into the section occupied by the Trash, which usually contains files and folders. When you click on an added entry, System Preferences opens and takes you directly to the corresponding page.

To move a docked pane, you can drag the item out of the Dock and drop it when the Remove bubble appears. Alternatively, you can Control-click entry and select Options > Remove from Dock.


Related: Hidden Terminal Commands to Customize the Mac’s Dock

If you’re underutilizing your Dock, you might want to consider adding some extra stuff into the mix. Files, folders, and just about anything you can drag from Finder will be neatly in place for easy access.

When you add a folder to the Dock, it doesn’t just open when you click on it. Docked folders expand and allow you to navigate the file structure in a bubble, which means you can bypass the Finder in certain situations.

Anchor your preferences to increase productivity

Putting a few preference panes in your Dock might not seem like a major productivity booster — and it isn’t — but having quick access to the settings you use the most will always help streamline your macOS experience. If you decorate your Dock with frequently used items, you’ll get the most out of Apple’s signature app slab.

Featured Image of MacBook Dock
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Steven L. Nielsen