Navigate your Mac faster with handy Dock icon shortcuts

Launchpad Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

There are all sorts of ways to use shortcuts on your Mac. From tons of common keyboard shortcuts to those that help you navigate webpages faster; you have plenty of options.

Along with some useful keyboard shortcuts for your Dock are additional ways your Dock can help you do things faster. And especially for those new to macOS, you might not realize they exist. Here’s how you can navigate your Mac quicker with Dock icon shortcuts.

Right-click or Control and click

If you haven’t yet mastered how to right-click on your Mac, you can always hold your Control key and click an item. This will give you the same results.

So either right-click or Control and click the following Dock icons for their shortcut menus.

Finder shortcuts

There are several shortcuts available with the Finder icon in your Dock. These allow you to quickly open a new Finder window, create a Smart Folder, go to a specific folder on your Mac, open a recent Finder window, show all of your Finder windows, or find something you need.

You can also see your open Finder windows at the top of the shortcut menu to jump to one of them with a click.

Finder Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

System Preferences shortcuts

Rather than opening your System Preferences from the Dock or clicking Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar and then navigating to the spot you need, just access the shortcut menu from the Dock.

All of the options available in your System Preferences are displayed nice and neat in alphabetical order. This lets you head directly to those preferences you need.

System Preferences Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

Launchpad shortcuts

Launchpad on Mac gives you a cool way to see all of your apps and utilities. But you can select any one of those from the Launchpad shortcut menu without even opening Launchpad.

If you have a lot of apps on your Mac, you can use the arrows at the top and bottom to move between them just by moving your cursor over one.

Launchpad Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

This is super handy because you can eliminate the Applications folder in your Dock to save space and just use the Launchpad shortcut menu if you like.

Mail shortcuts

The shortcuts for Mail are just as convenient. You can get your new mail, open the viewer window, or compose an email with a simple click.

In addition, the mailbox you have currently selected in Mail will appear at the top of the shortcut window so you can navigate to it quickly.

Launchpad Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

Messages and Calendar shortcuts

With the Messages shortcut menu from the Dock icon, you can click to create a new message or view any unread messages you have.

And with Calendar, you can create a new event.

Messages and Calendar Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

Safari and other browser shortcuts

If you have icons for Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or another browser in your Dock, you can open a new window or a new private window from the shortcut menu. Plus if you have one of the browsers open already, you can see the open, active tab and jump to it.

Safari and Firefox Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

Third-party app shortcuts

You may keep other app icons in your Dock that aren’t part of the Mac app collection like Microsoft Word or Excel, Slack, or a different email app like Spark.

Each of these may offer some handy shortcuts in their menus as well. For example, Excel’s shortcut menu lets me click to maximize my open spreadsheets or mouse-over and reopen a recent one.

Excel Dock Icon Shortcut Menu

So be sure to give a third-party app icon a right-click or Control and click to see what kind of shortcuts it offers.

Wrapping it up

It’s always great to learn about new shortcuts that end up becoming a part of your daily ritual. And hopefully these Dock icon shortcuts will do that for you too!

Do you have any helpful shortcuts for Mac that you think our readers could use? Remember that a lot of people are brand new to Mac, so even something you think is small as an experienced macOS user could be really useful to a newbie.