How to Get Rid of Dots Under Apps on Mac [Solved!]

You may need some time to become accustomed to Apple’s MacBooks if you are a new user. The switch to a Mac involves a learning curve, especially since Apple does so many things differently than Windows, and many people are confused about what the black dots on a Mac document mean. On a Mac, how do you get rid of the dots that appear under applications?

You must manually quit the app to remove the dots from the dock of your Mac. Similar to the way apps on iPhones are still running in the background and must be manually closed. You can do this by selecting the “Quit” option when right-clicking on the app.

Below you will find information about what the dots under the apps in your Mac’s Dock mean, why they exist, and how to remove them.

What Do the Dots Mean Under the Apps in the Mac’s Dock?

Even though you cannot see any windows open on your desktop, the dots under applications on your Mac’s Dock indicate that the apps are still running. The situation is similar to an iPhone with multiple apps open in the background. You must close these apps manually on your iPhone as well as on your Mac. It is usually possible to remove these dots. The Finder app is the exception.

Why Do These Dots Appear?

As a result of Apple’s desire to ensure that its users are aware of apps that are still running in the background, black dots appear under the apps in the Dock regardless of whether or not it is possible to view them. In essence, the black dot allows you to see whether the application you just closed is still active. It is especially helpful for those who prefer to pin apps to their Docks rather than leave them on their desktops.

Apple intends to alert you when closed apps are still running in the background in order to conserve your Mac’s battery and ensure it is operating at its peak efficiency. Running open apps drains the battery and reduces your Mac’s performance.

What to do If Your Apps Have Black Dotsto

Many methods exist to eliminate the black dots under the apps in the Dock, but only a few are permanent. Even if you decide to remove the dots, be aware that apps may still be running in the background, you just won’t be able to see if they are.

To remove the black dots, click on the Dock & Menu Bar icon in the System Preferences. This section offers many settings that can be customized, from how your dock appears on your screen to how tabs appear when minimized.

You can get rid of the black dots by unchecking the “show indicators for open applications” statement. Due to Apple’s default settings, the box will be checked by default. You will need to uncheck the box.

You should no longer see black dots. Please note that some applications may still be running in the background. You can try quitting some applications if you are experiencing issues with battery retention in your Mac. You may have to force quit an app if the right-click and quit method is not working. Simply press and hold Option, then click and hold the application’s Dock icon to do this.

How to close apps that are running in the background

You should not hide the indicators if you prefer to know whether apps are running in the background. Instead, allow the black dots to appear when you open an application. When you have finished using an application, right-click the icon in the Dock and select “Quit” from the menu that appears.

Some people, especially previous Windows users, are confused by the Mac’s trackpad because you cannot right-click by simply clicking on the right side of the trackpad. If you want to right-click, hold the control key and click the app. The trackpad can also be clicked with two fingers rather than just one to perform a right-click.

When you right-click on the app and select “Quit”, it will usually perform one of two actions. On the one hand, it may be removed from the Dock. The black dot may disappear, but the app icon will remain in the Dock. The app icon remains in the Dock if the app is pinned.

If an app is pinned, when you open it again it will jump up and down a few times before opening. The other apps in the Dock will shrink in size when opening the app from the Launchpad, and the app will also jump up and down a couple of times before opening.

You can cancel this animation by opening Mac’s System Preferences and clicking on the “Dock & Menu Bar” icon. When you are in this section, locate the statement “Animate opening applications” and uncheck the box next to it.

You will see a black dot appear beneath the app when it first appears (or reopens) unless you explicitly decide not to allow the black dots to appear.

What Apps Are Open in the Background If the Indicator Setting Is Off?

If you have turned off the black indicator dots, there are still many ways to check which apps are running in the background.

You can start by pressing command+option+escape. A menu will appear that allows you to force-quit the application. You cannot open apps from here, only close them, but it also allows you to easily see which apps are currently active.

You can also use the Finder app to do this. Choose the Utility folder from the Applications section on the left menu bar. Click on Activity Monitor. Your MacBook’s Open Processes can be viewed in the Process Name column. Spotlight, which can be found in the System Preferences of your Mac, also provides access to this information.

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