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Get Transparent Dock on OS Mavericks by Disabling Frost Effect

Check tutorial of Get a Transparent Dock in OS X Mavericks by Disabling the Frost Effect

So after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about Get a Transparent Dock in OS X Mavericks by Disabling the Frost Effect.

The Dock got a visual overhaul in OS X Mavericks, which removes a small transparency effect by default. It’s a subtle change that many users won’t even notice, but the difference is that now the contents of windows, images, and items moved under / behind the Dock are no longer visible through what looks like an icy window. With Mavericks, the icy effect is stronger and there is no transparency at all, so everything behind the Dock becomes invisible.

Some users don’t care about this or even notice the difference, but for those who prefer the old look of a slightly transparent Dock or who use the auto-hidden Dock feature, it can make for a pleasant if not minor change. You should have some comfort with the command line for doing this.

Turn on transparency for the OS X Mavericks Dock

Launch Terminal the way you want it (it’s in / Applications / Utilities /) and enter the following command string followed by hitting the Return key:

defaults write com.apple.dock hide-mirror -bool true; killall Dock

Pressing return will close and restart the dock, making the change take effect. You will probably notice that the default set changes a setting called ‘hide-mirror’, but despite that name, it has no effect on the mirroring appearance of the Dock. Instead, it enables the small transparent look.

It needs to be emphasized how small this transparency change really is, and you really need the feature, then put something behind the Dock itself to make a difference. The image below shows the before and after, with a terminal window behind the Dock. Note that in the top Dock, the frost effect prevents the terminal text from being visible when placed behind the Dock. On the lower dock, the frost has transparency and shows the terminal text of the window placed behind it:

Transparent Dock in OS X before and after

Note that this transparency effect is completely different from making the icons of hidden apps in the OS X Dock transparent, which is also great trick, and a little more noticeable. The two can be switched on simultaneously without any problems.

Turn off transparency. Revert to Mavericks default Frosty Dock view

Have you tried the sheer look and decided it’s not for you? Like all other standard commands, they are easy to reverse by running a different standard write command string in the Terminal:

default settings write com.apple.dock hide-mirror -bool false; killall Dock

As before, this will forcibly reload the Dock and cause the change (reversal) to take effect. In this case, that’s a standard Mavericks Dock appearance, with no transparency.

Thanks to Dylan J. for sending us these little-known defaults trick in, it doesn’t seem to be well documented, although some users on Apple’s support forums feel that it makes a bigger difference to the look of the Docks than it actually does. Try it for yourself and you’ll see it’s pretty subtle, whether the Dock is placed at the bottom or the sides of the screen, it’s more or less the same, and while it will adjust to the colors a bit, it takes not long significant of a background image signal like the Dock in iOS 7 does, which shifts dramatically based on the background.

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Get a Transparent Dock in OS X Mavericks by Disabling the Frost Effect: FAQ

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The time to complete the Get a Transparent Dock in OS X Mavericks by Disabling the Frost Effect tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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