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Mac System Preferences Icon

If there is a particular System Preferences pane you use frequently on your Mac, you can make it easier to access by placing a link to it in your Dock. In this guide, we will show you just how to.

There is a section of System Preferences on macOS that is traditionally known as the “preference pane.” A file that can be found in your macOS System Library folder is responsible for handling the behavior of each pane. When you open these files, they function like links and they take you directly to their corresponding section in System Preferences. What this means is that you can simply drag these files to the Dock on your Mac and when you click them, they will take you directly to the different system settings.

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Mac Preferences Dock Links

How to Add Your Favorite Preference to The Dock on Your Mac

First off, we need to locate the preference pan files. We can do this using Finder, so activate Finder and click Go and then click “Go to Folder” from the menu bar.

Mac Go To Folder
Mac: click Go To Folder

Now, you should see the “Go to Folder” window on the screen. Simply paste this in the window.

/System/Library/PreferencePanes.
Mac Prefpanes Path
In the Go To Folder dialog, enter the path and click “Go.”

Next, click Go.

A Finder window containing files for different panes should appear on the screen. Note that all these preference files are the default files that come with your Mac by default. Each file contains a “.prefPane” extension.

Mac Pref Icons
Mac: Icons for various preferences

Now, go through the window until you get to the file that represents the preference pane you would like to add to the Dock on your Mac. Click the file and drag it onto the file and folder shortcut area of the Dock. It is located close to the Trash can.

Mac Dragging Pref To Dock
Mac: Dragging the file icon to your Dock

If you try to drag the files to the left side (or upper side, depending on the orientation of your Dock), of your Dock you will notice that your Mac will not allow you to. macOS has this section reserved for applications only.

That’s all. Now, whenever you wish to change a particular setting in one of the preference panes, all you need to do is click the icon in the Dock. The section will be automatically launched on your Mac.

Mac Pref Icon In Dock
Mac: The preferences icon now appears in the Dock

If later on, you decide to remove a preference pane from your Dock, all you need to do is drag the icon away from the dock. Hold, the icon there for a moment before releasing it.

That’s all! With this quick and easy guide, you can add your favorite preferences panes to the dock on your Mac. You can also remove them if you no longer want the icons in your dock with just a few easy steps. If you have got any questions, feel free to share them in the comments below.


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