Dock freezing in Mac Sierra 10.12.1
February 27, 2017 3:22 PM   Subscribe

I have a 15" Macbook running OSX Sierra v10.12.1. After updating to Sierra, I've been having intermittent (but frequent) issues with the dock temporarily freezing and command+tab not switching applications. Details within.

What happens is that I can't open any applications or folders from the dock for 60-90 seconds. The dock is completely unresponsive. It sometimes freezes mid-animation. During this time, I cannot minimize windows, and I'm unable to switch applications using command+tab. I can switch applications if, say, I'm able to click on the edge of an open browser window or Word document, but all other methods of switching to a window that is not literally visible are out until the thing unfreezes.

It seems to be triggered by specific events, but I can't quite figure out what they all are. Printing is a definite trigger. Also, downloading documents in a web browser and opening them in their native application. Other things, too, because although it seems random, I know it isn't.

It's a serious inconvenience, I'm tired of it, and Googling hasn't led me to a solution. Help?

(One thing I've tried that has NOT worked is forcing Finder to quit and reopening it.)
posted by mudpuppie to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I don't have a solution, but me too! Very similar symptoms - what seems to trigger it is a multiple-finger trackpad scroll that invokes something like the Shift-F10 slow-motion reveal. Sometimes, the Dock is available (so if I select an app from the Dock it snaps back), but sometimes the whole thing is frozen and I need to force-quit. But it's definitely trackpad-related.
posted by Grangousier at 3:54 PM on February 27, 2017

But it's definitely trackpad-related.

Hmm. I use a magic trackpad at work and the laptop trackpad at home and haven't connected the frustrating behavior to either. I'll watch for that, though.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2017

Have you tried deleting your Dock preferences from ~/Library/Preferences/ and restarting?

You’ll have to recreate your Dock layout/size/hiding prefs so take a screenshot first.

Does the problem persist in another user account, or only in your main account? (This can be hard to test if it’s intermittent)
posted by bcwinters at 7:21 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sorry - by "trackpad-related" I mean something that happens when I do something like a three-finger scroll and inadvertantly touch the trackpad with the ball of my thumb. Usually it recovers, sometimes it crashes. I didn't mean the specific physical trackpad necessarily. Probably not helping, sorry.
posted by Grangousier at 1:24 AM on February 28, 2017

Have you tried deleting your Dock preferences

I did something involving killall Dock back when this all first started, based on suggestions given to people who were having similar (but different) problems. Didn't do anything.

BUT, I just followed the instructions here based on your suggestion and I am cautiously optimistic. I've tried printing and downloading, both of which have been freezing the dock, and didn't have a problem with either. So, fingers crossed! Will come back and mark as best answer if the success persists.

Thanks also for the suggestion to take a screenshot. I wouldn't have thought of it, and I'm really glad I did it.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:00 AM on February 28, 2017

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