How to Hide Dock on iPad

Posted by Arch on August 1, 2019

There has been a lot of speculation and testing to determine if an iPad can be a good laptop replacement. Over the years, Apple has made quite a few software tweaks that allow you to take full advantage of the hardware and screen space.

Unfortunately, though, there is still no option to make the dock sink down from your Home screen like on a Mac. On the other hand, you can easily hide or bring up the dock from within a full-screen app. This can be of help to avoid accidentally bringing up the dock.

Hiding/Locking the Dock

While playing a game or using other full-screen apps the dock hides in the background. You can bring it up by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This feature can be helpful, but it’s often annoying since it may interrupt your gameplay or workflow.

Locking the Dock


If you own the new iPad Pro you know that a small white bar is always there to give you access to the dock and Home screen. On the bright side, you can remove this option from Guided Access. Here are the necessary steps.

Step 1

Launch the Settings app, select General, and tap on Accessibility. Swipe all the way to the bottom of the Accessibility menu and choose Guided Access.

Step 2

Tap on the button next to Guided Access to toggle it on and select Passcode Settings. Hit the “Set Guided Access Passcode” option and set the passcode within the pop-up dialer.

Step 2

Step 3

With the passcode on, go back to full-screen app/game and launch Guided Access from within an app. The step might be a little bit different based on the iPad model you own.

  1. iPads with the Home button – press the Home button three times
  2. iPads without the Home button – triple-click the Power button

Step 3

Step 4

Now, you just need to hit Start at the top of the screen and the dock hides/locks from the full-screen app window. To turn the option back on, triple-click on the Home or Power buttons again, provide the set password, and you are good to go.

Note: This feature has been tried and tested on iPads running iOS 12.

iPad Dock Tips and Tricks

Similar to the macOS dock, the one on iOS-run iPads allows you to preview recent apps, customize favorites, and add or remove apps. The following sections feature a quick overview of how to set the dock to your preferences and disable or enable some of the options.

Uncluttering the Dock

Based on the screen size, an iPad’s dock can feature quite a few apps. For example, iPad Pros with a 12.9-inch display allow for up to 15 apps. What’s more, the same model running iPad iOS 13 Beta allows for up to 18 apps on the dock.

This is cool, but might be too much for most users. To pull an app from the dock, just hold down onto it and drag it to the Home screen, then release.

Recently Used Apps

The Recently Used Apps section may improve your productivity but these apps/icons often take up the precious dock real estate. To simply remove an app, press down on its icon and hit the “minus” icon once it starts wobbling.

This doesn’t disable it permanently, but there’s an option to do it from Settings. Under Settings, tap General, and navigate to Multitasking & Dock. Swipe down the Multitasking & Dock window and tap the button in front of “Show Suggested and Recent Apps.”

Adding More Apps

After you remove the Recently Used Apps, there’s more room to add the new ones. There is no secret to adding apps to the dock. Tap and hold the one you’d like to include and drag and drop it into the dock.

Of course, you can move the app left or right within the dock to reposition it. As you add more apps, the dock shrinks to accommodate for greater volume.


Multitasking is one of the coolest productivity features you can utilize right from the dock. It allows for a side-by-side view of two different apps.

Launch one app and slide up to access the dock. Tap and hold another app on the dock, then drag it left or right. It appears in a small window and pops in place (full screen) once you release it.

Third-Party Apps and Dock Bugs

You might have stumbled upon some third-party apps that promise to hide the dock from iPad’s Home screen. However, it’s advisable to steer clear from these apps since they might temper with the native iOS settings and do more harm than good.

Some users have reported that their dock has gone missing out of the blue. This bug occurred with one of the iOS 11 and 12 updates. To fix it, you need to soft reset the iPad or install a more recent update. Either way, the glitch is only temporary and doesn’t require any special hacks or advanced tweaks.

Lock, Stock, Dock

Hiding or locking the dock on your iPad is easy and there are many ways to set it to your preferences. In addition, the iOS 13 Beta takes even more advantage of the dock to streamline your workflow. And you never know, a future update might even allow you to completely hide it from the Home screen.

Anyway, why do you need to hide the dock? Does it bother you when you are inside a particular app? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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