- One of the notable changes in Windows 11 is the centralization of the Taskbar to resemble the macOS Dock.
- However, the Taskbar still lacks the compactness of the Dock as it still runs across the length of the desktop, among other differences.
- Thankfully, there are third-party apps available to recreate this compactness and some other features of the Mac Dock.
Windows 11 Taskbar, like its predecessors, can be easily customized. But despite Microsoft’s best efforts to make this more customizable and accessible, it is still some ways short of what the dock offers.
The dock’s compactness, organization, and ease of access cannot be replicated by the Windows 11 Taskbar.
As usual, third-party software has benefitted from these shortcomings by releasing some of the best Windows 11 dock apps with striking Mac Dock resemblance.
And as always, we have curated the best of them for you to choose from.
What are the best apps for Windows 11?
Winstep Nexus is a stunning dock app that recreates that unique Mac-style Dock on your Windows 11 PC. Although it has been around for a while, it still works admirably on Windows 11.
It has freeware and a paid version. The free version houses some incredible features, like shortcuts for System Tray, Start menu, and Search bar.
There are also shortcuts that can’t be found on the macOS Dock and Windows 11 taskbar on this dock. This includes a recycle bin, a live CPU and RAM meter, and a real-time weather icon. Aside from programs, files, and folders, you can also add internal command lines to minimize all open windows, hide Taskbar, etc.
XWindows Dock is a top-notch app that looks exactly like the Mac Dock. The design is simple yet packs in a series of icons neatly. It does well to fit nicely in any window you are working on.
This dock was built for the Windows 11 predecessors but upgraded to work with the latest OS. XWindows Dock is highly customizable and allows you to tweak the appearance to be as fanciful as you want it to be.
Furthermore, you can add your favorite applications, folders, programs, links. It also comes with a plug-in manager for adding plug-ins. Lastly, this app is well-known to be stable and fast.
The Circle Dock is a unique app in its design and mode of operation. It lives up to its name, incorporating a rare but effective and powerful circle design.
Unlike most docks, the Circle Dock does not stay on the screen all the time. It automatically hides, and you will need to initiate it to use it. This can be done by pressing the Windows keys + Ctrl, and you can create a custom hotkey.
More importantly, this app can be customized to fit your desired shortcuts, apps, and folders. Also, you can also personalize the background with an image of your choice. Finally, the spinning feature of the dock makes it easy to pick an app from it irrespective of its position on the list.
This is an interesting Windows11 dock that can be placed in any corner, edge, or angle of the screen. It comes with some customizable features, such as appearance customization through themes and custom icons.
It is an ideal taskbar replacement app with a simple design. You can add shortcuts of your frequently used files, programs, and folders to its list. While it is not the most eye-catching app, it is no slouch either, thanks to its various themes.
RocketDock is a free app for optimal organization. It incorporates some frequently used folders, apps, and the recycle bin. It allows you to add folder shortcuts and customize them with icons.
RocketDock has 30 themes that give you full customization control. One of the nadirs of this dock is the difficulty of adding apps. It requires you to create a shortcut for the app before dragging it to the dock.
Lastly, part of its full customization is that you can customize the icons to be bigger or smaller. This makes it a good fit for people with visual impairments.
The Appetizer is a free, open-source dock with powerful organization. While this is not a fancy and colorful dock, it is lightweight and also effective in what it does.
You can easily resize this app and add your favorite shortcuts to it. What’s more, it allows you to import shortcuts with the help of wizards.
Appetizer automatically adds your frequently used programs from the Start menu and Taskbar during its installation.
Icons are neatly organized in this app. Finally, you can hide and show the dock by pressing a preset hotkey.
How to make Windows 11 Taskbar resemble the Mac Dock?
The only physical similarity the Windows 11 Taskbar shares with the macOS Dock is centralization. But with a third-party software called the TaskbarXI, you can shrink the Taskbar to make it compact, just like the dock.
Note that this app is still in the testing stage and can only customize the appearance of the Taskbar. Below are the steps to follow to make your Windows 11 Taskbar look like Mac Dock
- Go to the TaskbarXI Github page and click the Assets heading.
- Select the Taskbar exe file to download. Ignore the prompt from your PC stating that the file could be dangerous.
- Now, run the application, and it will customize your Taskbar to resemble a dock!
Unlike the Taskbar, docks offer you more customization and control. The best Windows 11 dock apps boast unique combinations of adaptability, compactness, and ease of access.
All the apps listed above offer these features in abundance and some can even replace your Taskbar if you wish. Feel free to test them and discuss the ones you found more customizable in the comments section.
But if you only want to use a dock because of Windows 11 Taskbar issues such as Taskbar not working, the linked article and some of our detailed guides will help you solve those issues.
Whichever you decide on, we have certainly got you covered!