Pro tip: Stop iOS automatically adding suggested apps to the Dock

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suggested apps dock
Suggested apps are a great Dock feature, but you can still switch them off.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugI love the new iOS 11 Dock. Do you love the new iOS 11 Dock? I bet you totally dig it. But maybe we love it a little too much, and end up jamming it so full of apps that every icon becomes too small to tap. If that’s the case, then you might appreciate this tip. Did you know that you can remove the three-app section on the right side of the dock? The one where iOS automatically shows apps it thinks you might want to use right now?

How to switch off Dock suggestions and recent apps

suggested apps
Yet another visit to the Settings app.
Photo: Cult of Mac

That three-icon section shows a mixture of recently-used apps, and suggested apps. Recently-used apps are self-explanatory. Suggested apps come from various sources. They can be suggested based on time — your favorite news app may show up when you wake up and grab your iPad, for example — or they can be based on plugging in a peripheral. Connect some headphones, and the music or Netflix apps may show up. Connect an audio interface and GarageBand may appear. This section is also where Handoff shows up.

I love this automatic section of the Dock, because it really is useful, and saves me from giving a permanent slot in the Dock to quite a few apps. For me, it actually saves Dock space. But others may hate iOS second-guessing their needs.

How to switch off suggested apps

To switch off this section, then, go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock. At the bottom of this screen, you’ll see a setting named Show Suggestions and Recent Apps. Switch this off, and you’ll regain those three precious app slots in the Dock.

And bookmark this page, because in a few days you may want to switch the feature back on again when you realize how useful it was, and how tidy it let you keep your Dock.