Why Are There Dots Under Apps On Macbook: An Insightful Explanation

Quick Answer: The dots under apps on MacBook indicate that the app is currently running or open in the background.

Have you ever noticed those small dots under apps on your MacBook? If you’re like most users, you may have wondered what they mean and why they are there. Well, worry no more! In this article, we will explore the reasons behind these dots and decode their significance.

So, let’s get straight to it. Those dots under apps on your MacBook serve as visual indicators to let you know which applications are currently running or open in the background. Each dot represents a specific app that is actively running or has been recently opened. They are a useful feature that helps you keep track of your active applications without having to switch between windows or use the app switcher.

But why is this information important? Well, knowing which apps are currently running can be helpful in managing your computer’s resources and optimizing its performance. It allows you to quickly identify and close any unnecessary apps that might be consuming memory or processing power, freeing up valuable resources for other tasks.

In addition, the dots can also be handy when you have multiple windows or instances of the same app open. By simply looking at the dots, you can easily differentiate between the various instances and switch to the one you need without confusion.

Now that you know the purpose behind those dots under apps on your MacBook, you can use this knowledge to increase your productivity and efficiently manage your applications. So, the next time you see those dots, remember that they are there to help you stay organized and in control of your computer’s performance.

Why Are There Dots Under Apps on MacBook: An Insightful Explanation

Why Are There Dots Under Apps on MacBook?

MacBook users may have noticed dots appearing under certain app icons on their device’s dock. These dots serve as a visual indicator to convey important information about the apps. Understanding the purpose of these dots can help users navigate their MacBook more efficiently and make the most of their app usage. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind these dots and how they enhance the user experience.

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1. Notifications

One of the primary reasons for the dots under apps on MacBook is to signify the presence of unread notifications. When an app has a new notification, such as an unread message or email, macOS places a dot below the app’s icon on the dock. This feature helps users easily identify which apps have pending notifications without having to open each one individually. By simply glancing at the dock, users can prioritize their attention accordingly.

1.1 Types of Notifications

The dots can represent different types of notifications depending on the app. Here are a few examples:

  • Emails: Dots indicate the presence of new, unread emails in the Mail app.
  • Messages: Messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp utilize dots to highlight incoming unread messages.
  • Calendar Events: Apps like Calendar display dots to show upcoming events or reminders.
  • Social Media: Social media apps often employ dots to signify new notifications such as friend requests or direct messages.

1.2 Managing Notifications

To manage notifications, users can simply click on the app with a dot on the dock, and the app will open to reveal the unread message or notification. Users can then choose to respond to or clear the notifications accordingly.

2. Background App Activity

Another reason for the presence of dots under apps on MacBook is background app activity. Certain apps, even when not in use, may continue to perform tasks or updates in the background. To inform users of this activity, macOS places a dot below the respective app’s icon on the dock.

2.1 Examples of Background App Activity

Here are a few scenarios where dots may appear due to background app activity:

  • Downloads: If a file is being downloaded using a specific app, a dot will appear until the download is complete.
  • Updates: When apps are being updated in the background, dots will indicate their progress.
  • Syncing: Apps that sync with cloud services, such as Dropbox or iCloud, may display dots when syncing data.
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2.2 Managing Background App Activity

Users can manage background app activity by interacting with the app itself. For example, if a download is in progress, the user can click on the app’s icon to monitor the download status or pause/resume it if necessary. Similarly, for app updates or syncing, users can access the respective app’s settings to modify or prioritize these tasks.

3. Customization and User Preferences

The dots under apps on MacBook are not only functional but also customizable. macOS allows users to personalize their dock preferences and choose whether or not to display dots for specific apps.

3.1 Modifying Dock Preferences

To modify the dock preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose “Dock & Menu Bar.”
  4. In the “Dock” tab, locate the “Show indicators for open applications” option.
  5. Toggle this option on or off according to your preference.

By customizing the dock preferences, users can adapt the appearance and behavior of the dock to suit their needs and preferences.

4. Enhancing User Experience

The dots under apps on MacBook contribute significantly to enhancing the overall user experience. By providing instant visibility to new notifications and ongoing background app activity, users can streamline their workflow and stay organized. These visual cues save users valuable time and effort by allowing them to prioritize their attention and respond promptly to important notifications.

Overall, the dots under apps on MacBook serve as valuable indicators of app status and updates. By understanding their purpose and managing them effectively, users can optimize their productivity and make the most of their Mac experience.

Black or Blue dots under app icons in dock in Macbook pro, air or iMac

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there dots under apps on MacBook?

The dots under apps on MacBook represent the status of the application. These dots indicate that the app is open and running in the background, even if the window is not currently visible on the screen.

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What do the dots under apps on MacBook signify?

The dots under apps on MacBook indicate that the app is active and running, even if it is not the active window at the moment. This allows you to quickly identify which applications are currently running on your MacBook.

Can I remove the dots under apps on my MacBook?

No, you cannot remove the dots under apps on your MacBook. These dots are a built-in feature of macOS and provide a visual indication of which apps are currently open and running on your device.

How do I switch between apps with the dots on MacBook?

To switch between apps with the dots on MacBook, you can use the Mission Control feature or the App Exposé feature. Mission Control allows you to see all open windows and spaces, while App Exposé displays all open windows of a specific app. You can access these features by swiping up with three fingers on your trackpad or pressing the Mission Control or App Exposé key on your keyboard.

Can I customize the appearance of the dots under apps on MacBook?

No, you cannot customize the appearance of the dots under apps on MacBook. The dots are standardized and serve as a consistent visual indicator across all applications within the macOS system.

Why are some apps missing dots on my MacBook?

If some apps are missing dots on your MacBook, it could be because these apps are not currently running or are not designed to display the dots. Additionally, certain system apps, such as Finder, do not have dots as they are considered essential and always active.

Final Thoughts

The dots under apps on MacBook are an essential feature of the operating system. These dots indicate that an app is open and running in the background, allowing users to easily switch between different apps and tasks. This visual cue helps users stay organized and keep track of their active applications. By simply clicking on the dot, users can bring the app to the forefront or close it entirely. These dots under apps on MacBook are a convenient and intuitive way to navigate and manage multiple applications simultaneously.

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