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OS X Yosemite - Is there a way to remove persistent apps from the dock for newly created users?

Posted: 10/22/14 at 2:11 PM by kmitnick

In previous version of OS X, I was able to edit the /Library/Preferences/ file to remove any persistent dock apps that I did not want in the dock for newly created users. Items like iBooks and Maps are not necessary for us.

In Yosemite, I no longer see the file. It's replaced with a file called When I look at that file, I see the following:

1 entry called: DesktopAdminImageGenerationNumber ( this is a Dictionary class)
It has another key called: GenerationNumger with a string of 2

Not sure what any of this means.

I also tried editing the default plist located in the dock application: System/Library/CoreServices/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/default.plist

Still no good. iBooks and Maps still show in the dock.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.




Posted: 10/22/14 at 2:34 PM by mmayo

Have you tried configuring Dock Items under Management Settings and then creating a policy that points to that dock item?

This is how I would do it:
• I go to Management Settings and click Dock Items
• Create the Dock Item(s) (for example, I use one for an application called Inspiration 9)
• I use this for the path: file://localhost/Applications/Inspiration

Once the dock item is created, I then create a policy and I categorize this under a Dock Items category. When you edit the policy, you can choose to add Dock Items and choose the action for them (add to beginning of dock, end of dock, or remove from dock) and just point it to whatever smart computer group you want to scope it to.

Hope this is what you're looking for.

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Posted: 10/22/14 at 2:37 PM by kmitnick


I appreciate the prompt reply. I was hoping to do this without the use of a policy like I've done in the past.

I appreciate your insight and that may be my plan B.



Posted: 10/22/14 at 2:39 PM by mmayo

Sure, not a problem. I just find it to be the quickest method to use dock items because I can either remove icons as a one time operation via Casper Remote or have it ongoing in a policy, as well as map dock icons one time or ongoing.

Good luck!

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Posted: 10/22/14 at 3:02 PM by hcodfrie

Hey take a look at this slide

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Posted: 10/22/14 at 3:09 PM by kmitnick


I thought of using dockutil as well. I'm just curious as to what changed in Yosemite. More and more items are stored in databases these days.

Thanks for your reply.


Posted: 10/22/14 at 6:37 PM by calumhunter

+1 for dockutil

super easy to use and you can use the same script across multiple OS versions so you don't have to worry about when you move to yosemite for example, you just deploy the same script you were using in 10.9 ;) And no hacking of the system files or user template

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Posted: 10/25/14 at 4:21 PM by bentoms

@kmitnick, do you try deleting: /System/Library/CoreServices/

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SOLVED Posted: 10/25/14 at 6:03 PM by kmitnick


Looks like they moved that file from /Library/Preferences to the path in the

I deleted the plist entries in the file you mentioned for iBooks and maps but it did not work. You also need to edit the defaults plist located in /System/Library/CoreServices/

A combination of both did the trick.

Thanks for the assist.


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Posted: 10/28/14 at 12:33 PM by nessts

in very quick testing if you make the dock the way you want it, copy your local dock plist to the above mentioned default.plist that should take care of it as well.

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Posted: 10/30/14 at 9:39 AM by golbiga

Running these two commands should just remove all the unnecessary dock items. I didn't have to change the default.plist to remove iBooks and Maps.

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "delete:add-app" /System/Library/CoreServices/
/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "delete:add-doc" /System/Library/CoreServices/


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Posted: 10/30/14 at 2:30 PM by kmitnick

@golbiga, @nessts

I appreciate your input and will give your suggestions a try. It's nice to know there are many ways to skin this cat.

Thanks again.


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Posted: 11/11/14 at 2:28 PM by joemamasmac

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "delete:add-app" /System/Library/CoreServices/
/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "delete:add-doc" /System/Library/CoreServices/

@golbiga, when would you execute this command? I attempted to run this from an admin account and then created a new user, no dice. The default dock still got added to a new user.


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Posted: 11/11/14 at 4:18 PM by joemamasmac

Nevermind, I tried it on a different computer and saw it was modifying the proper file. For me, deleting the /System/Library/CoreServices/
seemed to create a blank Dock which is exactly what I was looking for.