How to Access Preference Panes Directly from the macOS Dock

macOS System Preference is the place for all OS-level settings. From changing the wallpaper to setting up parental controls to managing your input and output audio device, all settings are hosted here. While most settings are set and type forgotten, there are a few preferences we may need to access regularly. In such cases, opening the right preference pane with a click will definitely improve your workflow. In this article, we’ll show you how to access important system preference panes directly from the macOS Dock.

Add Important System Preference Panes to the Mac Dock

In macOS, each settings page in System Preference is called a preference pane. These preference panes are controlled by files hidden within the Library folder. We will use these files to launch the preferences panel. Here are the steps:

1. Activate Finder and then open the “Go to Folder” Menu (CMD+Shift+G).

2. Paste the code below in the text field and click “Go”.


Paste the file path

3. This will open the Finder window containing the preference panes folder in the Library. You will be see list of all preferences here.

System Preference Panes Folder

4. Drag and drop the profile you want to access quickly Between the Dock dividing line and the Trash. For example, let’s say I change my Desktop wallpaper regularly. I will drag the “DesktopScreenEffectsPref.PrefPane” file.

Adding a Junk Preference Pane to the Dock

5. Drag a preference and it will exactly like its icon in the System Preferences panel. Now, a single click on the Dock icon will launch the corresponding system preference.

Added Preference Pane to Dock

6. If you are confused about which preference files open which system preference setting (although the name does more than explain them), double-click the file to open it and confirm it’s the correct preference file.

Access Key Preference Panes Directly from the macOS Dock

As you can see, this is an easy process. It only takes a few steps to configure. If you regularly access a setting in system preferences, this simple shortcut will save you a lot of time. If you have any problems following the tutorial, ask your questions below and we’ll help you.

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