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The modern Dock replacement for your Mac
7 day free trial. Works on macOS 12.0 Monterey or newer

What’s Sidebar?
Sidebar is a MacOS application that replaces the standard MacOS Dock. It feels more like the taskbar of other operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux). Sidebar does not reinvent the wheel, but instead tries to combine all useful features to create a customizable, feature-packed and modern alternative for the MacOS Dock. Upgrade your Dock experience today and see the difference for yourself. Try Sidebar for free for 7 days!

What’s the difference to other Dock replacement applications?
There's not that much of a choice anyway. But of course we tried them all. The only reason why we made Sidebar in the first place is, that all of those other apps just felt a bit off. Either for the design, the usability, the functionality. There was never something that completely satisfied all needs. Coming from other operating systems or just being used to handling multi-tasking a bit different there was just something missing. Don't get us wrong, we did not re-invent the wheel here. We just added those features that we love the most and that we are used to with a focus on design and usability.

How can I update Sidebar?
There's a built-in update feature available in Sidebar. It usually takes up to 7 days before you see a prompt notifying you about a pending update. You can also manually search for updates by using the menu bar option "Check for updates..." available via the menu bar icon in the top right section of your screen.

How does the autostart feature work and why does Sidebar not appear in the list of auto start applications in the system settings?
If you enable the auto start feature in the settings, Sidebar will automatically start once you start your Mac. Sounds easier than it (technically) is. For implementation reasons Sidebar won't be listed in Login Items in the System Settings of your Mac. If you would like to disable the feature, just disable it in the settings. If you remove Sidebar from your device there's nothing that can be started anyway, so you are good to go!

Do you offer an overview of upcoming features?
Yes, make sure to check out our roadmap!

Notification badges don't always show up immediately. Why?
The notification badges that you can see in the top right corner of your application icons indicate that the app has some unseen notifications. For performance reasons (because MacOS optimizes your battery/power consumption and improves system performance) it may take up to 15 seconds for a notification badge to show up. This is true even if the notification is already visible in the Notification Center.

How can I access the settings if I disabled the menu bar icon?
In case you disabled the menu bar icon of Sidebar you can right click any application icon to access the settings via the application's context menu.

Why do my notification alerts (top right of the screen) sometimes vanish when opening a preview window and come back after closing it?
This happens if both conditions are true:
  • "Allow notifications when mirroring or sharing the display" is disabled in the System Settings -> Notifications
  • "Use live previews" is enabled in Sidebar settings -> Application settings
The reason for that is that when using live previews, Sidebar has to record the screen (using Apple's ScreenCaptureKit) to show a live preview of the application window. MacOS detects this (correctly) and hides all notifications because the system setting to allow notifications during screen recordings is set to false. There are four options:
  • Ignore the animation. But: in this case you'll have the notifications bounce up an down on the screen
  • Enable the "Allow notifications when mirroring or sharing the display" setting in the System Settings. But: Notifications will be visible if you share your entire screen (e.g. via MS Teams) as well
  • Disable live previews in Sidebar. But: You don't get to see live previews anymore
  • Enable "Reduce motion" Accessibility setting in the System Settings. If you enable this setting, the alert will not bounce on the screen, but just fade away and come back. But: Other animations are affected as well (see macOS User Guide on Reduce screen motion on Mac )

How can I keep an application in Sidebar even if it's closed?
If you want an application to be visible in Sidebar, even if the application is not running, you can use the context menu option "Keep in bar". To access the context menu use right click on an application icon while the application is started.
How can I restore the MacOS Dock without using the built-in option?
To restore the default MacOS Dock behaviour Open a Terminal session and execute the following command
defaults delete "autohide-delay"; killall Dock
After running the command the default settings will be restored.

Why do you need Accessibility permissions?
To build and app like Sidebar it's important that you can manage application windows of other applications. For instance to open a specific application window from our application preview window. Apple provides the Accessibility API to do that. In order to use this API we need your permissions. Here's a list of features that will only work when you grant accessibility permissions to Sidebar
  • Show notification badges (e.g. number of unread mails) for each application
  • Prevent windows from overlapping with Sidebar
  • Activate specific application windows from the application preview window
  • Show application icons only on the screen they are active on
You don't need to grant Accessibility permissions, but please keep in mind that not all features of Sidebar are working as intended. Accessibility permissions cannot be used to read any sensitive information on your device!

Why do you need Screen Recording permissions?
Screen Recording permissions allow an application to take screenshots of your screen. Either parts of it, or the entire screen. This is common for applications, e.g. to share your screen in MS Teams or Discord. We need Screen Recording permissions to
  • Create screenshots of application windows and show them in the preview window
  • Show a live stream of your application windows in the preview window (starting with MacOS 12.3)
Theoretically apps withs Screen Recording permissions can capture the content of your screen. Our promise is that screenshots, or live streams of your windows will NEVER EVER leave your device. Those data are only held in main memory for the time that they are needed (while you have the preview window open). After that all data are deleted irreversibly.

What configuration options does Sidebar offer to adjust where applications are displayed on a multi-monitor setup?
There are three settings (Sidebar settings -> Application settings) available that affect this:
  • Only display applications on the screen they are open on: When enabled, this setting allows Sidebar to show open applications only on the screen where a window of the application is visible. Multiple screens may display the same application if windows are distributed across different screens. Pinned applications (see pinned applications) will be visible on all screens when closed, but only on screens with at least one active application window once launched.
  • Show applications opened on a screen with no Sidebar: If enabled, applications positioned on a screen without Sidebar will be visible on all screens. This might occur in a multi-monitor setup if you have Sidebar enabled only on specific screens.
  • Show fullscreen applications: Enabling this setting makes Sidebar show full-screen applications across all Sidebars.

How can I adjust the delay for when a preview window will be shown upon hovering over an application, or the delay for when it will be closed again?
You can find three settings regarding this in the Sidebar settings -> Application settings
  • Preview window delay: This is the delay (in ms) that determines how long it will take for the preview window to appear after hovering over an application icon.
  • Big preview window delay: This is the delay (in ms) that determines how long it will take for the large preview of an application window to appear after hovering over that specific window in the preview.
  • Preview window close delay: This is the delay (in ms) that determines how long it will take to automatically close the preview window after the cursor leaves the area.

How can I reorder applications, links, ... in Sidebar?
You can reorder elements in Sidebar using drag & drop while holding down the shift key. Applications not pinned to Sidebar (see pinned applications) will maintain their position only until the application is closed. Pinned applications (see pinned applications) will always retain their position.
How does the licensing work? Do I have to be online to use the app?
Before you can use the app you must either start your trial phase (directly from the app), buy a license and start using it (directly from the app) or manually enter the license key that you received via e-mail (e.g. if you purchased the license in the past or purchased it online). After your device has an active, valid license and your device is registered for this license (see below) your license status will regularly be requested from our licensing servers. This usually happens a couple of times a day. Don't worry. Even if you device is offline you may use your cached license for up to 30 days. After that time you will need to be online at least once to refresh license information.

How many devices can be used with a license?
You may use your license for up to three devices. The first time you start Sidebar on a device you will need to register this device with the license. In case you try to register a fourth device, you will get the chance to select another device that will be unregistered from the license. This allows you to manually mangage the devices registered for a license.

Why do I need to register my device to a license?
The registration of a device (e.g. your MacBook) to a license is necessary so that we can keep track of how many devices are being used with a license. Please have a look at our Security / Privacy section where you can find details of what data we are using to identify a device. Don't worry all this happens automatically. Usually you don't need to worry about it.

Do you offer a one-time payment option rather than a subscription?
Yes, we do! In times where every small tool just offers subscription models, we think that it's important to allow our users to choose their licensing model that fits their needs.

Will the one-time payment license also get all future updates?
Yes, all core updates are included. You can always check out the roadmap to see what's coming up the future. All updates that will add basic features, improvements etc. to Sidebar are also included in one-time payment licenses.

So what's the difference between a one-time payment and a subscription then?
For now both licenses are completely equal. Both licenses will always get all future Sidebar core updates. In the future we are planning to add plugins to Sidebar. Subscription licenses do have free access to all of those plugins, whereas one-time payment licenses will have the possibility to purchse those plugins also via one-time payments.

What's a plugin? And why is it not part of the core of Sidebar?
Plugins will greatly enhance or extend the functionality beyond the actual purpose of Sidebar. E.g. a plugin that will allow you to store all window positions and restore those window positions later on (manually or automatically when something happens). When we add features that are not part of the "core" functionality of Sidebar they usually are huge and will make other tools completely obsolete. Plugins are always optional. If you enjoy Sidebar there's no need to activate or purchase anything!

So you are disguising paid updates by calling them plugins?
No that's absolutely not our intention! You will never pay for the same thing / functionality / feature twice! Make sure to check out the roadmap and you will see that almost all planned features are part of the core anyway. There won't be that much plugins. From the ideas that we have right now this should be 2-3 (we do also list our ideas on the roadmap). As we already explained before plugins will greatly extend the functionality and create a lot of effort for us. On the other hand we always aim to strive for simplicity. Why would you run 5 tools in the background if there's one that can handle all of it? This is why we think of plugins as something optional that you can opt-in for if you like the feature.

When do you plan to release those plugins? And why should I subscribe if there's no benefit for now?
Honestly, we don't have a release date yet. This is something we are planning for the future when everything else is running stable. We want to keep our promise and really to consider your feedback as well. So our main goal is to provide you with a first-class Dock replacement. For now there's no benefit of having a subscription license rather than a one-time payment license. In the future subscriptions will also have free access to all plugins. Right now there's no plugin. So both are the same. It's your personal choice what you prefer. One-time payment licenses generate more costs now but won't affect you monthly or yearly budget. Subscriptions are really cheap but are recurring monthly or yearly. Choose what fits best for you! Our recommendation for now is to just not consider those planned plugins in the future. If you like Sidebar for what it is, those plugins won't make a difference and can also be added to one-time payment licenses later on.
What is Stripe and why do you use it?
Working with money online is tricky. Transactions have to be secure, you have to make sure to comply with standards and regulations in order to process payment details etc. The short version: you really don't want to handle it yourself We are working together with Stripe - a payment infrastructure provider that handles all transactions for us and provides us just with with basic information such as: is a subscription active and valid, was your one-time payment successful etc. We will never store any payment information, such as credit card details, ... on our servers Payment data are securely handled by Stripe and never leave their system!

What data will be collected when using the app?
The only data collected from your Mac / system are:
  • A hashed (SHA-256) version of your hardware UUID. You can check your hardware UUID in the System Information app
  • The name of your device. You can check the name of your device in the System Settings app (General -> About)
  • A timestamp of when you register Sidebar with your device

Why do you collect those data?
The only reason why we collect this data is to make licensing work. When you buy a license you may use it for up to three devices. To use a device it has to be registered for a license. To uniquely identify a device we use the hashed form of your Macs hardware UUID. Once you reach your licenses device registration limit (e.g. you want to add a fourth device) you may choose a device that should be replaced instead, e.g. to remove one of your old Macbooks and add a new one. This is why we collect your devices name and the timestamp of when you registered this device to make it easier for you to select the right device.

What data will be transmitted when using the app?
All data that are collected (hashed hardware UUID, device name and device registration timestamp) will be sent to our servers to make a licensing system work.

Will any other data (except for the ones mentioned above) leave my Mac?
No other data will leave your device. We do not collect any usage data, personal data, screenshots, ...
Sidebar is running (the menu bar icon is there), but I cannot see Sidebar anywhere. What should I do?
Most of the time when this issue occurs it's due to a falsely detected full-screen window. Some applications create utility windows to achieve a certain task., Those windows might even be full-screen windows, although you cannot see them. Unfortunately there's no way that Sidebar could distinguish between regular windows and those utility windows. To work around that, there's a built-in option in Sidebar to manually ignore those windows and make Sidebar work as supposed:
  • Start Sidebar and make sure it's running, by checking if the Sidebar menu bar icon is visible
  • Open Sidebar settings and navigate to Application settings", scroll down to Application specific settings and click the Add application button
  • A new window opens that shows a list of all running applications on your Mac
  • Scroll through the list and look for applications that have a red dot next to the Add button. The red dot means that this application is detected as a full-screen application. E.g. Add application specific setting
  • Look for applications with such a dot that are not actually running in full-screen mode on purpose. There might be multiple of such applications
  • For each of those apps, click on the Add button
  • You will then see the apps appear in the list within the settings. Please check Ignore for full-screen detection for each of those apps. E.g. Add application specific setting
Now check if Sidebar is working as expected.

I cannot use my license / register my device. I always run into an error. What can I do?
Sidebar is using a licensing server to check the license / register the current device to this license. Most of the time when you are running into issues while activating your license or registering your device it's due to a blocked call to Sidebar's licensing server. Please make sure that you are not behind a proxy, connected to a VPN or have set up a firewall that is blocking the call to the registration server.
  • The url of the licensing server is
  • The IP is
  • Sidebar uses a POST request to the HTTPs endpoint, using the default 443 port
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