Microsoft redesigned the taskbar in Windows 11, with the most noticeable change in the taskbar being focused icons. Those focused icons make Windows 11’s taskbar comparable to macOS’s Dock.
However, the improved taskbar is still not the same as the centralized Mac Dock, which does not run on the entire screen. If you want a real Mac-style Dock on Windows, you can add a more genuine Apple Macintosh Dock using Winstep Nexus software.
Add a Mac-style Dock to Windows 10 and 11 with Winstep Nexus
Winstep Nexus is a very interesting package that makes it possible to add a Mac-style Dock to Windows, from Windows XP to Windows 11. The software has both free and paid versions. The free package has all the same animated mouse effects and live icons as the Nexus Ultimate. Here’s how you can install the Winstep Nexus freeware:
1. First, open the WinStep Nexus website.
2. Click the button Download blue in the WinStep Nexus section to save the ZIP archive.
3. Select the Nexus ZIP file and click the . button Extract all.
4. Click Browse to select a path to the file extraction location for the Nexus.
5. Select option Show extracted files.
6. Press the button Extract.
7. Then double click NexusSetup to open the installer.
8. Then select option I accept the agreement and select an installation directory in the wizard to install the software.
Once installed, Winstep Nexus Dock will automatically appear at the top of your screen as shown in the screenshot directly below. It’s a good place to put the dock, but you can change the position of the Nexus Dock by right-clicking it and selecting Screen position. Choose a left, right, top, or bottom option on the menu.
To add software shortcuts to the Nexus Dock, right-click it and select Insert New Dock Item > Item. Select the program on the drop-down menu Item type.
Click Find Item to select a program to put in the Dock. You can also select a hotkey option there to assign a shortcut to the program. Press OK to add software shortcuts.
The Winstep Nexus Dock has some really flashy effects that make Windows 11’s taskbar unmatched. To change those effects, click the . button Nexus on the Dock. Then select tab Effects shown below.
That tab includes options for hover, launch, focus, and delete effects. Click an effect there to choose from a variety of alternative effects. You can further configure the selected effects by clicking the button Effect settings.
Press the button OK on the selection window and select Apply to change it.
You can configure the icon size and transparency for the WinStep Nexus Dock on the tab Appearance. Drag the slider on that tab left or right to decrease or increase the icon size.
Press the button Dock Transparency to display a window with transparent bars. You can then drag the sliders to the right to add more transparency.
WinStep Nexus Dock also includes many different themes. To choose an alternative theme, click the tab Themes. Select another theme on that tab and click Apply to save the new settings.
If you want to include minimized windows on the Winstep Nexus Dock, select tab Nội dung in the window Preferences. Click the checkbox Show running applications in this dock there, this check box will also select the option Minimize windows to the dock. Choose Apply to confirm new options.
In addition to Winstep Nexus, there is another software that also performs the same task, which is RocketDock. Details are in the article: How to create a dock on Windows with RocketDock.
Winstep Nexus and RocketDock are two of the best freeware packages to add Mac-style Dock to Windows. Both include a wide range of configuration settings and many beautiful effects that you don’t get on the Windows taskbar.
They are great extensions to the taskbar, providing more space for software shortcuts. So give them a try if you want to make Windows more like Apple’s Mac platform or you simply need somewhere to stick more shortcuts.