Replacement of DragThing

To clarify a bit further, am I incorrect that DragThing is still working under Mojave? No need to stall at Sierra, correct?

Also, Keyboard Maestro could easily do Trash empty for specific volumes and/or users (as could vanilla AppleScript/Automator). Let me know if you want to explore this further.

Thank you for clarifying why it’s more than just an icon on the Desktop. (: while I personally trained myself to never use the Trash as a maybe/maybe-not holding area, I know that millions of Mac users do, so it makes sense. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to assist people whose disks appeared to have run out of space, simply because they’ve never emptied the trash in literally years.)

I should dig out my DT license and grab the last installer before it disappears; maybe it has some interesting tricks I’ve overlooked for not having appreciation for its banner features.

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I’ve been using DragThing since MacOS 9 (or even before?). When Macs still had only menus, at some moment Windows acquired this docking bar which I found cool and wanted to have on my Mac too.
When the MacOS Dock arrived eventually I was so used to the configurability of DT that I’ve kept it out of sight all the time. I’ve got a Process dock, a multilayered App dock, a separate Scripts dock, all discretely minimised when not used. Apple’s Dock utterly lacks this flexibility at least as far as I know. I’ve also got a Desktop Trash (greatly confusing an Apple technician once…) but that I could eventually live without.
It’s a pity that it will disappear, really. I’ll go and explore the alternatives mentioned in this thread.

In my case it’s working even better than in High Sierra. Icons from Excel and Filemaker files, in HS, where changed in DragThing. Clicking the icon ran the file, changed the icon to the correct one, but, in my case, after restarting my Mac where again wrong.
In Mojave they are correct all the time.

So I personally use DragThing since the beginning it has always just worked. The problem is uBar 3 it doesn’t work well and they nickel and dimed me with uBar 4, Really crashes on X.12.6 uBar 3/4 has no support team my logged problem still sits ignored.

SuperTab and Dropzone 3 are both well build products I like both of these. Aptonic is very responsive when it comes to helping.

Try iCollections. It works similar to DragThing but looks much modern.

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I’ve used DragThing for 20 years. It’s an indispensable part of my Mac experience – one of the first apps I install on every Mac that I own.

I love what James Thomson did when he wrote DragThing. Excellence is a rare thing, and DragThing is excellent at what it does, but James can’t make a living making it 64 bit, so what else am I going to do? Settle for the dock? Not an option. Too limited.

Finding a replacement for DT has been a laborious little quest. It’s an odd comparison, but I think I know now what Roger Ebert went through after Gene Siskel died; he had to go through an extended process of auditions with guest critics. I’ve looked at so many app launchers. None of them gave me the configurability options I wanted. Station didn’t, uBar didn’t, DockShelf didn’t, SuperTab didn’t.

I finally settled on iCollections. It’s the closest by far of any launcher out there for power and configurability, at least insofar as it comes to duplicating my old DT setup. I spent a good chunk of yesterday doing it, and while it’s not EXACTLY what I want, it’s close enough, and, most importantly, it will run on Mojave’s successor when that comes out next fall.

My personal preference in these things is to have a multi-tabbed drawer-style interface capable of launching apps, folders, and files, discretely tucked away when not in use, configurable as to things like color and opacity, with more than one row in each tab. iCollections does all of that. It doesn’t offer the profusion of dock themes and button styles that DragThing does, but I found its feature set respectable in its own right, so I’m going with it. YMMV. I say check it out.

iCollections - Organize your Mac desktop

– Andy


I was also looking for a launcher and bought Station based on recommendations, but either it does not behave with my Finder, or I just do not get the metaphor. I will look at iCollections to see if it will work for me.

I just bought the app – $15.99, very reasonable.

I bought iCollections yesterday and I was able to configure it to do almost everything I was using DragThing for, except setting a keyboard combination to open a specific item. I highly recommend iCollections to those wishing to replace DragThing.

Can you put a Trash Can in a collection?

I don’t think so.

@apMKE: Well said. You’ve expressed my experience and sentiments regarding DragThing and James Thomson exactly. After trying Application Wizard, I then tried and chose iCollections after reading your post and following the link.

iCollections offered to import my DragThings “collections” on first start-up. It made transitioning easier and encouraged me to keep digging to find features that are essential to me (i.e., auto hiding & showing collections, open on single-click) but are poorly documented.

To fill in for DragThing’s “Application Dock,” I have now configured the Mac OS Dock to show only running applications, and to auto-hide on the left side of my screen. @Dennis Swaney, the Trash Can can’t be deleted from the Mac’s Dock, so this may be a work-around for you.

As you say, it’s not perfect, but it’s a darned sight closer than the alternatives I’ve read about. Thank you for the tip.

Glad I could be helpful, thanks. :slight_smile:

Just found your reply as I haven’t been able to figure out how to get email notifications of replies in this new format. Yes, the trash can is still there in the dock, but I prefer it be on the desktop in the lower right corner where it belongs!

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Hi. I’m going to try out Station and iCollections. Another app that might be worth checking out is Overflow 3. I think it has potential to be a replacement, but I honestly haven’t used it much since I’ve always had Dragthing handy (until I installed the 10.15 beta).

Still looking.

Station, iCollections, UnClutter and a couple of the other apps are missing some DragThing functionality.

Keyboard Maestro is replacing some of the launcher capabilities and provided a couple of useful features.

SuperTab looked promising, too.

It seems all of these can only handle “standard” clipboards (text, images, etc.). I want to grab filemaker clipboards, which are some structured XML object. For some reason, DragThing can see, store, allow you to name and paste by keyboard trigger. I wonder why all of the others can’t see this?


just after I posted, I think I found how to do this (store FileMaker clipboard snippets) in Keyboard Maestro, so apologies to Peter Lewis if I’ve misled).

So this looks promising…:+1:

Been looking myself before upgrading, the one that looks closest to my usage of DragThing is

Still need to find a good way to get the trashcan, but with a bit of work that should replace DragThing as my main app launcher.

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