The latest version of DragThing is 5.9.17 and is available now on the Download Page. You can find a full list of the changes on the Version History Page.

Follow me on Twitter at @jamesthomson for more frequent updates, or read my development blog.

16th November 2016

Another small 5.9.17 update for DragThing - grab it here.

I broke a few things in 5.9.16 - most notably the badges on icons such as Mail - and this fixes those problems. Enjoy!

28th October 2016

There's a small 5.9.16 update for DragThing available here.

This is to fix some problems on macOS Sierra, most notably an OS change that made DragThing require the discrete GPU on some MacBook Pros and use more power than necessary.

6th August 2016

Kagi, the company we used to use for online ordering unexpectedly went bankrupt this week, and shut down their servers without giving us any notice. So we have switched all of our sales to FastSpring instead.

The previous versions of DragThing linked directly to Kagi, so I've made a small 5.9.15 update that fixes the online ordering link.

I'm very sad to see Kagi close down, as we've used them for payment processing for nearly twenty years, and wouldn't be here without them. They provided a way for independent developers to sell their software back in the day, when online ordering was still in its infancy.

Unfortunately, the bankruptcy has also left thousands of developers in the lurch, and it remains to be seen if we're going to get any of the money for the last few months worth of sales.

2nd June 2016

Surprise! There's a small 5.9.14 update for DragThing available here.

This release doesn't add any new features, but it does run a lot better on El Capitan and fixes a number of problems there. The full list of changes is here.

It also doesn't add the number one feature request of retina support. I'd really like to add this, but it will take a complete rewrite of the code, and right now PCalc is keeping me pretty busy. But I do hope to get back to DragThing properly in the future. Right now, I'm waiting to see what's announced at WWDC later this month.

Thanks to John Siracusa for giving me a big enough nudge to get this update out!

8th October 2013

There's a small update to DragThing now available that adds support for OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks. You can download it here.

This release fixes a number of problems running on Mavericks, particularly with DragThing becoming unresponsive while auto-saving docks. In addition it should start up much faster, after the first time you've run it.

Note that the “Hide DragThing icon in Apple Dock” option is currently disabled on Mavericks, due to an bug in the OS. If I can work around the problem, or Apple fixes it, I will re-enable this option in a future release.


14th August 2012

There's a small update to DragThing available here.

Version 5.9.11 will hopefully fix a problem that some people have seen with docks not saving or becoming corrupted under Lion or Mountain Lion. I would strongly recommend that anybody running 10.7 or 10.8 installs this update.

24th July 2012

DragThing 5.9.10 with support for Mountain Lion is now available.

The software update code in previous versions won't notice that 5.9.10 is out because they (or, more accurately, I) didn't expect double-digit version numbers - but it should work from now on.

This release is mainly bug fixes and other low level changes for 10.8, but the setting to hide the DragThing icon in the Apple Dock now doesn't require an admin account (and will persist across versions) because it doesn't need to modify the app any more. This release also adds the "Developer ID" code signing so that Mountain Lion knows it's an approved copy from an "Identified Developer" and hasn't been tampered with!

This release requires 10.7.4 or later - in order to support Mountain Lion properly, I need to use some Lion-only features. But older versions are still available that support Mac OS all the way back to 7.5.


10th February 2012

A DragThing 5.9.9 update is available here.

10.7.3 has a bug which can cause DragThing to crash while moving the cursor over icons. This release works round the problem, and a few other minor glitches on Lion.

21st October 2011

There is a small DragThing 5.9.8 update here.

This works round a specific problem with 10.7.2, which could cause errors when trying to load or save docks. I would recommend it for anybody who is running Lion.

25th August 2011

It's alive! You can download a new version of DragThing here.

This is a compatibility release for Lion. It fixes three serious - if rare - crashes and a number of other problems people have seen on Lion. Details are here.

One of the bugs I've fixed is that the software update mechanism in earlier versions does not work on Lion. So, the obvious problem is that people who are already running 5.9.6 on Lion will not hear about this new version. So, please, spread the word!

Also, please note that DragThing now requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later. This is mainly due to Apple's modern development tools no longer supporting PowerPC Macs and older systems. But, if you are using an earlier OS, you can still download a version of DragThing that will run happily on it. All the way back to Mac OS 7.5.5 in fact :)

We haven't charged for a DragThing update in the eight years since DragThing 5 was released, and this is no exception. However, if you would like to support our continuing efforts, please consider buying a copy of PCalc for iOS or PCalc for the Mac. Or buy another copy of DragThing if you are feeling particularly generous.

It's good to be back!

21st August 2011

If you are seeing DragThing crash at launch on Lion, it's probably because you installed the latest AirFoil 4.5.6 update which breaks DragThing and a number of other apps - full details are here. The folks at Rogue Amoeba are working on a fix.

In other news, I am now currently working on a DragThing 5.9.7 update to address some smaller issues people are seeing on Lion. If you've seen any problems, let me know and I'll do my best to get them fixed. Hopefully it will be released before the end of the month!

20th July 2011

So, the good news is that I've tested DragThing on Lion, and it's working well. I'm going to fix any problems that crop up, but everything seems ok so far. The only issue I've seen is that software update isn't working, but that doesn't cause the app itself any problems. Let me know if you see anything.

Regular readers will note however that this is the first major release of Mac OS that hasn't had a corresponding major release of DragThing, and I wanted to share some of the reasons why that's the case. Please excuse the honesty.

Firstly, Lion is adding a number of features like Launchpad which - like the Apple Dock before it - many casual users will use instead of a third-party utility like DragThing. And DragThing will never be accepted into the Mac App Store in its current form, which is the place most people on Lion will buy their apps from.

In fact, there are changes ahead in the not-too-distant future which I believe will end up with many existing system utilities actually getting removed from the store. It's not controversial to say that Apple appears to be trying to move the Mac away from "applications" and more towards "apps".

So, while the Mac market is certainly growing, the market for DragThing is equally certainly shrinking, and the sales have reflected that for some time. On the other hand, the iOS market is growing almost exponentially, and as a company, we're seeing around 80% of our revenue coming from there already.

Plus, on a technical level, DragThing really needs a ground up redesign and rewrite. It's working perfectly well at the moment, but new users are confused by the wealth of options, and some of the code in DragThing is seventeen years old and beginning to show its age. It needs a lot of investment of time, energy, and emotion, basically starting again from scratch. That is a tall mountain to stand at the bottom of.

Now, add to all this the current climate regarding software patents and indie developers, and I hope you understand why we're - for once - not there with a new version on day one. I don't want to promise a major release and have people angry at me when I don't deliver, so for now, no promises.

DragThing is not dead. Long live DragThing!

1st May 2010

DragThing 5.9.6 is now available on the download page. This is purely a bug fix release for a problem that stopped DragThing from opening at all on 10.6.4.

Nothing to do with Apple this time - it turns out that there was a really dumb bug in my minimum system version check which meant that DragThing would refuse to run on any OS release that ended in a four! So, for those of you running 10.5.4, DragThing will now work there too...

There is something else I should say - today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the original DragThing 1.0 release. It seems like it was only yesterday when I wrote the page for the tenth anniversary. That's a very long time in the software world! Thank you to everybody who's supported me over the years.

And yes, this would be the ideal moment to announce something big like DragThing 6, but I only just realised this morning that it was a significant date, and I'm not quite that fast :)

28th December 2009

And we're nearly at the end of another year! Thanks to everybody who has bought a copy of DragThing in the last year, or indeed bought PCalc on the Mac or iPhone.

Actually, it occurs that we're at the end of the decade too... So make that a thank you for the last ten years!

See you in the future...

5th November 2009

DragThing 5.9.5 is now available on the download page. This is purely a bug fix release to fix a couple of rare problems on Snow Leopard.


25th August 2009

Most of you know I've been working on a number of iPhone apps recently, but I haven't forgotten about DragThing either. And so, with Snow Leopard nearly upon us, here is a new release - just in the nick of time!

Did I fall asleep?

DragThing 5.9.4 is now available on the download page. Notable changes include:

  • Added support for Snow Leopard.
  • Added a new dock theme, "Marble", for Snow Leopard.
  • Added an option to highlight 32-bit applications when running on Snow Leopard.
  • Added an option for docks to ignore Exposé on Snow Leopard.
  • Now display the number of unread tweets on the icon of Twitterific.
  • Fixed the "Ignore Exposé" option for the Desktop Trash on Snow Leopard.
  • Various minor fixes.

It's been nearly six years since we last charged for an update, and we've released over twenty free updates since then, so this should really be a paid one. But since it's a relatively minor release, this is still free for people who bought any earlier version of DragThing 5.

However, if you want to help support all the work we've done over the years, and have bought your copy already, why not consider buying a copy of our advanced scientific calculator PCalc for Mac OS X or the iPhone? Thanks!

I want to say one quick thing about the 32-bit badges - just because an application is running as 32-bit doesn't make it second-class in any way. This isn't like Classic or Rosetta where applications were running slowly under an emulator - they still run the same speed they always used to run under Leopard. The main advantage of 64-bit is to allow access to very large amounts of memory - that's important for some applications, but not so much for others. Indeed, this release of DragThing and the latest release of PCalc are both still 32-bit apps, and won't be 64-bit for some time to come. Same goes for many third-party applications. People asked for the feature, and I'm adding it, but this isn't a "badge of shame", so please don't treat it like one!

I should also point out that DragThing now requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later. This change is due to Apple's latest developer tools not supporting older systems any more. If you are on 10.3, you should stick with your existing version of DragThing.

Hope you like this release!

22nd June 2009

The bundle deal has now finished, I hope you enjoyed it!

Currently, I'm looking at DragThing on Snow Leopard. I expect I'll have a small update ready if there are any problems found, but it's looking good at the moment.

31st May 2009


You can now buy DragThing as part of a brand new software bundle at - you can get it with eight other great applications for only $49.95. That's only $21 more than a single copy of DragThing, for well over $200 more in software.

It's all the brainchild of Mac developer Stephen Becker. A few months ago, he contacted a group of us and suggested the idea of a what I would call a "fairtrade" bundle. Instead of most of the profits going to a third-party company with a background in marketing, he would organise it himself, and we would all split the proceeds equally. He's been working hard to get all the pieces in place since then - it's been a real labour of love.

I was happy to lend my support to the project with DragThing. The "bundle culture" that's developed over the last few years has been a great thing for the users - at least in the short term - but not so great for the developers in my opinion. Everybody is looking for the next big bargain - which is especially understandable given the current economic climate of course - and that's been driving the prices down. But it's also getting to the point where it's hard for the smaller developers to stay in business.

But with this deal, instead of getting way less than a dollar per copy, or - even worse - only getting a flat fee regardless of the number of copies sold, we'll all be getting roughly five dollars from each sale of the bundle. So if it sells, say, a couple of thousand copies in total, that's a much better return than we might see from many tens of thousands of sales of some other bundles.

I think Stephen won't mind me saying that this bundle doesn't exactly have the slickest marketing in comparison to the likes of MacHeist or MacUpdate. But that's ok, it's still a really good deal when you get down to it - they're all solid apps, most of which you will have heard of before now. And hopefully, if this proves to be a success, it will be the start of something big that's good for the whole Mac community.

So, if you like a bargain, but also like the idea of developers getting paid a fair amount for their software, please check out the whole story at It's only going to be available for the next two weeks, so hurry!

4th September 2008

I've got a new version of PCalc for Mac OS X out - the first in two years! You can download it here.

10th July 2008


PCalc is now available to buy (a day earlier than expected!) for the iPhone and iPod Touch on the iPhone App Store! You can find out more details here.

I think it's a really cool iPhone app, so please check it out and I hope you all like it!

2nd July 2008

PCalc In Your Pocket

So I can finally talk a bit about what I've been working on for the last six months!

PCalc for the iPhone (and iPod Touch) is now ready for release, and has been submitted to the iTunes application store this afternoon. All being well, it should be available immediately when the store opens for business.

Apple has asked us not to show any screenshots from iPhone apps until after the store goes live, so I will respect their wishes (and mighty legal teams) and not put anything up here yet.

But I can still tell you some details.

LIke the desktop app, PCalc for the iPhone includes an extensive set of unit conversions, constants, a paper tape, an RPN mode, engineering and scientific notation, as well as support for hexadecimal, octal and binary calculations. It has been redesigned from the ground up with the handheld experience in mind. It looks great too!

It's going to cost $9.99 in the US - pricing will vary in other countries, but in that range.

More details to follow soon. I hope you like it!

4th June 2008

As promised, there's a small bug fix release of DragThing available now on the download page.

DragThing 5.9.3 works around a number of bugs that were introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.3. Specifically, there were some problems that stopped dock windows from coming to the front in a reliable fashion.

In order to fix the problem, the Desktop Trash will no longer appear in all Spaces by default. If you use Spaces and want the Desktop Trash appearing in all of them, set DragThing to appear in all Spaces in the "Exposé & Spaces" section of System Preferences.

This release should fix all the known issues, but do let me know at the address below if you see any more.

No new features for this one I'm afraid, but I'll hopefully get back to DragThing soon after WWDC and when PCalc for the iPhone is finished.

Thanks for your patience!

3rd June 2008

Another quick update. I believe I have found a good workaround for the 10.5.3 bug below - a new build has just been sent out for testing, and all being well, it will be released tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, keep the Desktop Trash switched off and everything should be fine.

30th May 2008

It looks like there's a bug in the new 10.5.3 that's causing DragThing's dock windows not to come to the front sometimes.

I'm working on the problem right now, and have made a pre-release build of 5.9.3 with some changes which I am hoping will work round the bug. Once it's been tested, and I'm sure it does the right thing, I'll get an official release out as soon as possible.

If you're able to reproduce the problem, drop me a line at the address below and I'll send you a copy of the pre-release build.

A quick follow-up. The pre-release build seems to fix most of the problems, but not all of them, so I'm going to spend more time this weekend trying to come up with a comprehensive workaround.

However, I believe that if you disable the Desktop Trash in the Trash section of the Preferences, 5.9.2 should otherwise work correctly with 10.5.3. Something about the Trash window is now confusing the system about whether DragThing's windows are at the front or not, and switching it off should do the trick.

1st April 2008

Sorry for being a bit quiet!

I'm currently deep in R&D mode, looking at the iPhone SDK, and learning how things work by producing a version of PCalc for it. I don't think it's particularly likely I'll be making DragThing for the iPhone, but who knows!

And yes, I did consider making an elaborate hoax press release for the 1st of April, but I was too busy actually working :)

More to come soon...

1st January 2008

Happy New Year! Thanks to everybody who has helped support us in 2007!

20th December 2007

DragThing is 50!

To be precise, this is the fiftieth separate release of DragThing counting all the way back to the very first version 1.0 in 1995. I very nearly didn't notice, but I was just adding up all the different versions in preparation for the release today and realised the significance. That's a whole lot of releases...

Have you used all 50? Let me know! You can find a nostalgic look back at the early days here, on a page I put together for the tenth anniversary.

Anyway, the latest release, 5.9.2, is waiting on the download page.



It's mainly some bug fixes, but I've also added the ability to sort the hierarchical folder menus by date or by kind. Plus, there's a new dock theme "Panthera Lite" which is similar to the default Leopard theme "Panthera Pardus", but it's been working out at the gym...

Panthera Lite

The full list of changes is here.

Here's to the next 50! Thanks to everybody who has bought DragThing over the years!

17th December 2007

There's a small 5.9.2 update coming later this week, but in the meantime check out this excellent video by Jason Snell of Macworld, explaining the basics of DragThing. It's like DragThing TV!

Thanks Jason!

1st November 2007

I've released a small update to improve Leopard support and add a couple of new features. You can get DragThing 5.9.1 on the download page now.

I Can Has Reflekshuns?

I Need Space To Reflect

Notably, it fixes a couple of problems with Spaces, but it also includes a new dock theme that matches the appearance of the side Leopard Dock. With or without reflections, it's your choice!

The full list of changes is here.

18th October 2007

Regular readers will know that my DragThing mantra is "ready on day one".

Well, I'm a little early this time... DragThing 5.9 with full support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is now available on the download page!

I Can Has Reflekshuns?

I Can Has Reflekshunz?

Highlights include:

  • Full support for 10.5, including a brand new look to match Leopard, live document icon previews using QuickLook, and more.
  • You can now finally insert and rearrange items in your docks without needing to make space first. Just drag and drop to your heart's content.
  • Mirror up your docks with optional icon reflections, even on Tiger and Panther.
  • Three more cool dock themes to match Leopard.
  • Enhanced previews with display of EXIF data for photos.
  • Browse the contents of your folders through contextual menus. Not really a new feature, but we didn't take it away either like some people :)
  • And lots more...

The full list of changes is here.

I'd recommend that everybody who upgrades to Leopard also upgrades to this new release - earlier versions of DragThing may have problems under Leopard, and should be considered unsupported at this point.

However, this is a free upgrade for people who bought any earlier version of DragThing 5, so there's little reason not to! It costs $12 for people who bought DragThing 2 and 4, and $29 for new users. Five and ten-packs are also available, as well as a bundle with our excellent calculator PCalc for $34.

I've also added another competitive upgrade, this time for refugees from Softchaos' WorkStrip - people who bought it can upgrade to DragThing for the reduced price of $19. You can find the offer on the order page here.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

12th October 2007

A Time To Reflect On Things To Come

And let the teasing commence :)

3rd August 2007

Just a quick status update. I'm currently working away on a free update for DragThing that will be released alongside Leopard in the coming months.

At the moment, I'm mainly ensuring compatibility and adding some Leopard-specific new features. Of course, since Apple hasn't yet announced exactly when they are going to release Leopard, I can't tell you either! But, as usual, DragThing will be ready on day one whenever it is.

Also, the 1st of August marked the official ten year anniversary of DragThing being sold as shareware. So, thank you to all the people over the years who have help to ensure DragThing has a future. To tell the truth, the actual anniversary of our first sale was back in July, but I used to fiddle the release dates a little back then!

And if you've been using DragThing since then without paying... Well, after a decade-long trial, don't you think it's about time you did?

More later!

31st May 2007

DragThing 5.8.1 has been released.



This is just a small update to fix a couple of annoying bugs in 5.8, but there's also a cool new dock theme by Martin Harding called "Dashboard", as well as a new option to lock docks firmly in position.

The full list of changes is here. Enjoy!

23rd May 2007

I'm working on a small DragThing 5.8.1 update right now to fix a few problems in 5.8. Expect that next week. I'm hoping to sneak a few new features in too, and maybe a theme.

In the meantime, I haven't printed any interesting statistics for a long while, so here you go:

DragThing sales by country
(based on revenue for the last 12 months)

New Zealand


User's preferred language
(from DragThing's Software Update for the last 3 months)



16th May 2007

DragThing 5.8 is now available on the Download Page.

DT hearts DD

DT hearts DD

Sig Software and TLA Systems are pleased to announce that DragThing is now the official upgrade path for all existing users of Sig Software's Drop Drawers. We've been working closely together for the past few months to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Beginning with this release, DragThing can now directly import settings from Drop Drawers, including the contents, keyboard shortcuts, and appearance of drawers. Lots of new features have been added to this release specifically to make Drop Drawers users feel more at home, and we're confident DragThing users will enjoy them too.

Most of the improvements relate to how drawers work in DragThing, including:

  • A new option to move drawers completely offscreen when they are minimised, just like the Apple Dock. So you don't need to sacrifice any precious desktop real estate, but can still have your docks close to hand.
  • You can now align tabs anywhere within a dock, not just at the beginning, middle or end. This makes it a lot easier to have multiple drawers occupying the same edge of the screen.
  • An option to open drawers when you move the cursor over them, even when they are obscured by other windows.
  • An option to only open drawers when the cursor is at the edge of the screen, plus a complementary option to close them again when you click at the edge of the screen. See Fitts' Law.

The full list of changes is available here.

People who bought Sig Software's Drop Drawers can upgrade to DragThing for the special price of $19, a $10 discount on the normal cost of $29. This update is free for people who bought any earlier version of DragThing 5.

This release also includes two new dock themes from Martin Harding - updated versions of his "HUD Panel" and "Light Panel" themes. Thanks Martin!

HUD Panel
Light Panel

I hope you like the release.

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