How to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac

Some individuals are good at managing their desktop area and maintaining it actually neat and tidy. Nicely, I’m not one in all them and my Mac’s desktop is cluttered with folders and information. I really like my chaos, and I’m not going to alter my habits within the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, I do want to cover my desktop information on sure events. For instance, if I’ve to connect screenshots in any of my articles, or when I’ve to offer a presentation at work, I might somewhat present individuals a cleaner desktop, as it’s simpler for them to concentrate on the fitting issues. Whether or not you might be struggling to maintain your desktop clear otherwise you thrive within the chaos like me, you’ll encounter moments when it’s a must to conceal all that muddle shortly. For these fast moments, right here’s methods to conceal desktop icons in macOS shortly:

Be aware: I’ve tried the next strategies on my 2017 MacBook Professional operating on macOS Mojave, and different Macs operating on macOS Sierra, and macOS Excessive Sierra, so these ought to work in your Mac as effectively.

Conceal Desktop Icons in macOS Utilizing Terminal

The Terminal is sort of a trove of treasure. You are able to do wonders in your Mac with the fitting instructions, so it’s no shock that you need to use the Terminal to cover desktop icons on a Mac. You possibly can simply launch the Terminal by trying to find it in Highlight and run the next command:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false

screenshot of terminal command to hide desktop icons in macOS

When you’ve finished that, use the next command within the Terminal to restart Finder:

killall Finder

screenshot of terminal command to restart finder in mac

Needless to say the ‘F’ in ‘Finder’ ought to be capital, in any other case the terminal will merely let you know that it discovered no matching processes.



When you do that, all of the icons in your Desktop will probably be hidden. To unhide the icons later, you possibly can merely use the next command:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true

after which restart Finder with the next command:

killall Finder

Use Third-party Apps to Conceal Desktop Icons on Mac

Whereas utilizing the Terminal to cover desktop icons on a Mac isn’t a tough process, if you want to conceal/unhide desktop icons in macOS on a really common foundation, utilizing the Terminal won’t be probably the most environment friendly methodology for you. In such a case, you need to use a 3rd occasion app that may allow you to conceal desktop icons or unhide them with only a click on. I’m recommending HiddenMe (free) for this.

screenshot of HiddenMe's App Store listing

When you’ve downloaded the app from the App Retailer, and launched it, all it’s a must to do is click on on the menu bar icon for HiddenMe, after which click on on ‘Conceal Desktop Icons.’ That’s it, your desktop icons will now be hidden.

screenshot showing HiddenMe's hide desktop icons option

To unhide desktop icons later, you possibly can merely click on on the HiddenMe icon within the menu bar, and click on on ‘Unhide Desktop Icons.’



You may as well create a keyboard shortcut to allow/disable HiddenMe and ensure your desktop seems clear with simply the push of a easy keystroke regardless of which app you’re in. Simply be certain that to not use a shortcut that’s already being utilized by macOS, or one other app or the shortcut won’t work correctly. You possibly can create a shortcut by clicking on the HiddenMe icon within the menu bar, going to ‘Preferences,’ and utilizing the ‘Shortcut‘ possibility.

screenshot of HiddenMe's preferences screen with the keyboard shortcut annotated

Bonus: Use Desktop Stacks in macOS Mojave

If the one motive you wish to conceal desktop icons is to make your desktop look neat and clear for screenshots and displays (like me), there’s a neater and higher possibility that you need to use.

With macOS Mojave, Apple introduced a brand new ‘Desktop Stacks’ characteristic to Finder which routinely ensures that your desktop seems neat and clear by combining information of the identical sort collectively.

To allow Desktop Stacks, all you want to do is launch the Finder, click on on ‘View’ after which click on on ‘Use Stacks’ and that’s it.

GIF showing macOS Mojave's desktop stacks feature in action

Alternatively, you possibly can simply use the keyboard shortcut ‘management + command + O’ to allow Desktop Stacks in your Mac.



Be aware: As I discussed earlier, Desktop Stacks is just out there in macOS Mojave. In case you’re utilizing an older model of macOS, you’ll have to make use of the Terminal or an app like HiddenMe to make your desktop look clear.

SEE ALSO: How to Add Spaces to Organise Apps in Dock On Mac

Conceal Desktop Icons on Mac to Give It a Cleaner Look

By utilizing both of the above strategies, you possibly can make sure that nobody is ready to catch you off-guard and make you are feeling ashamed about your digital cleanliness habits. Now, you possibly can muddle up your desktop to your coronary heart’s want and when the second comes, you possibly can clear it up with a couple of keystrokes. So, attempt these strategies out and tell us your ideas within the remark part under.

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