Quick Ways To Show or Hide Desktop Icons On A Mac Desktop

Just as much as a stuffed Mac can be a headache, a messy desktop is a nightmare too, and probably the last thing that a user would want to see. And just as much as you would pay heed to clean up some storage on Mac, you should do something to keep your desktop neat and clean. So, the question arises, how can you make your screen look neat and clean.

One of the best ways you can keep your desktop clutter is to hide desktop icons on Mac. Here are some of the quick ways to hide desktop icons on Mac.

1. Using Terminal Commands

If you are familiar with terminal commands in Mac, and know the right commands, you can perform a ton of wonders. By using Mac terminal commands you can easily, and quickly hide desktop icons.

To launch the terminal commands in Mac, follow the steps mentioned below –

1. Click on the Launchpad icon and type “Terminal” in the search bar.

dekstop icons - terminal commands in Mac


Click on the Spotlight icon (this can even be opened using Cmd+Space) and launch the Terminal app where you will enter terminal commands.

2. Then enter the following command by copy and paste it in the terminal

terminal commands in Mac

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false

3. After this enter the following command to restart finder

killall Finder

4. Once you have typed in this command, you will be able to hide desktop icons on your Mac or Windows computer. You will also be able to hide your hard disk and network icons too.

Not every time, would you want to stare at a blank screen and hide desktop icons on Mac. If you wish to unhide the icons again, type in the following command or simply copy-paste it in the Terminal –

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop

Once again you will have to type killall Finder to restart finder

Use An Automator App To Run Commands And Hide Desktop Icons

Copying and pasting the commands time, and again to hide desktop icons on Mac might not be feasible option. In that case, you can download an Automator app which will help you run the commands in the background.

The best part is that the app is completely open-source.

Download Automator App

2. Hide Desktop Icons On Mac Using The Stacks Functionality

Source: support.apple.com

Since macOS Mojave, Apple has introduced a fantastic way using which you declutter your Mac desktop. The stacks functionality places the files on the right edge of the screen after it has organised them into file types. Although, you always have the option to stack them based on several criteria such as date modified and date added.

To see stacks into action right-click on the desktop and then, select Group stacks/ Sort stacks > choose your desired option

3. Use A Third-Party App To Hide Desktop Icon In One Click

If you are frequently required to hide desktop icons on Mac, using terminal commands frequently might not be a very feasible option.

That’s where you can let an app to hide desktop icons on Mac. Without a speck of doubt, HiddenMe is one of the best apps that will let you unhide or hide desktop icons on Mac with a mere click.

How To Use HiddenMe To Hide Desktop Icons On Mac

hide me app - hide desktop icons

After you have downloaded HiddenMe from the App Store, follow the steps mentioned below –

  • Select Hide Desktop Icon
  • The option will remove files from the screen
  • To get the icons back on the screen, click on the Show Desktop Icons

If you wish to remove Hidden icon from the menu bar, just.click right on and select quit

4. Drag Icons To Another Folder

This is probably a method that you know already. To clean up the messed up desktop which is cluttered with icons, all you have to do is drag the icon from your desktop to another folder. Also, if there are any icons that you think can be deleted, just drag them to trash.

What Do You Think?

How frequently do you clean your desktop and have to spend hours sorting the icons? If that’s you, we hope that the above ways have helped you hide desktop icons on your Mac system. And, if you have a better way of sorting or hiding and unhiding desktop icons, do share with us in the comments section below. After all, we’re all ears to get valuable feedback from you!

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