Hide Desktop For Mac


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

  • Ways to Hide or Remove Icons from Mac Desktop. There are many ways by which you can hide or remove icons from the Mac desktop easily. Hide Icons from Desktop with Finder. The simplest step is to use the Finder to hide desktop icons. You can just use to get rid of the stuff that you don’t want to be displayed on your desktop.
  • Hide - UnHide for Mac features a basic window with two buttons. Press the first button and all other active app windows are minimized and the desktop is revealed. Press the second button and the.

Use Terminal to Hide the Icons on Mac Desktop. Apart from the Finder Preferences, the system also allows us to hide desktop icons on Mac via the Terminal.

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.


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

Hide desktop for mac os

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

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.

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.

Hide Desktop For Mac

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


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
Hide folder mac

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!

What Do You Think?

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

Hide desktop folders mac
'How can I hide desktop icons on Mac? There are too many shortcuts and icons on my Mac desktop and I wish to get rid of them – but I don't know how to do it!'

This is one of the queries that I have recently read on an online Mac community. Since I also use a Mac, it made me think of ways to change icons on Mac or hide them altogether. I realized that just like Windows, Mac users can also customize their desktop icons or completely get rid of them if they wish to.

In order to help you do the same, we have come up with this complete guide on how to remove icons from the desktop on Mac. Apart from different solutions to hide desktop icons on Mac, we will list some other techniques to manage your desktop as well.

Solution 1. Use the Finder Preferences to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac

If you are a regular Mac user, then you must be aware of the System and Finder Preferences. It involves all kinds of settings and options that can help us customize the way we use our Mac. If you wish to know how to remove icons from the desktop on Mac, then follow these simple steps:

  1. To start with, just go to the Finder option on your Mac, which is on the top left corner. Click on it to get its context menu and choose the 'Preferences' option.
  2. This will open the Finder Preferences tab on the screen. From here, you need to go to the 'General' section, if you aren't there already.
  3. Here, you can view an option for 'Show these items on the desktop'. Just disable (uncheck) the feature for all the options here like hard disks, external disks, etc.

In the end, just close the tab and go to the desktop to verify. You will see that all the icons on your Mac desktop would be hidden now. You can follow the same approach and enable their options to unhide them. Although the same technique will work on every leading macOS version, the interface might differ from one version to another.

Solution 2. Use Terminal to Hide the Icons on Mac Desktop

Apart from the Finder Preferences, the system also allows us to hide desktop icons on Mac via the Terminal. The Terminal app works similarly to that of Command Prompt in Windows. Users can just enter certain commands to the Terminal and run it to complete a relevant operation. If you know the right commands, you can simply type them correctly and perform almost anything on your Mac. For instance, if you wish to learn how to hide desktop icons on Mac via Terminal, then follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you need to access the Terminal app on your Mac. To do this, just go to the Spotlight and look for 'Terminal'. Just make sure that you are logged in as an administrator before running any command.
  2. Once the Terminal app is opened, just type the following command and press enter: defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
  3. After that, simply type 'killall Finder' and press enter. This will hide all desktop icons on Mac in one go.

This simple step would work seamlessly on every major macOS version. If you wish to show the hidden icons on your desktop again, then follow the same process. Just enter the following command instead and your hidden icons will appear again on Mac's desktop: defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true; killall Finder

By following either of these two methods, you can easily learn how to hide desktop icons on Mac like a pro. While the Terminal command will hide all icons in one go, you can customize things via Finder Preferences. That is, you can handpick and select the icons you wish to show or hide. You can follow your preferred approach to change icons on Mac and customize your desktop. Besides that, there are so many things that you can do on your desktop. Here are some of these bonus tips that will let you manage your desktop like a pro.

Bonus 1. Change the Mac App Icons on the Desktop

By default, Mac displays all the icons on the desktop in a certain way, which would vary among different macOS versions. Though, if you want, you can change any icon on Mac and customize your overall experience. While the process is a bit different than learning how to hide desktop icons on Mac, you can easily get a hold of it. When you change an icon on Mac, it will reflect it everywhere, including the desktop.

  1. To start with, just go to the Finder and open your Applications to view all the installed apps.
  2. Simply select the app that you wish to customize and right-click it. From the context menu, click on the 'Get Info' section. You can also just press the Command + I keys as well.
  3. Make sure that you already have the new icon image that you wish to change. For instance, you can keep it on the desktop on a temporary basis.
  4. Copy the new image by pressing the Command + C keys and then click on the small icon of the existing image.
  5. Now, just press the Command + V keys at the same time to paste the image.
  6. Save your changes after the image is posted and close the screen. You can go to the desktop and view the changed icon on Mac.

While the solution to change icon on Mac would work smoothly, make sure that the image format you are taking is compatible. In most of the cases, JPG or PNG formats work quite smoothly.

Bonus 2. Make the Desktop Icons Smaller on Mac

  1. To change the size of icons on Mac, firstly go to its desktop and press the Command + J keys at the same time.
  2. If you want, you can also go to the 'View' menu on the top and click on the 'Show View Options' feature.
  3. This will open view options for desktop on the screen. Here, you can see a slider for 'icon size'.
  4. You can simply move the slider towards the left to make the icons smaller (and right to make them larger).

Once you are happy with an icon size, just close the screen. You can also alter the text and grid size from here as well.

Bonus 3. Recover Missing Desktop Files on Mac

This is one of the most important things to note if you do not wish to suffer from an unforeseen loss of data on your Mac. In case if you have accidentally deleted files from Mac's desktop or the files have been corrupted, then take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery software. It is a complete data recovery tool for Mac that can extract all kinds of files from your system, lost under numerous conditions.

Show Desktop Icons Mac

Recoverit - The Best Word File Recovery Software

  • Recover Word documents from all storage devices like Mac.
  • Recover 1000+ types and formats of files in different situations.
  • Scan and preview the files before you recover them from MacBook hard drive.

If you have deleted a partition on Mac or have lost it due to any other reason, then you should use Recoverit Data Recovery. It can help you restore partition data on Mac by following these easy steps.

Hide Desktop Icon Mac Os X

Step 1: Select a Source Drive

To start with, just Launch Recoverit Data Recovery on your Mac and select a source drive to scan. In this case, it will be the native drive of your Mac.

Mac View Desktop

Step 2: Scan the Location

Hide Folder Mac

As the scanning for the lost and deleted content will progress, you can just wait for a while for it to be finished.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

When the recovery process is finished, you can just preview your files on the interface and select the ones you wish to get back. Click on the 'Recover' button in the end and save them to a secure location.

Remove Icons From Desktop Mac


Now when you know how to hide desktop icons on Mac, you can easily customize your desktop as per your requirements. We have also provided a quick solution to change icons on Mac and even alter their size. Apart from that, you can also consider using Recoverit Data Recovery application too. As a remarkable tool, it will make sure that you never suffer from any unforeseen data loss on Mac ever again.

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