Is your Mac’s beautiful wallpaper hidden behind many app icons, or do you want to share your screen without disclosing your secret apps? No worries; I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ll share how to hide all desktop icons on your Mac without deleting them. So you can quickly organize and declutter your Mac desktop.
- How to hide all desktop icons on Mac using Terminal
- How to hide desktop icons from Mac using Finder
- Use third-party apps to hide desktop icons on Mac
How to hide all desktop icons on Mac using Terminal
- Launch Spotlight (cmd (⌘) + Space bar).
- Search for and open Terminal.
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false→ Press return.
Killall Finder→ Hit return.
Now you can see that everything you’ve got on your desktop will disappear, and you can enjoy a clean, empty desktop.
To show your desktop icon on your Mac, you need to follow the same steps above with the
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true command.
Hide a single app icon from your Mac desktop
If you only want to remove specific app icons, Terminal lets you do it.
- Launch Finder → Press the Command + Shift + H keys to open the Home folder.
- Open Terminal via Spotlight Search.
chflags hidden→ Enter a space → Drag the icon to the Terminal.
- Hit Enter.
This method will hide that icon instantly from your desktop.
How to hide desktop icons from Mac using Finder
It’s simple to hide desktop icons on a MacBook using the Finder. However, remember that this will not help you get rid of all icons on your Mac desktop. Instead, you can customize which icons to keep on your home screen.
- Launch Finder → Click Finder in the menu bar → Choose Settings.
- Shift to the General tab.
- Uncheck the boxes next to things you want to hide:
- Hard disk
- External disks
- CDs, DVDs, and iPods
- Connected servers
Use third-party apps to hide desktop icons on Mac
No need to worry if the techniques above seem a bit intimidating. Another choice is to download a third-party app called Hidden Me. With only a few clicks, this app can effectively declutter the screen of your Mac. However, this convenience has a $1.99 price tag when downloading the app from the App Store.
Bonus tips to organize your Mac desktop
You can still declutter if you don’t want to delete all icons from your Mac desktop.
- Use stacks: You may hide unnecessary icons by grouping them together. Right-click on your desktop → Select Use Stacks → Hover your cursor on Group Stacks By → Click Kind.
- Make icons smaller: You may make them look so small that they seem to disappear. Right-click on your desktop → Click Show View Options → Drag the Icon size slider to the left.
- Hide desktop folders: If you have any personal files or folders on your Mac home screen, you may hide them. Refer to our guide on how to hide files and folders on Mac.
There isn’t a default keyboard shortcut to hide desktop icons on macOS. However, you can create a custom Automator service that runs the terminal command for hiding icons and then assign a keyboard shortcut to that service.
No, hiding desktop icons using the Terminal command or any other method won’t affect the files or folders. It simply changes the visibility of the icons on your desktop. You can access those apps or files from Finder.
Clean up your Mac’s desktop!
Those mentioned above are some simple ways to tidy up your Mac desktop. Yet, one classic approach remains where you can drag items or desktop shortcuts to the bin icon to delete them. Let me know in the comments which method you prefer for decluttering your Mac desktop.
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