You might not want to admit it, but the Desktop on your Mac is probably cluttered. Who cares though, there’s usually an app or a number of windows hiding it, right? Well, not always…and there are several benefits to decluttering your Mac’s desktop – and there’s also several ways of achieving a clutter free desktop.
- A decluttered Desktop (both physical and virtual) means less stress
- If you organize it, your files will be easier to find
- You avoid slowing down the Finder – every icon on your Desktop is treated like a separate window (weird, but true).
OK…so how do we declutter?
The easy way: Hide it
You can configure your system so that icons on the Desktop are hidden. The files will still be stored on the Desktop, and accessible from a Finder window, but you will benefit from having a tidy looking Desktop.
Unfortunately this isn’t provided as a checkbox in the Finder preferences, but a simple Terminal command does the trick:
Launch Terminal from /Applications/Utilities, and type the following:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
Press Enter. Then kill the Finder so that it relaunches to apply the changes:
The slightly better way: Shove it all in a folder
This can get messy, but you can quickly tidy your Desktop by moving all the files into a folder. The folder could be on your Desktop, or somewhere else. In the past, I have organised by month into folders, such as “Desktop November 2013”. At a later date, I would go through the files and organise them into the correct places on my system.
The hardest but best way: Spend time organizing your files
The best method is to spend the time necessary to organize your files correctly, most likely making use of the default folders provided by Mac OS X in your User folder. Create folders for your current work, projects, and so forth – and stick to them. I run several businesses and also keep work relating to my day job on my personal computer, and I don’t just let it all float on my Desktop – it would quickly become chaotic if I did!
Good luck clearing up your Desktop – and please feel free to share your methods.