Quickly Hide All The Icons On Your Desktop [OS X Tips]

There are times when you just need to clear off the icons on your Desktop, like when you’re giving an important presentation at work. No one wants to see all the images you’ve saved from the internet, right?

I used to solve this problem with a Sort Me folder on the Desktop, just select all in a Finder window focused on the Desktop, and drag it all to the Sort Me folder.

There’s an even faster and easier way to hide all the icons on your Desktop, though, using the Terminal.

Quickly launch Terminal using an app launcher like Alfred or just double clicking the app in your Utilities folder.

Once there, type or paste the following command in:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false

then restart the Finder with the following:

killall Finder

This will hide all the icons on your Desktop in one fell swoop so you can go about your business on the big projector.

Put. The icons. Back.

Put. The icons. Back.

When you’re done and you want to see that giant pile of clutter again, simply reverse the command:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true
killall Finder

There you have it – quick, easy, and trouble free. I’ll never have to use a Sort Me folder again.

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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