How to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac? Remove Icons from Desktop - 5 Ways

How to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac? Remove Icons from Desktop – 5 Ways

Here, we will explore five incredible easy tips and trick about how to hide desktop icons on Mac and Macbook. At the end, you will say that i can do it myself!!


If, you have to give a presentation or want to take screenshot without any interruption, then you require to delete icons from desktop on your Mac as temporarily.  In both scenarios, moving icons into other location, so especially once you know how to hide icons on Mac easier.

Read Also: How to Hide Files and Folder on Mac? You Can Use 10 Easier Methods!!

How to Hide Desktop Icons on Mac

In this section, we will explain you about how to hide or remove desktop icons on you Mac and Macbook with using 5 easier tricks. You can use one of them to hide all icons on desktop.

Let’s start!!

Hide Desktop Icons on macOS Big Using ‘Finder’

Finder is a built-in utility of your Mac and Macbook. Finder lets you to hide desktop icons on Mac, but this will not hide all icons, only those icons which are related to external computer and visible automatically will be hidden: hard drives, external disks, CDs, DVDs, iPods, and connected servers. How to work it:

  • Firstly launch the Finder on your Mac
  • And click on <Finder> option that showing at the top right corner.


  • Next this will appear drop-down menu and select <Preferences> option.
  • Further new window will be opened and select the <General> tab.


  • Next Under <Show these items on the desktop> section, you will see four checkboxes. These checkboxes must be unchecked.

Now this will hide the Icons from Desktop on macOS Big Sur.

Hide Icons on Desktop on Mac Using ‘Terminal’

Read Also: How to Show Hidden Files on Mac and Macbook? 9 Effective Methods!!

Terminal is an amazing application for your Mac, and Terminal helps you to hide icons on desktop on Mac quickly. It also lets you to monitor any portion of Mac. Here’s how:

  • Firstly open Terminal by using <Spotlight> and type terminal into its search bar, another alternatively navigate Applications > Utilities.
  • Once opened it, type command is following and then hit <Enter> key from keyboard:

defaults write CreateDesktop false

  • After that, to execute this command into Terminal to ‘restart Finder’:

killall Finder

  • Once done it process, all icons will be hidden on desktop on Mac.

Unhide Icons on Desktop

  • If sometime you want to view these desktop’s icons back then you can use this command and press <Enter>:

defaults write CreateDesktop true

  • Now you have to need restart Finder with using this command:

killall Finder

How to Remove Icons from Desktop on Mac Using ‘HiddenMe’ App

The HiddenMe app is the best solution to remove icons on Macbook with in only single click. This app is totally free of cost and you can download it from Mac’s App Store. These all hidden icons will be accessible via Finder. How to use it:

  • Once installed it, open HiddenMe app on your Mac system.
  • And then this will automatically visible in Menu bar at the top right corner.
  • Now press the <HiddenMe icon> and choose <Hide Desktop Icons> option, then all icons on desktop will be quickly hidden.


  • If you want to show these hidden icons, then click on again <HiddenMe icon> and choose <Show Desktop Icons> option.


Remove Desktop Icons Using Script Editor

Mac is enabled with Script Editor Utility, and on this editor you can execute scripting language. Script Editor also allows you to remove desktop icons on your Mac. How to use it:

  • Go to menu bar, click on <Go> option then appear drop-down menu and select <Utilities> option.
  • New window will be opened and select the <Script Editor> icon.
  • Next again go to Menu bar and click on <Script Editor> option and then select <Preferences> option.
  • Further new window will appear, and choose <General> tab, check box <Show Script menu in menu bar> that showing next to “Script Menu“, and then deselect Show <Computer scripts’s check box>
  • Again go to <Script Editor window> and hit on <New Document> to open new <Script window>, paste this script:

set command to “defaults read CreateDesktop”


    set status to do shell script command

on error

    set status to “1”

end try

if status is “0” then

    do shell script “defaults delete CreateDesktop;killall Finder”


    do shell script “defaults write CreateDesktop -bool FALSE;killall Finder”

end if

  • Go to Script menu bar and click File > Save.
  • Name file <Desktop Icons>, and select format as <Script>
  • Further go to <Where> option and hit on <arrow>
  • Then window will expend, and simultaneously hold down <Command + Shift + G> keys from your Mac’s keyboard.
  • This will open search bar, and insert ~/Library/Scripts
  • Click on <Save> option
  • Again go to menu bar, click on <Script Editor> option and select <Quit Script Editor>
  • Now you will see new icon at the upper right corner, next to the language flag, and click on it then select <Desktop Icons>, and then all icon will be hidden on your Mac system.
  • If you want to unhide back then click on <Desktop Icons> again.

How to Delete Icons from Desktop on Mac using Stacks

Apple released a new Stack feature in macOS Majave that allows user to keep your Mac’s desktop neat and clean.

How to work it? Here basically you can manage all files and folders into file types and then place them on perfect edge of your screen. And you have also option to stack them according to date added, date modified, and etc. Here’s how:

  • Perform right click on <View menu> and then choose <Use Stacks>, then to sort or group stacks depend upon your preference.
  • Right click on desktop and then choose <Sort stacks by/Group stack> option as you preferred.

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