10 Ways To Clean Your Mac Desktop

If you have a messy Mac Desktop and want to clean it up, there are several techniques you can use. You can do something quick and simple to tidy up, or get to work and go through those files to organize them better.

Comments: 11 Responses to “10 Ways To Clean Your Mac Desktop”

    Jim
    7 months ago

    Relative to 45 seconds into the video, the left-side panel with "Documents" does not show up for me. (Catalina 10.15.7) What can I do to activate that panel? Thanks.

    7 months ago

    Jim: Do you mean the entire sidebar? Choose View, Show Sidebar.

    Jim
    7 months ago

    Thanks Gary, but Show Sidebar is not an option listed in View.

    7 months ago

    Jim: Are you perhaps not in the Finder? What does it say in the menu bar to the right of the ?

    Jasper
    7 months ago

    Can you see what's wrong with this Shell script? I wanted to toggle Desktop items on/off and put it in a Shortcut.

    if defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true; then
    defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false;
    killall Finder;
    afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Submarine.aiff
    elif defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false; then
    defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true;
    killall Finder;
    afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Ping.aiff
    fi

    Jim
    7 months ago

    Yeah, I'm in Finder. I don't want to bother you any further with this minor item. Thanks for your responses. Have a good weekend. Jim

    7 months ago

    Jasper: The if statement needs to GET the value, so a read instead of a write is needed. And $() is used to make that a value in a shell script. You don't need to test it a second time, because what is not true is false, so a simple else is fine.

    if $(defaults read com.apple.finder CreateDesktop); then
    	defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false; 
    	killall Finder;
    	afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Submarine.aiff
    else
    	defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true;
    	killall Finder;
    	afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Ping.aiff
    fi
    
    Jasper
    7 months ago

    Thank you! (I spent an embarrassingly long time on that!)

    So, "$(defaults read com.apple.finder CreateDesktop)" means "get the value of CreateDesktop". And it either has a value (1/true) or does not have any value (0/false); then acts on either the first or second command?

    If anyone else is interested in using this in Shortcuts. It's a Run Shell Script action with Shell: zsh, Input: Input; Pass Input: to stdin, Run as Administrator: unchecked.

    7 months ago

    Jasper: defaults read com.apple.finder CreateDesktop will get the value. $() will treat that as a variable that a shell script can use. The "if" is then asking if that is true, and 1 is the same as true. So it does the next part. If it wasn't true, then it would do what is after the else.

    Jim Noyes
    6 months ago

    Hi Gary. I'm still a little confused. I have all my data files and subfiles on my physical iMac desktop, but also saved to my iCloud desktop so I can use them on my laptop. Are all my files on my iMac hard drive and in iCloud? When I back up my hard drive, am I backing up everything on my iCloud and iMac desktops? The more I think about it, the more confused I get! THANKS.

    6 months ago

    Jim: If you have "Optimize" turned off then they are 100% on your Mac AND iCloud. When you back up, all of the files on your Mac will be backed up, so yes, those files will be backed up.

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