Minimalism is one of the basic aspects of Apple’s design. However, as users we are not always faithful to this slogan and for many reasons the home screen of our device becomes cluttered with icons that are not necessary. The good news is that there is a solution for hide all desktop icons on our Mac in one click.

Usually the lack of time or the promise to organize everything before deciding what to hide and which are not the main reasons for not giving a pampering to the desktop screen. However, the solution we share today is ideal for removing icons from the desktop is removing them permanently. Rather, it is a shortcut to hide all the icons in specific situations such as sharing the screen in a work call or taking a screenshot.

Ways to hide all desktop icons on Mac

Hide all desktop icons on Mac from Terminal

One of the main options when it comes to solving how to hide folders on Mac or any other type of files starts in the built-in command line application on Mac. “Terminal” and requires the following steps:

1. Find and choose the “Terminal” application in Spotlight Search.

Hide icons on Mac from Terminal

2. After opening the Terminal app, type or paste the command defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false
and then press the Return or Enter key.

Command in Terminal
Hide icons on Mac

3. Restart the Finder application. Type the command killall Finder and press the Return or Enter key.

Mac terminal with command to remove icons
Through the terminal it is possible to hide icons from the Mac

Four.Enter the command to restart Finder and hit the Return key.

Hide Icons-5
Hide icons on Mac without removing them

5. All Finder windows will restart and your Mac desktop will be blank. All icons are now hidden.

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Hide Icons on Mac

6. Click the red Close button in the upper left corner of the Terminal application to safely exit the application.

7. Click the red Close button in the upper left corner of the window to safely close the Terminal application.

As we clarified previously, it is a temporary solution that does not delete the files arranged on the desktop of our Mac. Therefore, it is possible to reverse this change using another Terminal command. Thus, to retrieve the desktop icons, return to the Terminal application, just type the command com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true and then press Return or Enter.

7. Type the command killall Finder and then press the Return (Enter) key to restart the Finder.

Hide Icons-6
Hide Icons-6

8. Enter the command to restart the Finder windows and press the Return key.

Finish with command on Mac
Hide Icons-7

Desktop icons are back in stock!

Mac screen with icons
Remove icons from the home screen with one click


After completing any of the above processes, we just have to use the red Close button in the upper left corner of the Terminal window to safely exit the application. And return to have the desktop as we wish.

Hide all desktop icons on Mac with the HiddenMe app.

Although for some, using the terminal is not the most practical way to hide icons on Mac. There is another solution. The free app HiddenMe, also fulfills the same objective. It’s a small, single-purpose utility found on the menu bar and allows you to hide desktop icons with just one click.

While it’s great that macOS offers a quick way to hide all your desktop icons, there will be times when you’ll still want to use them. Desktop icons and shortcuts can help you be more productive, but like everything else in good measure. Despite these solutions for urgent moments, it is advisable to take the time to organize the icons on the desktop, not only for aesthetics, but for productivity.