How to Enable Stacks on macOS for a Cleaner Desktop

Stacks Osx Cover

Most of us have messier desktops than we’d care to admit, with various files piling up over time leading to a very cluttered display. Fortunately, Apple has introduced a feature known as “Stacks” in macOS Mojave, which helps fix this exact issue!

Stacks basically cleans up your desktop by automatically arranging all your content into organized groups of files that can easily be expanded with a click. This feature can be very useful, especially for people like me who have to save everything to the desktop and then clean it up once or twice a month. The effect that Stacks has on tidying up your desktop is easily visible. You can try it for yourself by following the steps below.

Note: you’ll need macOS Mojave or later to enable and use Stacks on your Mac.

1. Open Finder.

2. In the upper-left Finder menu, click on View and select “Use Stacks.”

Stacks Osx Enable

3. All your desktop files will now be automatically sorted out group-wise, as determined by macOS.

Stacks Osx Beforeafter

The neat feature about Stacks is that is doesn’t randomly create groups for your files but groups them by file type (for example, Documents, Images, Films, Spreadsheets, etc.). This allows you to find whatever you need quickly without any fuss. However, do note that Stacks will only organize the files present on your desktop. All folders will be left as they are.

Organizing the Stacks

You can organize the stacks by various dates or by any file tags you may have added. To do this, open the View pane again, and select your desired sorting option from “Group Stacks By.”

Stacks Osx Group Options

Once you click on a Stack, it’ll expand, displaying all your files. You can then interact with them (rename, drag, drop, etc.) as you normally would.

For old time macOS users, this feature might sound familiar; it was previously (and still is) present for creating stacks for the Documents and Downloads folder in the Dock. However, Apple decided to extend the feature to the desktop in the latest version of macOS Mojave, and we’re glad they decided to!

If you later want to revert back to the standard layout, simply uncheck the “Use Stacks” option in the Finder View menu.

Shujaa Imran
Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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