How to Quickly Hide the Desktop Icons in Mac

Do you often have to do a presentation on your Mac and don’t want others to see what’s on your desktop? It could be that your desktop is so overwhelmed with files and folders that it becomes unsightly or that there is confidential stuff that is not suitable for the public eye. Whatever the reason, you are probably looking for a way to quickly hide the icons on your desktop. There are actually two ways that you can use. The first method makes use of Terminal and the second one uses an app available on the Mac App Store. Let’s see how you can use both of them.

1. Using Terminal to Hide the Icons on the Desktop

Open the Terminal app from the Launchpad.


Type in the following command and press Enter. This will hide everything on your desktop.


Check your desktop and you should see that it’s blank. There is not even a single icon on your desktop.

Unhiding the Icons on the Desktop

If you are done with your work and you wish to unhide the icons, here’s how you can do that.

Launch Terminal on your machine, type in the following command and press Enter. All your files and folders will now reappear on the desktop.


2. Using HiddenMe to Hide the Icons

If you prefer to do it with an easier method, you can make use of an app to accomplish the task. HiddenMe is such an app that lets you easily hide and unhide icons on the desktop on your Mac. Here’s how you can use it:

Download and Install the HiddenMe app from the Mac App Store to your machine. It’s available for free.


Once the app is installed, launch it from the Launchpad.


The app sits in the menu bar. Click on its icon in the menu bar and select “Hide Desktop Icons.” It will immediately hide all the icons available on your desktop.


If you wish to restore the icons on your desktop, click the app icon in the menu bar and select “Show Desktop Icons.” Your icons will be back on your desktop.


You are done.


If your work requires you to show your screen to others, and you don’t want to show them your messy desktop, the tips above allow you to quickly hide the icons on your desktop and clean it up instantly. Be advised, though, that if you need to hide/unhide your desktop icons often, perhaps it is time for you to clean up your desktop.

Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.


  1. Is it possible to do this on a WIndows system? I am still running WIndows 7 on this computer.

    Loftin Montgomery

    1. You can check out Fences (

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