One of the biggest problems every computer user encounters is a messy Desktop. Most people would say and believe that saving a file on the Desktop will make it easier for them to find it later. But little do they know that as they continue to save files on the same location, the Desktop becomes a pile of scrambled files and they won’t realize it until they see the actual Desktop screen. So to resolve this century-long issue once and for all, here are some basic ways on how to make your Mac Desktop clutter-free:

Organize by Folders

Mac OS X features a built-in folder set, which are located directly under the User folder. This helps users to create a basic level of organization, covering the basics such as DocumentsMoviesMusic, or Pictures. You may also see folders for Applications or cloud services like the Google Drive.


To start setting up the file system, open the Desktop folder, then begin looking for the files that are currently placed there. For each file, identify if it’s a document, movie, picture, or music file. Then simply move it to the corresponding folder you will find along the side bar. Now, if you’re not sure where to place a particular file, put in the Documents folder, which should be the default/catch-all folder.

Create a Sub-Folder

Now you have a clean desktop, but a cluttered Documents folder. So what do you do next? Next thing you should do is to create some custom sub-folders. To do this, you can either:

    • Right-click anywhere in the window and choose New Folder

    • Move your cursor to the top of the window and click the gear icon, then select New Folder

Once you have created a new folder, give it an appropriate name. So for example, you have a pile of work-related, as well as personal documents, create two sub-folders for that — a Work sub-folder and a Personal sub-folder. After creating these sub-folders, you can now start moving your documents into their corresponding sub-folders.

Locate Any File Within Seconds

With all these folders within folders, there’s no way you’ll be able to find a specific file quickly — unless, of course, you have an absolutely sharp memory. Don’t fret, because Apple shipped OS X with a brilliant indexing search feature called Spotlight.

To search for a file using Spotlight, press the [Command] + [Space] keys simultaneously. A search bar will appear on the upper-right hand corner of the screen. In the provided search field, enter the name of the file you’re looking for.


Spotlight will then show you a list of possible matches as you continue typing the name of the file. To open a file, use the arrow keys to select the correct matched file from the list, then hit the [Enter] key.

Specify the Location Where Screenshots are Saved

It’s easy and fun to save screenshots. Pressing [Command] + [Shift] + [3] will take a screenshot of the entire screen, while pressing [Command] + [Shift] + [4] will bring some cross hairs for a specific selection to grab. However, the only problem is that OS X saves these screenshots on the Desktop by default. And if you’re going to make a number of screenshots, it’s definitely going to clutter your Desktop (again).

So here comes the good news — there is a way to change the default save location for screenshots. To do this, launch the Terminal application, and then run the following commands:

defaults write location ~/Pictures

killall SystemUIServer

Don’t forget to hit the [Enter] key after running each command. To explain it further, the first command sets all screenshots to go to the Pictures folder. It would really make a lot of sense if those screenshots are to be stored in the Pictures folder, don’t you think? They are pictures, after all. The second command just resets the UI Server so the changes will take effect without having to reboot the machine.

Don’t worry, it may feel awkward at first, but organizing your files into their proper folder will help keep you and your files more organized. Doing this will not only make it easier and faster for you to locate your files, it will also make your overall work a lot more productive.

Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 7:52:03 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

Leave a Response