I typically maximize my windows to the full size of the screen and then rather than clicking windows to navigate through them I cmd+tab to switch between applications. The only problem that this causes is that whenever I have to drag a file from my finder to the desktop all these maximized windows are in the way.

Is there any efficient way to move the file to the desktop. I've looked for right click "move to desktop" and I've look for some icon at the top of the screen I can drag it into and those don't exist.


4 Answers 4


You have several possibilities:

  1. Use the sidebar and drag & drop files or folders on the 'Desktop' item
  2. Create a 'Desktop' Dock item by dragging and dropping the folder '/Users/YourUserName/Desktop' to the Dock and afterwards drag & drop files or folders you want to move on the 'Desktop' item in your Dock
  3. Create an Automator Service to move (or copy) chosen items to the 'Desktop' folder (rough example)
  • I knew it had to be something simple. Jan 24, 2015 at 18:10

In addition to klanomath's answer:

You can also assign a Hot Corner to show the Desktop. In that way you can drag a file to the Hot Corner, the Desktop shows, then drop the file on the Desktop. Move your mouse to the hot corner again to show the original window.

The Hot Corner functionality can be found in the Desktop & Screen Saver System Preference pane.

  • This is my favorite answer to this question. Thanks!
    – Gnuget
    Apr 2, 2018 at 20:05

You can also use Keyboard Shortcut to show Desktop while dragging the files. Default shortcut is: ⌃ CTRL+↓ DOWN ARROW (User look suggests also CMD ⌘+F3).


An elaboration to what @klanomath was saying:

Look at the sidebar default item "Desktop"

  • 2
    Instead of writing an answer to edit someone else's answer, simply click the edit or improve this answer button below the post that you wish to improve.
    – grg
    Jan 23, 2015 at 19:57

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