I have two monitors. The left one is designated as the Main Display (in System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement, it has the little white menu bar dragged onto it).

display arrangement

I'm happy with the left monitor being the Main Display. I'm sitting in front of it and looking at it most of the time. It's filled with windows.

What I want is that when new files are created in the ~/Desktop directory, they should appear on the right hand monitor's desktop, not the left's. That way, I will actually see them, as the desktop on the right monitor is not usually covered up by windows.

An example of a file being created can be done using this command in Terminal.app: touch ~/Desktop/something

Is it possible to change which monitor newly created files in the ~/Desktop directory appear on, independently of changing which monitor is the Main Display?

  • What OS, monitor size and open in full screen or default size? – norcal johnny Sep 25 '16 at 8:35
  • I don't believe it is. Even when I drag files to a particular place on the desktop from another folder or app, even with all sort settings turned off they still jump to the next available place in line on the far right of the main monitor. I then have to drag them to where I actually want them. – tubedogg Sep 25 '16 at 19:06
  • Just opened a similar issue (apple.stackexchange.com/questions/310013/…). It looks now like an 'expected behavior' (after seeing other posts), although, I could find absolutely nothing official. I do recall a different behavior in the past. I can remember having files on an external display's desktop. – bauerMusic Dec 24 '17 at 12:23

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