I have a dual monitor setup. Files in the desktop are shown on the first screen. Is there a way to have those files also appear (mirrored) on the second screen?

I do not want screen mirroring, I just want to mirror desktop files. Is that possible?

  • Let me paraphrase your question. Dual monitors setup without mirroring means that you have one, usually long rather than tall, desktop. Depends on how you've arranged them. So what you are actually asking for is how to have your files TWICE on the very SAME desktop :) Thing is that without mirroring it is one desktop simply displayed by two physical devices. One possible way to achieve your goal would be to create symbolic links (shortcuts) to your files and put them on a second screen. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 12:38
  • @DenisRasulev yep you've phrased the problem perfectly :) I want to use that to pick up a screenshot I've just made more easily (grab it from the second monitor), so symlinks wouldn't help (unless they are automatically created) Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:08

3 Answers 3


I'd like to do the same thing, but I haven't found a way. The best compromise I could come up with was to move the menu bar to my primary display. By moving the menu bar, I changed the display which shows my dock and desktop files.

You can move the menu bar by dragging white bar in the Arrangement settings from one display to another:

Display "Arrangement" settings

  • 1
    I never knew this was possible!! Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 2:46

This worked for me to move the dock at the bottom of the screen with icons from one screen to another (not the folders though): Move your mouse arrow to the very bottom of the display where you want your dock to appear and hover it there for a couple seconds. The dock will move off your primary display and appear on your other display.


I've got the same problem. The way I always did it before is by making shortcuts (aliases) and sticking those on the 2nd screen.

This worked fine, but now my desktop is synced up to iCloud, it means my macbooks have both the original folders and the aliases on the desktop which clutters it up.

What I might do is make a folder called DESKTOP on the 2nd screen and put all the aliases in that so I only have one extra folder on the macbooks.

I also wish I could get open windows and apps to stay in the same place on the correct monitor when I switch it on.

But it's a pity that you can't visually hide folders from being displayed on the desktop.

There should be a way you can CMD+I a folder and click a box saying "Don't display on desktop" like "hide file extension." But you'd still be able to see the folder in Finder.

You could then have more folders on the desktop syncing to iCloud without cluttering up the space.

But if you do find a workaround, please let us know.

  • It appears as though you can't put any icons on your non-primary monitor
    – Oion Akif
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 12:36

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