Is it possible to show only specific hard drives on the desktop? I have a MacPro tower (3,1) with 3 drives. The boot drive is running El Cap, but there is a legacy boot drive that I would like to keep live, but mostly I don't want users to access it. Can I put the El Cap boot drive on the desktop somehow, but leave off the legacy drive? Does not seem possible in the GUI, or by directly writing to the com.apple.finder plist. Anyone have any tricks?

  • You can exclude it in the fstab file. Search this site for that keyword. On phone now so limited functionality.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


You can use the chflags command to hide a drive icon from the desktop:

chflags hidden /Volumes/Hide\ Me

Then, relaunch the Finder by option-right-clicking it in the Dock and choosing Relaunch.

To restore visibility of an item, use chflags nohidden instead.

Of note, this won't hide the icon from the sidebar, only from the desktop and Finder folder listings.


chflags will cause issues in Mojave and higher (even after enabling Full Disk Access). Alternative:

sudo SetFile -a V /Volumes/Hide\ Me
killall Finder
  • This is really a comment to a previous answer. You can edit the other answer to add this additional info.
    – fsb
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 13:11
  • 1
    that may be, it is still intended as an up-to-date answer to the original question. No need to downvote, right?
    – Wivku
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 20:36
  • First, if the intent is to update an existing answer then it would be best to edit that answer directly instead of adding a new answer. Second, I didn't downvote so maybe others saw the same thing I did?
    – fsb
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 0:44
  • 2
    SetFile is a different answer to chflags, not a comment. I comment however that man SetFile tells me it's deprecated, whereas I can't immediately see that chflags is a problem? Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 13:46
  • What issues does chflags cause in Mojave and higher?
    – anon
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 11:09

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