On my desktop I have an external drive name 4TB_Drive. On the same desktop I have a backup drive for the first one named 4TB_Drive_BU. I'd like to hide the icon to prevent accidentally accessing and changing files there, having it still be accessible to my backup software

When I try and use the routine "chflags hidden" method, I get a "Permissions Denied" response. All permissions for the drive are R/W.

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


You can hide all external disks from the desktop by opening Finder → Preferences → General and unchecking External disks. Then you can add aliases on the Desktop to the disks you do want shown.

  • Thanks, grgarside, but that's not what I'm after. I need my main external drive drive icon visible and accessible, but want to hide the other backup drive icon. I'd like to know how to hide one specific external drive icon from my desktop.
    – Cayce
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 10:52
  • @Cayce Yes, this answer describes a workaround where you can add aliases to the drives you do want shown.
    – grg
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:45

You need sudo, so:

sudo chflags hidden /Volumes/4TB_Drive_BU

After that relaunch Finder: sudo killall Finder

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