I have a MacBook Pro, early 2015. I work on a number of projects at a given time. Each desktop folder is labeled by client and I probably have 10 folders with 2-7 subfolders. I save documents to folders via the "save" function or by drop and drag on the desktop. Several mornings a week when I open my computer, 8-15 documents have "popped out" and are all over the desktop.

How can I make them stay put?

  • Before guessing what’s up. If you power off your Mac and then restart in the morning - are folders missing or moved? Also, probably a good idea to apply all updates - edit the post to show your OS version 10.12.5 or whatever and if one time booting to recovery HD and running repair in Disk Utility comes back clean.
    – bmike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 14:54
  • Thanks @bmike When I restart, folders are moved, but not missing. I did as you suggested - looked for updates (I was up to date), booted to recovery HD and ran "First Aid" which showed no repairs needed. My OS version is 10.13.6
    – PKirk
    Aug 20, 2018 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


I would create the necessary folders in your documents directory or relevant location and use aliases on the desktop to drag / drop your files on as you wish.

It is not good practise to store things directly on the desktop - it requires more memory when it goes to sleep etc

  • 1
    I would disagree with a general statement that storing things on the desktop are bad. Someone at work mentioned that and we tested 5,000 icons on one desktop with a mac with SSD and couldn’t measure any performance or memory issue whatsoever. Given your mac has 250,000 files to track on a clean install - where you store things is almost never about the computer being slow in my experience.
    – bmike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 14:56
  • Well, a student of mine had all her files, music & photos on the desktop about 100gig and it was sliw and crashing. Moved all of the desktop and it was a completly different machine. Perhaps you should run your test with files of an appreciable size not icons...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 15:00
  • Our test was 5,000 files and 50 GB. Feel free to detail your problem in a new thread. I might be able to help your performance, too. Smaller files cause more issues since they have more metadata and icons to process. Large files are trivial for the system to store. The only exception is everything gets slow once you rust based (magnetic) storage fills to 75% capacity and rotational speed is an issue. My guess is it wasn’t size but IOPS constrained workload.
    – bmike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 16:10
  • @bmike ta for the offer - but she graduated a while back, she had a lot fewer issues so was happy with the help I gave her...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 18:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .